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13 January 2014  

Waste-prevention through eco-innovation

A new German study explores eco-innovations which prevent the production of waste, and considers drivers and barriers to the uptake of material efficiency measures in businesses, green procurement and product leasing schemes. Titled ‘waste prevention through eco-innovation in production and consumption’, the researchers studied three measures for waste prevention and identified key success factors and barriers respectively.

The first waste prevention measure looked at was material efficiency in companies. Research suggests that automotive manufacturers in Germany could save seven percent of their costs for production and material through eco-innovation. Hence, companies are advised to develop a waste-cost-control strategy and to identify and implement green, innovative measures.

The second measure considered was green procurement. Eco-conscious procurement decisions incentivise manufacturers to produce goods in an eco-friendly way, thereby minimising waste generation. The promotion of product service systems was the third measure considered. This suggests that consumers should rethink the concept of owning a product, and move to a culture of consumption where consumers rent, lease and share products (e.g. car sharing).

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