Concern for the environment is not a new phenomenon ...

Concern for the environment is not a new phenomenon. Some key dates include:


The Eco-Efficiency concept (Definitions from:

Ever since the Brundtland commission has submitted its final report in 1987 in which it introduced for the first time the idea of sustainable development, the discussions about what is to be understood by the term have not stopped. In the meantime there are more than a hundred definitions of the term Sustainable Development.  Some of the most important definitions and links follow:

1987: Sustainable Development (World Commission on Environment and Development)
The WCED submitted its final report suggesting the following definition of Sustainable Development: "Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (Brundtland Commission Report 1987)

Sustainable Development (UNCED)
Almost all countries and states in the world signed and accepted the Rio declaration and thus incorporated sustainable development as a guiding line into their national politics.

1992: Eco-Efficiency (WBCSD)
The WBCSD defines eco-efficiency as the business strategy to implement sustainable development: "Eco-efficiency is reached by the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level at least in line with the earth's estimated carrying capacity".

1994: Factor 10 (Factor 10 Club)
The members of the Factor 10 Club adopted the Carnoules Declaration in which they speak up for a ten-fold increase in resource productivity.

1994: Sustainable Production and Consumption (IISD)
The Sustainable Consumption Symposium defines Sustainable Production and Consumption as: "[Sustainable production and consumption is] the use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations".

1995: Factor Four (Wuppertal Institute)
The Factor Four book promotes the position to reduce the use of resources by at least a Factor Four. "The amount of wealth extracted from one unit of natural resources can quadruple.  Thus we can live twice as well – yet use half as much" (Weizsaecker/Lovins/Lovins, 1995 p XVIII).

1995: Task Force Report: Goals for an Eco-Efficient Economy (President’s Council on Sustainable Development, USA)
The Task Force Eco-Efficiency of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development comes to the following conclusion: "The U.S. economy shall produce and use globally competitive goods and services while achieving environmental and social goals. This vision will result in a transition to an economy in which the constituents --people and businesses--provide for their needs and those of future generations through efficient and environmentally responsible practices".

1996: Eco-Efficiency and Cleaner Production (WBCSD/UNEP)
The WBCSD, together with UNEP, defines a common definition of Eco-Efficiency and Cleaner Production: "We believe that Cleaner Production and ... Eco-efficiency ... are preferred options. We understand Cleaner Production to be the continous application of an integrated, preventive strategy applied to processes, products and services in pursuit of economic, social, health, safety and environmental benefits".

  1. PP Rogers, KF Jalal and JA Boyd, An Introduction to Sustainable Development, Harvard University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-6740-1964-4.  PU CSH Library.
  2. Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England 1500-1850,, accessed Saturday 27 November 2004 13:39.
  3. DTI Sustainable Development Waste Management and Vehicle Recycling Team, End Of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive, circa 2001 (T: 020 7215 5861).

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Created by John Summerscales on 29 November 2004 and updated on 18-Feb-2022 8:45. Terms and conditions. Errors and omissions. Corrections.