Higher resource efficiency means using fewer resources to achieve the same output or effect – for instance the life span and quality of products, or the temperature in buildings – with a given set of material and energy inputs.
In our world today, where dangerous climate climate is an undeniable possibility, it is becoming increasingly clear that resource efficiency refers to more than mere “productivity”. It also means rethinking our too often thoughtlessly extensive use and disposal of resources and our patterns of consumption.
Changing habits, however, is never easy. It needs clear incentives and improved rules and frameworks – which is where EU policy and international financial institutions come into play.
After many years of campaigning by environmental organisations, initiatives at EU level towards increased resource efficiency and more sustainable waste management are starting to take shape.
But their implementation requires dedicated financial support and political will. EBRD, EIB and EU funds must play their role in mainstreaming resource efficiency across different EU policies and actions.