Sustainable Development: Eco-Efficiency, Circa 1996

Eco-efficiency is a management philosophy term first coined by World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a CEO-led global organization of some 200 companies dealing with business and sustainable development.

“eco-efficiency is achieved 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 at least in line with the Earth’s estimated carrying capacity.” In short, it is concerned with creating more value with less impact.

Take a look at the report below that was written in 1996. Fast forward 14 years – where are we? Well, it’s obvious that we’re not there yet.

Though, as time progresses, more corporations joined WBCSD from 120 to 200 and counting. But, the reality in the sustainable world, change is a slow progress.

Many businesses are still not in the buy-in mode yet – with the concept.

Why not?

I meant, if you look at the seven (7) elements that make up the eco-efficiency strategy, wouldn’t this something that of interest to any kind of business?

The 7 elements of eco-efficiency, via WBCSD:

R – Reduce the material intensity

E – Energy intensity minimized

D – Dispersion of toxic substances is reduced

U – Undertake recycling

C – Capitalized on use of renewables

E – Extend product durability

S – Service intensity increased

Eco-efficiency, embraces other concepts, such as ‘pollution prevention,’ ‘source reduction,’ ‘waste reduction,’ ‘waste minimization,’ and ‘cleaner production.– circa 1996

Because when businesses integrated sustainable development into their overall business strategy, it help them to analyze their resource productivity (energy, raw materials, supply) that improve business performance, and find opportunities.

Isn’t it that what a business want: save money, market share, growth, competitive advantage and profit, no?

Businesses that have implemented eco-efficiency are leaders in their respective industries. A sample of the line up, are companies like Interface, HP, Dupont, SC Johnson, United Technologies Corporation, and more.

It’s just amazing, how this report below prove that this vision of eco-efficient leadership stood to the test of time. (Treat this as an intro).