strategy

Increasing eco-efficiency in business

Synonyms:
Developing business as a living system
Description:
Eco-efficiency means providing more consumers with goods and services of an economically affordable value at a significant lower ecological burden. This, for instance, means goods and services which, through their total life-cycle, bundle more functions and provide more capacity and durability for a lower weight, energy consumption and waste generation.

The formal definition is: "Eco-efficiency is reached by the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level in line with the earth's estimated carrying capacity".

Context:
The purpose of eco-efficiency is consistent with that of sustainability, but it is not as comprehensive or far reaching. Eco-efficiency may be thought of as a stepping stone towards sustainability.

Eco-efficiency combines environmental and economic performance to create more value with less impact. Companies become eco-efficient through the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level at least in line with the earth's estimated carrying capacity. To succeed, companies need to: (1) Reduce the material intensity of their goods and services (2) Reduce the energy intensity (3) Reduce the dispersion of toxic substances (4) Enahnce material recyclability (5) Maximise the sustainable use of renewable resources (6) Extend material durability (7) Increase the service intensity of their goods and services.

Eco-efficiency is intended to help companies support sustainable development by encouraging businesses to adapt to new ways of working without immediately abandoning their traditional practices. Its philosophy links the business concept of value creation to environmental concerns, creating value for society and the company by doing more with less over a product or service life cycle.

Claim:
1. The combined pressure to extend minimum standards of living to the lower 80% of a doubling world population while restoring the balance of the ecosphere requires eco-efficiency breakthroughs of a factor of 10 within one generation.

2. There are many contributions to improved environmental performance and quality which business is uniquely placed to make, but these must fit into a framework of science-based, non-discriminatory environmental regulations relevant to the country or region concerned.

Constrained by:
Using packaging
Subjects:
Ecology
Business enterprises
Cybernetics
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies