Inderscience Publishers

Development of eco-efficiency in metal production in Finland

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In this article we reconsider if Eco-Efficiency (EE) is a suitable practical tool of Industrial Ecology (IE) to measure the progress towards Sustainable Development (SD) and the aims of IE. EE combines sparing use of natural resources with economic efficiency, the aim being reduced use of natural resources. Many scientific, government and international organisations consider EE an essential answer to the global development challenges.
We analysed the trends of the Finnish metals industry and some of the largest companies. Empirical results showed that the EE of the metals industry sector improved by Factor 1.42-1.77 from 2000 to 2006, which is not enough as regards the long-term Factor 4 and 10 targets. The best companies have EE improvements in line with the Factor targets and thus there seems to be a potential in the Finnish metals industry to comply with the Factor targets, if required.

Keywords: eco-efficiency, indicators, dematerialisation, industrial metabolism, metals industry, resource efficiency, Finland, industrial ecology, industial efficiency

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