Circular Economy Indicators as a Supporting Tool for European Regional Development Policies
2. The Concept and Method of the Study
- Step 1.
- Firstly, analysis was conducted of existing CE indicators employed around the world, examining their compatibility for use under European conditions. Existing indicators for evaluation of EU policies related to CE issues were also examined. As CE is promoted as a new strategy of development, some measures of evaluating other public development policies could be applied in the case of CE as well.
- Step 2.
- This step identified the main characteristics necessary for region-specific CE indicators, identifying sources for data collection.
- Step 3.
- The final step analysed the research conducted in the first two steps in order to propose a system of indicators for areas identified as the most important for CE at the regional level. A case study was prepared (for the Malopolska region of Poland) to present a practical application of the indicator system.
3. Analysis of Existing Approaches and Indicators of CE-Based Regional Development
3.1. Analysis of Existing CE Indicators
3.2. European Assessment Tools for CE
4. CE System of Indicators: Assumptions for Design and Proposals for European Regional Indicators
5. CE Malopolska Region: Case Study
5.1. Malopolska Region
- educational campaign “You Segregate-You Recover” with the purpose of dissemination of information on the Waste Management Plan of the region and the new municipal waste management system;
- regional competition “LPR Clean Community” in cooperation with the Voivodeship Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management with the purpose of identifying and promoting LPR rural and rural–urban communities that have the most effective systems of waste management at the regional level;
- regional competition “Pass it on” for association of housewives in rural areas with the purpose of organizing information actions aimed at promoting a waste management hierarchy, waste reuse, exchange and decoration and repair of old and used goods; and
- upcycling of Malopolska promotional materials after rebranding—the “eco-campaign promoting waste management hierarchy: recycling/upcycling, promotion of repair networks and reuse”; actions taken were focused on upcycling of out-dated banners and sewing of ecological bags distributed among the LPR population and carrying out an information campaign on a radio station dedicated to the prevention of waste.
5.2. CE Progress in the Malopolska Region
5.2.1. CE Regional Indicators
5.2.2. Construction of the CE Index
6. Discussion and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
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|Name of the Monitored EU Policy/Area/Strategy||Characteristics/Types of Indicators||Areas of Monitoring||Relevance for CE Monitoring at the Regional Level **|
|EUROPE 2020 the EU’s agenda for growth and jobs for the current decade. It emphasises smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as a way to overcome the structural weaknesses in Europe’s economy, improve its competitiveness and productivity and underpin a sustainable social market economy.||Six headline indicators||Employment, R&D, climate change and energy, education, poverty and social inclusion.||Partly relevant|
|SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Indicators for monitoring the sustainable development goals (SDGS) in an EU context (the set of indicators was established in 2017, changing the previous one which was used from 2005 to 2015 and was in line with the EU Sustainable Development Strategy).||The set is structured along the 17 SDGs and includes 100 different indicators.||Poverty, agriculture and nutrition, health, education, gender equality, water, energy, economy and labour, infrastructure and innovations, inequality, cities, consumption and production, climate, oceans, ecosystems, institutions and global partnership.||Highly relevant|
|EUROPEAN PILLAR OF SOCIAL RIGHTS||Headline indicators (5 indicators in the first group, 5 indicators in the second group and 4 indicators in the third group). Secondary indicators (10 indicators in the first group, 6 indicators in the second group and 5 indicators in the third group).||Group 1. Equal opportunities and access to the labour market (education, skills and lifelong learning, gender equality in the labour market, inequality and upward mobility, living conditions and poverty and youth).|
Group 2. Dynamic labour markets and fair working conditions (labour force structure, labour market dynamics and income including employment-related).
Group 3. Public support/social protection and inclusion (impact of public policies on reducing poverty, childcare, healthcare and digital access).
|CE Specific Area||Evaluation Aspects for Monitoring||Possible Indicators for Monitoring|
|Economic prosperity economy taking into account financial aspects of environmental actions||Economic growth, green economic growth, GDP per capita, green jobs, unemployment level, environmental taxes and levies (share of budget revenues) and business based on CE business models (share)||Increase in household income, income of households, euros per inhabitant or PPS based on final consumption per inhabitant, real growth rate of regional gross value added at basic pricepercentage change over previous year, poverty risk indicator (below the relative poverty line) after taking into account social transfers in income|
|Financial aspects of environmental actions||Green public procurement, expenditure on environmental education|
|Zero-waste economy||Water, wastes, recycling, reuse, refurbishment and remanufacturing||Municipal waste generated per inhabitant in a region, generation of waste excluding major mineral wastes per GDP unit, generation of waste excluding major mineral wastes per GDP in relation to domestic material consumption, recycling rate of municipal waste, recycling rate of biowaste in kg per capita, recycling rate of all waste excepting major mineral waste in %, rate of reuse, rate of remanufacturing and refurbishment, wastewater reuse, wastewater treatment|
|Innovative economy||Innovation, eco-innovations||Eco-innovations, patents related to recycling sectors, secondary raw materials, renewal, regeneration, expenditure on research and development in relation to GDP, share of innovative enterprises by sector in general enterprises|
|Energy-efficient and renewable energy-based economy||Energy efficiency, renewable energy sources||Final energy intensity of GDP, energy efficiency in households (energy consumption per household), energy productivity (the indicator results from the division of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the gross inland consumption of energy for a given calendar year), electricity consumption for 1 million PLN (Polish currency) of GDP, expenditure on fixed assets for environmental protection related to saving electricity per capita|
|Low carbon economy||Air pollution, CO2 emissions||Carbon dioxide emissions, emission of particulates, outlays/expenditures on fixed assets serving environmental protection and water management related to protection of air and climate|
|Bioeconomy||Biofuels, biomass, bio-based products||Biofuels, biomass, bioproducts, number of patents in the field of biotechnology, expenditures on research and development (R&D) in the field of biotechnology|
|Service/performance economy||Product as service sector||Market share of “product as services sector”|
|Collaborating/sharing economy||Sharing services||Individual used any website or app to arrange an accommodation from another individual, individuals used dedicated websites or apps to arrange an accommodation from another individual, individuals used any website or app to arrange a transport service from another individual *, individuals used dedicated websites or apps to arrange a transport service from another individual|
|Smart economy||R&D in green sector||% of households with Internet access, % of individuals using cloud services, e-commerce indicator: Internet purchases by individuals in % during last 3 months, e-government activities indicator: Internet use in interaction with public authorities (last 12 months) in % of individuals, percentage of households with broadband access, enterprises that provided training to develop/upgrade ICT skills of their personnel (% of enterprises), enterprises with access to broadband Internet|
|Resource Efficient Economy||Resource efficiency, material efficiency||Productivity of resources (GDP per unit of resources used by the regional economy), regional consumption of materials, the circular material use rate (CMU) (% of recyclable materials used in the economy in relation to the total consumption of raw materials)|
|Social Economy||Social innovations, collaboration services (platforms), social awareness of environmental issues||Innovative social enterprises, collaboration services platforms set up by local citizens|
|Spatially effective economy||Public space, green areas, circular spaces, industrial symbiosis areas, urbanization level||Dispersion ratio of housing (number of buildings per 1 km2 area of the region), The area of public spaces in ha, urbanization rate, forest cover indicator, length of bicycle paths, share of legally protected areas in the total area, share of Natura 2000 areas in the total area, passenger transport: % using public mass transport services, % of travellers traveling by nonmotorized means of transport (on foot and bicycle), % of passenger cars|
|Economic prosperity economy||1.1||GDP||per capita, fixed prices, PLN|
|1.2||Average life expectancy at birth for men||years|
|1.3||Registered unemployment rate||%|
|Zero-waste economy||2.1||Municipal waste collected selectively in relation to the total amount of municipal waste collected||%|
|2.2||Municipal waste collected per one inhabitant||tons/person|
|2.3||Industrial and municipal wastewater purified in wastewater requiring treatment||%|
|2.4||Outlays on fixed assets serving environmental protection and water management related to recycling and utilization of waste||per capita, fixed prices, PLN|
|Innovative economy||3.1||Expenditures on research and development activities||per capita, fixed prices, PLN|
|3.2||Average share of innovative enterprises in the total number of enterprises||%|
|3.2||Adults participating in education and training||%|
|3.4||Patent applications for 1 million inhabitants|
|Energy-efficient and renewable energy-based economy||4.1||Share of renewable energy sources in total production of electricity||%|
|4.2||Outlays on fixed assets serving environmental protection and water management related to electricity saving||per capita, fixed prices, PLN|
|Low carbon economy||5.1||Carbon dioxide emission from plants especially noxious to air purity||tons/person|
|5.2||Emission of particulates||tons/1 km2|
|5.3||Passenger cars||Cars/1000 population|
|5.4||Pollutants retained or neutralized in pollutant reduction systems in total pollutants generated from plants especially noxious to air purity||%|
|5.5||Outlays on fixed assets serving environmental protection and water management related to protection of air and climate||per capita, fixed prices, PLN|
|Smart economy||6.1||Households with personal computer with broadband connection to Internet||%|
|6.2||enterprises with access to the Internet via a broadband connection||%|
|Spatially effective economy||7.1||Forest cover indicator||%|
|7.2||Street greenery and share of parks, lawns and green areas of the housing estate areas in the total area||%|
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Avdiushchenko, A.; Zając, P. Circular Economy Indicators as a Supporting Tool for European Regional Development Policies. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3025. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113025
Avdiushchenko A, Zając P. Circular Economy Indicators as a Supporting Tool for European Regional Development Policies. Sustainability. 2019; 11(11):3025. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113025Chicago/Turabian Style
Avdiushchenko, Anna, and Paweł Zając. 2019. "Circular Economy Indicators as a Supporting Tool for European Regional Development Policies" Sustainability 11, no. 11: 3025. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113025