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Absolute Reduktion der Ressourcennutzung

Front cover of the publication "Absolute Reduktion der Ressourcennutzung" with the key elements listed and  an image collage

© fotolia Kadmy_XXL


Absolute Reduktion der Ressourcennutzung

Vorreiter Niederlande – Ein Vorbild für Deutschland?


Langsdorf, Susanne; Duin, Laurens (2021). Absolute Reduktion der Ressourcennutzung. Vorreiter Niederlande - Ein Vorbild für Deutschland? Ecologic Institut, Berlin.

In 2016, the Dutch government set the goal of establishing a circular economy in 2050. An important milestone is 2030: by then the use of abiotic primary raw materials – minerals, fossil raw materials and metals – is to be reduced by 50 %. In current environmental policy debates on resource conservation, the Netherlands are often cited as a good-practice example because of these absolute reduction targets.

In this paper, Susanne Langsdorf and Laurens Duin explore the Dutch targets and the vision for a circular economy. They shed light on the development, structure and implementation of the Dutch Circular Economy Program and related policy processes, including the established monitoring program. The authors also identify several shortcomings of the program. Finally, they assess what parts of the program could be transferred to Germany. 

Based on their analysis, the authors distil five key recommendations and lessons learned: 

  1. Bring stakeholders together: The Netherlands involves a wide range of relevant stakeholders to build consensus, address barriers and opportunities, and secure support.
  2. Define overall goal and milestones: The Netherlands have developed a vision for the circular economy they seek to achieve. They have set long-term goals and milestones (2030). These are concretized and operationalized on an ongoing basis.
  3. Identify key commodity cycles and develop transformation agendas: Transformation agendas have been developed in broad alliances. Starting from the goal of a "full circular economy," steps and measures for the circularization of five areas (biomass and food, plastics, manufacturing industry, construction sector, consumer goods) were developed.
  4. Feedback and monitoring: The program and measures are continuously monitored and adapted. The "Work Program on Monitoring and Evaluation Circular Economy 2019-2023" provides information on resource use and its impacts, as well as policy measures and process.
  5. Legislate: In the medium term, the transformation should be accelerated by introducing more legislation (taxes and subsidies; regulation; standardization). This would create incentives and predictability for companies and social actors.

The publication is available in German.


More content from this project

Laurens Duin
29 pp.
Project ID
Table of contents
circular economy, resource efficiency, material use, absolute reduction targets, resource conservation
the Netherlands, Germany