At first, the paper answers to the questions how resource consumption has developed, which potentials for reducing consumption exist and why they have not been fully realised yet although they are highly profitable. On this basis, we substantiate why things have to change and what has to be changed. The considerable and rapid increase in energy and material efficiency is essential for providing resources in an ecologically and socially sustainable way, but, at the same time, keeping them financially viable and in line with market requirements. For this purpose, technical innovations and a change in production and consumption patterns are necessary. There are many options of action for consumers, in economy, politics and society, which are each briefly presented in the paper and illustrated with examples. The general aim should be, that the policy mix and the activities of other social actors make energy and material efficiency simple, feasible and profitable for the market players on the supply and demand side. Moreover, resource efficiency should be the volitional objective in politics and society.
Wolfgang Irrek, Kora Kristof:
Ressourceneffizienz: Warum sie verdient, viel schneller umgesetzt zu werden
Wuppertal Paper no. 176 (September 2008)