Technical Assistance to the Indian Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI)

rag pickers search for recyclable material in the garbage

India is among the world’s most populated countries; with roughly 1.3 billion inhabitants, it accounts for 14% of the global population and is projected to become the world’s largest country by 2025. In addition, it is characterised by a highly dynamic market economy which has recorded an annual growth rate of above 7% in recent years – a trend which has resulted in the large-scale alleviation of poverty and given rise to an increasing number of middle class consumers. Such achievements are highly desirable from the perspective of human well-being; however, the prospect of prolonged economic development will put a huge strain on India’s natural resources. This problem needs to be addressed in order to avoid the risks of climate change and further environmental degradation.

Against this background, India and the European Union launched the EU-India Strategic Partnership in 2004. As a result of international collaboration, the Indian Resource Panel (InRP) and the Indian Resource Efficiency Cell (IREC) was formed within the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2015. The panels support the Government of India in setting up a strategy for resource efficiency. India aims to launch a resource efficiency initiative within this framework for a number of priority sectors in order to alleviate pressures on national resources and exploit the economic benefits of resource-efficient production. The EU-REI project provides technical assistance to this initiative through sectoral studies that analyse the current and future situation, the underlying institutional framework, key stakeholders and use these findings explore potential for improvements. Interactions between EU, EU Member States and Indian authorities are being facilitated to help disseminate best practices. By producing policy briefs, arranging study tours, and conducting workshops, the project is supporting the Indian government in fulfilling its mandate and fostering resource efficiency in India. These actions are complemented by a tool-based awareness raising campaign, capacity building, as well as monitoring and evaluation activities.

As part of a project consortium - consisting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - adelphi is responsible for a number of different tasks. In the first phase of the EU-REI project (January 2017 - December 2020), adelphi was responsible for preparing studies on resource efficiency in the building and construction sector, as well as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the area of electronics and (plasitc) packaging waste. Other studies analyzed the applicability of European e-waste recycling standards (CENELEC) to the Indian context, investigated the effectiveness of India's e-waste awareness program for proper e-waste collection and recycling (, and identified potential synergies between circular economy strategies at the Indian and European levels. In addition, adelphi developed a toolkit for capacity development on circular economy and resource efficiency and conducted introductory trainings with Indian partner organizations. Before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, adelphi further supported the Indian government by organizing study tours and workshops to Europe.

In the second phase of the EU-REI project (January 2021 - December 2023), these activities will be continued. Among other things, adelphi plans to prepare further sector studies on resource efficiency (textile industry, agriculture and agribusiness), to implement further trainings using the toolbox in online format and to initiate an innovation lab to pilot measures in the field of resource efficiency and circular economy.

Publications of this project