Our consumption of natural resources in Europe has consequences on the environment outside the EU borders. Current policy does not sufficiently address these issues and therefore the topic has gained increasing interest of policy makers. The EU is developing a Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources. Increasing resource productivity in order to maintain the environment and enhancing the competitiveness of European industries is the central concept in this Thematic Strategy. Yet it is unclear how resource productivity is to be measured and to be translated into policy actions. This discussion paper, written in consultation with policy makers and business representatives, adds to the insight of the possibilities of natural resources policies and discusses indicators to measure resource productivity.