European Resource Hierarchy
A discussion paper introducing the idea of a new European Resource Hierarchy has been submitted to Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
The proposal is based upon a whole-life framework for the stewardship of national/global natural capital use throughout the productive economy. It is envisaged that through transitional arrangements, the European Resource Hierarchy could supersede the EU- waste hierarchy. The initiative has been spear-headed by Dr Stuart McLanaghan, a UK- based Resource Management Professional and Member of British Standards Committee SDS/1/10 Sustainable Resource Management. Dr McLanaghan commented:
“The new idea for a European Resource Hierarchy could provide a whole-life framework for the stewardship of national/global natural capital use throughout the productive economy, bring focus to addressing market failures associated with resource use throughout the entire supply chain, and contribute to the delivery of a vibrant circular economy and progress towards sustainable resource management.”
The European Resource Hierarchy would necessitate a holistic and systemic shift, enabling legislative, regulatory, voluntary and fiscal interventions to be aligned to:
Resource targets which address natural capital depletion in the productive economy and progress towards (national) sustainable resource management.
Measuring progress towards sustainable waste management across Member States via annual environmental accounts, which in turn inform subsequent amendment to resource targets.
Urgently address supply chain blockages associated with resource use within the productive economy and throughout their entire life-cycle.
Incentivise the entire supply chain towards closed-loop manufacture, in the transition towards a vibrant circular economy.