New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability series
Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen, Jost Hamschmidt, Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik
Chapter 4: Exploration of Business Models for Material Efficiency Services
4. Exploration of business models for material eﬃciency services1 Minna Halme, Markku Anttonen and Mika Kuisma Business enterprises are still not making the best possible use of the many opportunities for energy and material eﬃciency improvements although there is abundant research on eco-eﬃciency and growing recognition of the need to dematerialize the economy. More than a decade ago, Porter and van der Linde (1995) presented compelling evidence that eﬃcient resource use can be a major competitive advantage for an enterprise. More eﬃcient resource use not only reduces the environmental burden from industrial operations, but often translates into lower procurement and waste management costs as well (Hinterberger et al., 1997; von Weizsäcker et al., 1997; Schmidt-Bleek, 1998). From an ecological point of view, ineﬃcient use of materials or energy causes pollution, destroys ecosystems and depletes natural resources. The imperative of saving natural resources and minimizing pollution by using them more eﬃciently in industrial production is acknowledged at both national and international levels. Several political measures have been planned and introduced to minimize environmental harm by steering manufacturing and other economic activity. For instance, both the European Union and the OECD are aiming to decouple economic growth and the use of natural resources (EU, 2002; OECD, 2002). The United Nations has also joined the quest for more eﬃcient use of natural resources (UN, 2002). There are a number of reasons why business enterprises are prevented from using their resource-saving potential to the full....
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