Eco-efficiency


Eco-efficiency

Overview

The term eco-efficiency was coined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in its 1992 publication "Changing Course". It is based on the concept of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.

The 1992 Earth Summit endorsed eco-efficiency as a means for companies to implement Agenda 21 in the private sector, and the term has become synonymous with a management philosophy geared towards sustainability.

According to the WBCSD definition, eco-efficiency is achieved through the delivery of "competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life while progressively reducing environmental impacts of goods and resource intensity throughout the entire life-cycle to a level at least in line with the Earth's estimated carrying capacity."

This concept describes a vision for the production of economically valuable goods and services while reducing the ecological impacts of production. In other words eco-efficiency means producing more with less.

According to the WBCSD, critical aspects of eco-efficiency are:Lovins, L. Hunter (2008). [http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/SOW08_chapter_3.pdf Rethinking production] in "State of the World 2008", p. 34.]

* A reduction in the material intensity of goods or services;
* A reduction in the energy intensity of goods or services;
* Reduced dispersion of toxic materials;
* Improved recyclability;
* Maximum use of renewable resources;
* Greater durability of products;
* Increased service intensity of goods and services.

The reduction in ecological impacts translates into an increase in resource productivity, which in turn can create a competitive advantage.

ee also

*Eco-innovation
*Sustainable Design
*Source reduction
*Industrial Ecology
*New Industrial Revolution

References

Further reading

*

External links

* [http://www.wbcsd.org World Business Council for Sustainable Development]
* [http://www.wbcsd.org/web/ecoefficiency.htm WBCSD's Eco-Efficiency project]


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