Gauging Resource Intensity, filling out the eco-footprint:

 For a holistic view of ‘Resource Intensity’ and the ‘One Planet Equation’ see


Filling Out the Eco-Footprint: Gauging Resource Intensity and Productivity

A key concept of sustainability is commonly referred to as “eco-efficiency.” Basically, this concept reflects the uses, losses and operational risks associated with the various resources used in producing products and services. Energy, water and materials represent three resources included in eco-efficiency. The use of these resources is viewed as the depletion of resources within the confines of an environmental management system. They are viewed as sources of exposure and the resultant hazards in an occupational health and safety management system. The loss of resources creates impacts on the environment and poses risks to the workers and the community.

Every organization must first consider its contribution to the conservation of global resource base and efforts to reduce its resource intensity. At the same time, it can improve the economy and provide relief to social issues associated with the life cycle of these resources. The operations manager (and others interested in the financial condition of the organization and its community) must track resource consumption internally. This provides the foundation for monitoring resource productivity and tracking resource flows throughout the life cycle of the product or service. Few companies track resource intensity well enough for this purpose. With the growing popularity of carbon and water footprints, some companies are beginning to close in on this parameter. They will now need to include materials in the footprint. Some new sustainable product standards issued by the American National Standards Institute are creating awareness of this need…………….

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