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[From Gary Gardner and Payal Sampat, Mind Over Matter: Recasting the Role of Materials in Our Lives, Worldwatch Paper 144, December 1998, page 26. Download the report at WorldWatch]


Recent Proposals for Reductions in Materials Use and For Increases in Materials Efficiency
Group Year
Actions or Proposed Actions
National Level
Austrian National Environment Plan 1996 10-fold To be achieved over the next decade.
Swedish Ecocycle Commission 1997 10-fold Applies to both material and energy efficiency; to be achieved over the next 25 to 50 years.
Dutch National Environment Plan 1997 4-fold Based on a halving of resource use and a doubling of wealth.
German Environment Ministry 1998 2.5-fold Applies to non-renewable raw materials; to be achieved by 2020.
International Level
Factor 10 Club 1994 10-fold Declaration by 16 eminent scholars from 10countries; reductions in materials flows to be achieved over 30-50 years in industrial nations.
OECD-Council at Ministerial Level 1996-98 10-fold Is commissioning studies on the potential for efficiency gains; views eco-efficiency as highly promising.
U.N. General Assembly 1997 10-fold Calls for studies; gains to be achieved over 2 to 3 decades.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development and UNEP 1997 10-fold Calls for improvements in eco-efficiency worldwide.
1For some groups, target refers to an increase in materials efficiency; for others, it refers to an overall reduction in material use. Increases in efficiency may not result in reduced materials use, especially over time. Source: See endnote 47

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