FOCUS: A step forward on resource productivity

Studies on resource flows in national economies and their environmental impacts began around the same time that life-cycle assessments of products were starting off in business in the early 1990s. Methodologies such as ecological footprinting and materials flow analysis have since been applied to whole countries, regions and individual businesses. Much of this work has underpinned efforts to popularise the case for developed countries to make do with less on environmental and global equity grounds, using concepts such as "Factor 4" and even "Factor 10" resource productivity improvements (ENDS Report 277, pp 20-24 ).

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