Table of Contents
2.2. Definition of Eco-efficiency
2.3. Definition of Sustainable Development
Today’s competitive society is being made possible as a result of a shift in technological advancement. Rapid economic growth is placing increasing pressure on the sustainability of the environment. With the increase in global trade among countries, a positive impact has been recorded in the development and growth of most economies. However, the strive for economic development has brought about drastic change in environmental hazards as a result of emission of substances into the atmosphere during the production process, as well as the disposal of waste substances. How and what can be done to reduce the emissions, save energy, institute more recycling measures, save natural resources, and prevent environmental hazards during production process is very significant. This has been a major point of focus in major international environmental gatherings. The major focus of the paper is to view how goods and services satisfy human consumption at the same time bring better quality of life while reducing ecological impacts that will foster sustainable development
The paper is divided into four parts, first the introduction, the objective, discussion of topic and a conclusion.
The major objectives of this paper are to describe the concept of eco-efficiency in the context of Sustainable Development (SD) and Environmental Resource Management. How can goods and services satisfy human needs and bring better quality of life while reducing the ecological impacts that will foster sustainable development. The motivation of this paper comes as a result of the issue of sustainable development, which has been of debate in major international conferences and international organizations.
The paper will analyze how man can achieve better quality of life as well as reduce the environmental impacts that result from production process. How goods and services can be produced with less energy and fewer materials, which will result in less waste, less pollution and less cost. This is in the long run good for business, since it cuts companies’ costs and avoids potential liabilities.
Before embarking on the major argument, it is imperative to define the concept of eco- efficiency and sustainable development. In defining the concept of eco-efficiency, which shall be the starting point, some elements shall be stated, and also the objectives of sustainable development. This shall usher the next part, which is the discussion of the paper - eco-efficiency in the context of sustainable development and environmental resource management. A discourse method shall be used in analyzing the above questions - based on scientific materials from journals and books, and a conclusion shall be drawn based from my personal views.
2.1. Definition of Eco-efficiency
According to WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) ( 2000), eco- efficiency is the management of business that searches for environmental improvement which will yield economic benefits. It focuses on business opportunities that allow companies to become more environmentally responsible and more profitable. According to the FWI (Five Winds International) (2001), the objective of eco-efficiency is to maximize environmental and economic benefits while simultaneously minimizing both environmental and economic costs.
It is a goal for society, as it is recommended by international organization as well as a promising policy to move towards sustainable development. Also according to Jyri et al. (2005), the concept encourages the means by which businesses can contribute to sustainable development. Companies can become more competitive and more environmentally responsible by applying goals of producing more from less. By being eco- efficient, goods and services can be produced with less energy and with the use of fewer raw materials, which results in less waste and less pollution. “These in all satisfy human needs and bring quality of life” (Dyllick and Hockerts 2002). According to the WBCSD (2006), the key elements of eco-efficiency include:
- Re-engineer processes
- Revalorize by-products
- Redesign products and
- Rethink markets