A4.6 Eco-efficiency


The term Eco-efficiency refers to both economic and ecological efficiency. The aim is to produce goods and services that we need to improve our quality of life, but in a way that reduces the environmental impact. Some consider it to be “doing more with less”.

The concept differs from sustainability, as eco-efficiency only considers the economic and environmental elements. Sustainability considers economic, environmental and social elements.

It encompasses issues such as waste reduction, recycling and energy efficiency. There should not be a reliance on non-renewable resources, or hazardous and polluting components. To be eco-efficient a product should also have a long-life span and be recyclable at the end of its life.

There is a strong business case for Eco-Efficiency. Through measuring your eco-efficiency, perhaps through the setting of objectives and targets, you will be able to:

  • Monitor performance.
  • Identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Identify cost savings.
  • Monitor progress.
  • Provide information to third parties such as stakeholders and investors.
  • Report publicly on your achievements.
  • Add a competitive slant to your marketing campaigns through demonstrating the environmental credentials.