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Climate change: transitions to sustainability
Climate change: transitions to sustainability

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4.2.1 Eco-efficiency = money in the bank

Business can profit from taking the environment into account (generally called eco-efficiency). Poor environmental performance is seen as a reflection of poor business practice in general. Eco-efficiency promotes the economic benefits of energy and materials savings, at the same time being first to market with new technologies or products. Since business sustainability lobbies promoted eco-efficiency in the early 1990s, the creed has gained rapid acceptance, and with good cause. There are numerous eco-efficiency success stories: it has become something of an orthodoxy among global companies. Some commentators point to fourfold increases in efficiency that could easily be achieved by businesses using current and proven technologies (von Weizsäcker and Lovins, 1997). The same authors go further to argue that the true state of environmental problems demands improvement closer to a factor of ten. There are numerous sources of credible eco-modernisation case studies and data. You might start by looking at the work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on the Web.