Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development

By Livio D. DeSimone; Frank Popoff | Go to book overview

Introduction

In 1992 business received a wake-up call. The Rio Earth Summit highlighted the potential risks to ecology and long-term economic and social development created by current patterns of industrialization, population growth, and social inequality.The message to companies doing nothing was the need for urgent action. The message to companies already taking the environment seriously was to do more—and to pay greater attention to the issue of sustainable development.

Those issues were set out in a blueprint—called Agenda 21—signed by over 150 heads of state and government.Agenda 21 stresses the need for fundamental political, social, economic, and industrial change in order to conserve natural and biological resources, limit pollution, and build strong and prosperous communities in all parts of the world.

The business inputs to Rio were summarized in two influential books.One, Changing Course, was a product of the Business Council for Sustainable Development. 1 The other, From Ideas to Action, was associated with the International Chamber of Commerce. 2 The books set out the views of progressive business leaders who recognized the challenge of sustainable development and were—as a number of case studies showed—already beginning to integrate it into their business strategies. Changing Course also coined a term—eco-efficiency—to describe activities that create economic value while continuously reducing ecological impact and the use of resources.

Since then, business—and its new representative body for environmental and sustainability issues, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development ( WBCSD—see appendix)—has done a great deal to develop the principles and practices of eco-efficiency.It has also

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Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Eco-Efficiency - The Business Link to Sustainable Development *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • Views of Business Leaders *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Introduction *
  • 1 - Eco-Efficiency and Sustainable Development *
  • 2 - Eco-Efficiency and the Bottom Line *
  • 3 - Defining and Measuring Eco-Efficiency *
  • 4 - Becoming Eco-Efficient *
  • 5 - Partnership for Eco-Efficiency *
  • 6 - Case Studies *
  • 7 - A Leadership Role for Business *
  • Notes *
  • Wbcsd Working Group on Eco-Efficiency *
  • Index *
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