Resource productivity

Resource productivity

Resource productivity is the quantity of good or service (outcome) that is obtained through the expenditure of unit resource. [Hargroves, K. and Smith, M.H. 2005. The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century. Earthscan, London.] [Hawken, P., Lovins, A. and Lovins, L.H. 1999. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Earthscan, London.] This can be expressed in monetary terms as the monetary yield per unit resource.For example, when applied to crop irrigation it is the yield of crop obtained through use of a given volume of irrigation water, the “crop per drop”, which could also be expressed as monetary return from product per use of unit irrigation water. Resource productivity and resource intensity are key concepts of sustainability accounting as it attempts to decouple the direct connection between resource use and environmental degradation. Although these concepts are two sides of the same coin, in practice they involve very different approaches and can be viewed as reflecting, on the one hand, the efficiency of resource production as outcome per unit of resource use (resource productivity) and, on the other hand, the efficiency of resource consumption as resource use per unit outcome (resource intensity). The sustainability objective is to maximize resource productivity while minimizing resource intensity.

ee also

*Sustainability accounting
*Resource intensity


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