Indicators for circular economy transition in cities
Updated on 18.11.2022
The European Commission provides a general monitoring framework for the circular economy (CE). It aims to help understand how the various elements of the CE are developing over time; help identify success factors in Member States, and assess whether sufficient action has been taken. The general monitoring framework is composed of a set of key indicators capturing the main elements of the CE.
The framework consists of 10 indicators (including subindicators), as follows:
- self-sufficiency for raw materials;
- green public procurement;
- waste generation;
- food waste generation;
- overall recycling rates;
- recycling rates for specific waste streams;
- contribution of recycled materials to raw materials demand;
- trade in recyclable raw materials;
- patents; and
- private investments, jobs and gross value added in CE business.
The framework offers a useful reference point for cities to develop CE indicators, providing multiple considerations.
Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions
The Partnership on CE has identified the lack of indicators for monitoring and reporting achievements as a bottleneck for cities implementing a CE. Using the Urban Agenda and the Partnership’s framework, the paper maps existing CE indicator frameworks that support cities to self-assess achievements, identify barriers and opportunities, and develop a CE.
How to use this tool or method
The indicators are set under different themes, such as production and consumption, waste management, and secondary raw materials, among others. The user can navigate through these themes to discover relevant indicators and use these indicators as guidelines for implementation in their own economy.
Circular economy indicators
Increased recycling rates
Competitiveness and innovation
Equality of opportunities/Just transition toward a sustainable and inclusive circular economy
Education, knowledge, training and reskilling
large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000