Factor Four

Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use

  • Publications 01.12.1997

A house in California's hot central valley that needs no air conditioning... 18-watt compact fluorescent lamps that do the job of standard 75-watt bulbs... a textile mill that reduced its water use by 80 percent... a lightweight train system that functions on demand, like an elevator, and uses a tenth as much fuel per passenger-mile as driving.


Radically improved resource efficiency is not only possible - it's profitable. These examples and many others described in "Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use" prove that it's already being done and is giving its practitioners the competitive edge. We can - and should - use natural resources at least four times more efficiently, enabling us to live twice as well while halving the stress we place on our environment.


How? The first half of the book details 50 case studies of industries and companies that have profitably achieved fourfold (or better) increases in resource productivity. Although specific techniques may not necessarily be transplantable to other sectors, example after example shows that in diverse applications resource efficiency solves environmental problems at an economic gain. The second half of the book examines how markets can be streamlined and taxes reformed to eliminate perverse incentives and reward efficiency, enabling wealth to grow sustainably while resource use does not.



Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Amory B. Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins:

Factor Four - Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use

Earthscan, London, 1997

322 pp.

ISBN 1-85383-407-6 (hardcover)

ISBN 1-85383-406-8 (softcover)


Also available in Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Hungarian.

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