Business-as-usual, it is widely accepted, will exceed the Earth's carrying capacity in an alarmingly short space of time. In simple terms, we need to learn to use the world's rapidly depleting resources in a significantly more efficient manner. Practical and readily adopted solutions are needed now. Eco-efficiency-or "produce more with less" – is achieved when goods and services satisfy human needs, increase the quality of life at competitive prices and when environmental impacts and resource intensity are decreased to a degree that keeps them within the limits of Earth's expected carrying capacity. Eco-efficiency – a term first proposed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in 1992 – is a management approach that allows businesses to carry out environmental protection measures from a market-oriented point of view, with the aim of illustrating that ecology and the economy do not need to be a contradiction. Indeed, eco-efficiency has been portrayed as a win-win-for both business and the environment.
This book, which developed out of two conferences on eco-efficiency held in Düsseldorf in 1998 and 2001, is edited by Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and his team from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, one of the world's leading research programmes on resource productivity. The aim is not simply to explain the past and present of eco-efficiency but to look forward to and encourage a future where the comprehensive take-up of the concept by business, government and consumers could lead to innovation on a grand scale and the possibility of a giant leap beyond towards overall sustainability.
There have been considerable achievements to date. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which aims to list the most sustainable corporations for investors, includes companies such as BASF, Climatex, Henkel and Matushita/Panasonic (all represented in this book), who are implementing eco-efficiency measures. A number of political initiatives have also been formed. In December 2001, the German government suggested a National Sustainability Strategy to measure Germany's sustainable development. While this not yet an accepted political target or even law, it shows that politics is moving toward binding targets for increasing efficiency.
Eco-Efficiency and Beyond collects together the leading thinkers on the topic and aims to illustrate not only that the concept should be part of every business strategy but that it is a key trigger for innovation. Innovation cuts through paradoxes. It is the creation of solutions to conflicting demands. Flying in a vacuum gave us rockets and satellites; switching electrons through insulators gave us Silicon Valley and the digital age. Sustainable development presents a similar field of paradoxical innovation forces: i.e. provide affordable products and services for the growing unmet needs of the world population while reducing environmental impacts.
This book is the definitive collection on eco-efficiency and will be required reading for business, government, NGOs and academicians.
…this compilation of essays from an impressive range of sustainability experts shows how and where those at the leading edge are taking the debate. - Corporate Citizenship Briefing, February/March 2004 |
| The main strength of this book is that it discusses eco-efficiency at a practical level of applications. In this way the concept becomes tangible and the authors clearly go beyond the theory … It is required reading for business, government, NGOs and academics, in the field of business management. - International Journal of Environment and Pollution Vol. 23 No. 4 (2005)
Introduction Jan-Dirk Seiler-Hausmann, Christa Liedtke and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker 1. Thinking about sustainable production and services in a globalised world Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Member of the German Parliament, former Chair of the Bundestag Select Committee on Globalisation 2. Promoting the life-cycle economy–time to act! Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, France 3. The next sources of innovation Claude Fussler, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Switzerland 4. Sustainable politics Jan-Dirk Seiler-Hausmann, Wuppertal Institute, Germany 5. Germany's Sustainable Development Strategy Hans Martin Bury, Member of German Parliament; German Minister of State for Europe 6. The German Council for Sustainable Development Volker Hauff, Chair of the German Council for Sustainable Development 7. Think–communicate–act. Econsense Forum for Sustainable Development: A German business initiative Jürgen Zech, former member of the Board of Gerling and spokesperson for econsense, Germany 8. Launching the ISS Sustainable Development Raymond van Ermen, European Partners for the Environment, Belgium 9. Sustainable business development Michael Kuhndt, Wuppertal Institute, Germany 10. Deloitte Sustainability Reporting Scorecard Markus Lehni, Deloitte & Touche, Global Environment and Sustainability Services, Switzerland 11. Sustainability management? Don't bother! Practical steps for bringing sustainability into core management practice Peter Zollinger, SustainAbility, UK 12. Sustainable accounting initiatives in Japan: pilot projects of material flow cost accounting Katsuhiko Kokubu, Kobe University, Japan;Michiyasu Nakajima, Kansai University, Japan 13. The BASF eco-efficiency method as a sustainable decision-making tool Andreas Kicherer, BASF AG, Germany 14. Toward sustainable products and services Christa Liedtke, Wuppertal Institute, Germany 15. Climatex(R) Lifeguard(TM) upholstery fabrics: chronicle of a sustainable product redesign Albin Kälin, Rohner Textil AG, Switzerland, Alain Rivière and Ralf Ketelhut, EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, Germany, Michael Braungart, EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, Germany, and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC, USA 16. Eco-effective design of products and production systems: eight theses on methodological and institutional prerequisites Michael Braungart, EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, Germany and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC, USA, and Alain Riviere and Ralf Ketelhut, EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, Germany 17. Efforts in the electronics industry toward creating a recycling-based society Nobuhisa Itoh, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd, Japan 18. Ten years of sustainability at Henkel: innovative products as basis for long-term business success Rainer Rauberger and Michaela Raupach, Henkel, Corporate Sustainability Management/Reporting and Stakeholder Dialogue, Germany 19. Toward sustainable banks and insurance companies Thomas Orbach and Timo Busch, Wuppertal Institute, Germany 20. The challenge of sustainability for financial institutions Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of Unit, UNEP Finance Initiatives, Switzerland 21. Sustainability: the new paradigm in value-based corporate management Hanns Michael Hoelz, Global Head of Sustainable Development, Deutsche Bank 22. Can pension funds drive sustainable development? Inge Schumacher, UBS Global Asset Management, Socially Responsible Investments, Switzerland