Efficient use of resources is one of the pillars of the Europe 2020 strategy; the European growth strategy for "smart, sustainable and inclusive" economy.

In 2011 the European Commission presented the roadmap named "A resource-efficient Europe". It aims to "promote the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy to achieve sustainable growth".
Several specific long-term actions have therefore been proposed, especially pertaining to climate, energy, biodiversity and transport.

This roadmap is especially important because:
1. It establishes a framework to design and implement future actions.
2. It highlights the structural and technological changes required by 2050 and envisages the intermediate steps to be completed for 2020.
3. It lists a series of problems to solve in terms of policy coordination and market failure.
4. It stresses the importance of transverse topics such as consumption habits and the need to invest more in innovation. Finally, it places special emphasis on the food, mobility and construction sectors, whose combined effects account for between 70 and 80% of all environmental impacts.