Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development

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

4 Becoming Eco-efficient
Eco-efficiency is more than business as usual. It requires major changes in philosophy, products, and processes. As chapter 1 discussed, there is growing evidence from the companies that have begun to implement it that this change is possible—and that environmental impacts are reduced and sustainability is increased as a result.However, their experience demonstrates that there are both external and internal barriers to eco-efficiency. As chapter 7 notes, some of these barriers are created by the framework conditions within which business operates. Such barriers are out of the control of individual companies and can only be overcome by concerted actions by government, financial institutions, business, and other parties.There are also internal barriers to eco-efficiency that companies can influence, for example:
Lack of awareness about environmental and other sustainability issues and of the scale of change needed to achieve sustainable development,
Despair about the enormity of environmental problems and the apparent inability of individuals to deal with them,
Short-term decision-making perspectives that mean that all long‐ term trends are ignored or underestimated and the future benefits of environmental actions are heavily discounted,
Organizational structures that inhibit the cross-functional interaction necessary to fully integrate environment into key areas such as product development,
An absence of senior management commitment,
Lack of motivation and awareness among middle- and lower-level staff,

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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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