DOUGHNUT (economics) FOR ALL

For an economy that better suits everyone's appetite, we call on the EU to:

Refocus from GDP growth to wellbeing

The EU annual green investment gap alone is estimated to be over 520 billion euros, but our outdated fiscal rules are handcuffs. It’s time to put environmental, social and gender justice goals at the heart of EU economic governance and policy and enable the shift towards a wellbeing economy. Check our manifesto and our wellbeing economy report.

Set binding material footprint reduction targets

Sets binding material footprint reduction targets

Today, the EU uses 15 tonnes of resources per capita annually,  as if we had almost 3 planets. Recycling is not enough: we need to cut on resource use by wasting less, sharing more, and making daily products last longer. It’s time to set binding targets to reduce material footprint by 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 on top of GHG emissions reduction targets. Check our ‘Green mining is a myth’ report and urban mining video.

Choose less and better animal proteins

Choose less and better animal proteins

Our nitrogen and phosphorus overshoot comes from overproduction and overconsumption of animal proteins. We need less and better animal farming, circular and nature-friendly nitrogen and phosphorus management and healthy sustainable diets, with less animal proteins. Learn more here and here.

Doughnut economy: the solution to our growing pain

With a graph shaped like a familiar pastry, the ‘doughnut economics’ model developed by economist Kate Raworth aims to boost the wellbeing of all within planetary boundaries.

Our current economic model has driven societies to extract more resources and produce more products than we need, exploiting labour and nature far beyond their limits.
It is time to end our dependence on endless economic growth and heal the double burnout of our society and planet.
The doughnut economics model can guide us towards a more sustainable and fair economy: it highlights a range of minimum social criteria and maximum ecosystem limits. The sweet spot in between is the ‘doughnut’, a safe space where people and nature can thrive together across generations.
Doughnut (economic Model)

DG DOUGHNUT, for a well-rounded EU economy


The IPCC’s climate scientists and the European Environment Agency have recently upped their language on the urgent need for alternative economic models, both mentioning ‘doughnut economics’ as a viable alternative for sustainable development.

Reducing our demand for materials and fossil fuel energy is even cited as something that will “help achieve well-being for all”. Yet EU and national policies are still focused on GDP growth at any cost.

The EU is so committed to economic growth that its executive body, the European Commission, has a fully dedicated department called DG GROW. But the endless growth model is well past its trend: it is time for a change in focus – and why not for a rebrand from DG GROW to DG DOUGHNUT?

It is, after all, a sweeter deal!

What does reorienting our society entail?

RSS Fresh doughnut news

  • Doughnut economics: how to bake a better future 12 May 2022
    What does a fair and sustainable economy taste like? Civil society and policy makers joined a doughnut (economics) tasting to call for a more well-rounded EU economy that respects people and nature. The European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Europe’s largest network of environmental NGOs, organised the event to draw attention to the limits of an economic […]
  • From growth to doughnut: towards a well-rounded EU economy 9 May 2022
    What do rising burnout rates and scientists’ alarming reports on climate breakdown have in common? They both point to an economic system that pushes people and the planet beyond the boundaries they can cope with. The doughnut economy offers a sweeter deal than this broken system, writes Nick Meynen. The Doughnut Economy gets its name […]
  • Is GDP Taking Us Beyond Our Limits? 5 May 2022
    We are living in an era of “Great Acceleration” which leads to global warming, growing income inequality, water scarcity, and continued deforestation. Andreas Budiman looks into two key publications that pave the way to a more sustainable development, as well as the path forward. When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969, everyone watched […]
  • The link between forever growth and Belgium’s ‘forever chemicals’ scandal 24 June 2021
    Toxic pollution is not an inevitable byproduct of prosperity. The choice between poisoning or poverty is a false one, writes the EEB’s Senior Policy Officer for Economic Transition Nick Meynen. The massive and growing ‘forever chemicals’ scandal in Belgium marks the culmination and possible endpoint of the endless growth logic, not to mention the privatising […]
  • How Europe can grow without growing 21 January 2021
    In a landmark document recognising the destructive power of constant economic growth, the European Environment Agency (EEA) echoes the demands of campaigners and scientists: the urgent need to favour wellbeing over wealth. The EEA briefing argued that our quest for uninterrupted economic growth “has detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health” because of […]