Working together towards Eco-efficiency

Partnerships are crucial if eco-efficiency is to be a real business opportunity, combat increased waste and emissions and contribute towards sustainable development. That was a main message of Aiming for Eco-Efficiency in Resource Use, the third international conference of ASSURRE.



“Eco-efficiency can only be achieved by diverse sectors working together on a basis of trust, with each sector delivering its own potential,” ASSURRE’s managing director Bill Duncan told the meeting in Brussels. All speakers, from the European Commission, national governments and particularly those from partnerships themselves, agreed.



“Eco-efficiency is too big to handle on your own,” said Björn Stigson, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a coalition of 160 members from 35 countries. “There is a growing interest in projects looking at the eco-efficiency performance and challenges for the whole value chain of a particular industry sector.”



The Nordic Partnership, itself a collaboration of WWF, Nordic businesses, academics and public sector organisations, said partnerships were key to a shift to sustainable development: “Eco-efficiency is not just about stakeholder dialogue it should be partnerships organised around some values we share,” said managing director Michael Brinch-Pedersen.



The conference demonstrated that with committed partnerships at company, city or national level, eco-efficiency was far more than a visionary concept. Notably substitute ‘green’ resources did not have to be more expensive than those they replaced. Ikea’s use of Toyota Prius Hybrid cars for example, running on unleaded petrol and batteries, have saved over EUR 3,000 fuel costs per car. In 10 years, the Austrian city of Graz’s Ökoprofit programme, involving 135 companies using energy-saving technologies, has saved 20 million euros.



ASSURRE itself, a wide-ranging partnership of raw material producers, consumer and industrial goods manufacturers, waste management operators and local government authorities, is highly focused on the eco-efficiency challenge. Moreover it proved its commitment to sustainable practices by hosting an eco-efficient event: “This is a carbon neutral conference,” Bill Duncan said. “We are recovering the energy we used for someone else’s benefit.” The Brussels based sustainable resource management association will sponsor a third world development project to offset the CO2 impact from the conference delegates’ travel and energy use.

Ano da Publicação: 2002
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin Enews #43-2002
Autor: Kit Strange, Warmer Bulletin
Email do Autor: kit@residua.com

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