Beyond eco-efficiency: A resilience perspective

Jouni Korhonen, Thomas P. Seager

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Business strategy with regard to sustainability is currently dominated by an eco-efficiency a p proach that seeks to simultaneously reduce costs and environmental impacts using tactics such as waste minimization or reuse, pollution prevention or technological improvement. However, in practice, eco-efficiency optimization rarely results in improved diversity or adaptability and consequently may have perverse consequences to sustainability by eroding the resilience of production systems. This editorial article contrasts a resilience approach with an eco-efficiency approach as they relate to strategic sustainable development. In some cases, the system attributes that are critically important to resilience - such as spare capacity, reserve resource stocks and redundancy - are in opposition to eco-efficiency. Our most important insight is the realization that investments in what may seem counter to eco-efficiency can nonetheless be important for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Eco-efficiency
  • Resilience
  • Strategic sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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