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Facts on circular economy in the EU & worldwide: what, where, who & how

10. What are the indicators of progress toward a more circular economy?

    Simplistic parameters (such as the quantities of waste produced per unit of Gross Domestic Product - GDP) do not make it possible to integrate the difference in the environmental impact of the different wastes considered. Even combined with conventional monetary parameters, based on traditional national accounts, these do not provide a means of measuring the efficiency with which resources are used.

    New indicators that are more consistent with sustainable development are thus under discussion. Some of these more relevant indicators use can be provided by Life Cycle Assessment based methods (LCAs) and provide a better basis for developing more specific tools, including monetary indicators, to integrate and differentiate the costs of environmental and social externalities of products and services that would otherwise be undifferentiated.

    A similar method should also be used to assess and assess the degree of depletion of natural resources. Some countries, such as Indonesia, have already adapted such a method of depreciating natural capital for the exploitation of tropical timber31.


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