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Europe is in the midst of a serious crisis. That crisis has two faces, economic and ecological, which are intertwined and reinforce one another. And at the heart of this double challenge is the unsustainable use of our resources.

It is clear that growth which is based on unsustainable use of the resources is no longer sustainable. Recognising this means that resource-dependent Europe must be at the forefront in finding and promoting new sources of growth while aiming to create a more sustainable economy.

Eco-efficiency stands for doing - more or the same - with less. It means resource efficiency: using and reusing resources more efficiently throughout our economy. It is about eco-innovation: developing and using products, processes and other solutions that contribute to environmental protection or efficient use of resources. Eco-efficiency helps to enhance resource productivity and generate more value from the use of resources. It means not wasting valuable materials, but rather recognising the value of resources like energy, water, land and raw materials as the basis of well-being and economic growth in Europe.

Taking up the challenge, the Task Force on Eco-efficiency explored the potential of eco-innovation and resource efficiency for Europe. It examined the existing barriers to realising the benefits and identified what measures are needed to promote eco-efficiency in Europe. It found out that the benefits are significant: promoting and investing in eco-innovation and resource efficiency can help to create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and deliver the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. However, a lot of work remains to be done in creating a comprehensive policy framework and a functioning market for eco-efficiency.


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