Eco‐Efficiency and beyond: Towards the Sustainable Enterprise

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




Seiler‐Hausmann, J., Liedtke, C., Ulrich von Weizsäcker, E., Wuppertal Institute, T. and Germany (2004), "Eco‐Efficiency and beyond: Towards the Sustainable Enterprise", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 457-458.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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.

Reviews or inspection copies can be ordered at: www.greenleaf‐

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