Eco-efficiency indicators are designed to be used primarily by business to monitor and report their performance. They are equally relevant to similar operations operated by government. Eco-efficiency indicators relate economic and environmental performance to each other. On the micro level they allow managers to take better decisions and enable stakeholders to assess their companies more accurately. On the macro level they allow to measure the entire economy's progress in creating value with fewer resources and less environmental burden.
Technology and innovation have key roles to play in attenuating the link between economic growth and environmental degradation. Countries have a shared interest in strengthening the development and diffusion of cleaner technologies and environmentally-sound products. Provided that prices are set appropriately, there may be opportunities to reap major cost savings, enhance efficiencies in resource use, reduce pollutant emissions and waste generation, and establish cleaner and safer workplaces by encouraging enterprises to incorporate environmental objectives into their management strategies and stimulate investment in clean technologies.
The ultimate goal of eco-efficiency is to grow economies qualitatively – in other words to provide more value rather than to transform materials and energy into more waste.
Eco-efficiency may be a pragmatic tool for the decoupling of resource use and value creation, but does not include social, ethical and local accountability issues.