The Europe 2020 Strategy establishes resource efficiency as one of its fundamental flagship initiatives for ensuring the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. This flagship initiative has close connections to the Raw Materials Initiative and Innovation Union Flagship Initiative.
In this context, the main goal of DESIRE is to develop and apply an optimal set of indicators to monitor European progress towards resource efficiency. DESIRE proposes a combination of time series of environmentally extended input output data (EE IO) and the DPSIR framework to construct the indicator set. This approach will use a single data set that allows for consistent construction of resource efficiency indicators capturing the EU, country, sector and product group level, and the production and consumption perspective including impacts outside of the EU. Thus, the project will
a) improve data availability, particularly by creating EE IO time series and now-casted data using Eurostat data and data from research databases (EXIOPOL, CREEA; WP 5);
b) improve calculation methods for indicators that currently still lack scientific soundness, most notably in the field of biodiversity/ecosystem services (WP7) and critical materials (WP 6), as well as develop novel reference indicators for economic success ("Beyond GDP and Value added", WP 8);
c) explicitly address the problem of indicator proliferation and limits in available data that have a "statistical stamp". Via scientific analysis DESIRE will select the smallest set of indicators giving mutually independent information, and show which shortcuts in (statistical) data inventory can be made without significant loss of quality (WP 9).
The project comprises further policy analysis and indicator concept development via interactive "brokerage activities" (WP 2-4), management (WP 1), and conclusions and implementation (WP 10). Data and indicators will be handed over to the EU's Group of Four.
Wuppertal Institute will lead the brokerage activities (WP 2) and the exploration of alternative reference indicators (WP 8). Likewise, WI will play an important role in the development of EE-IO time series (WP 5) and critical material indicators (WP 6).