3701 Measurement of Resource Efficiency in Networks comprising of Manufacturers, Recycling and Waste Disposal Companies

Heinz Karl Prammer , Institute for Environmental Management in Companies and Regions, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria
Daniela Schrack , Institute for Environmental Management in Companies and Regions, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria
Full Papers
  • Paper Prammer Schrack_FINAL_2012-09-19.pdf (524.6 kB)
  • Justification of the paper:

    Resource efficiency has become one of the main sustainability related topics. At the macro level, increasing resource efficiency safeguards resources over the long-term which has led to the launch of initiatives such as ‘A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy' (European Commission 2011). At the micro level, resource efficiency is viewed as a strategy aimed at reducing both material costs and environmental burdens. Even if there are precise targets to enhance resource efficiency in companies and regions, an effective and continuous improvement of resource efficiency can only be reached if operative tools which illustrate, improve and control resource efficiency are provided (Prammer/Schrack 2010).


    The main target of this approach is to present an Integrated Resource Efficiency Indicator Set (IRIS) which depicts resource efficiency among manufacturers, waste disposal and recycling companies. The dimensions to be analyzed are the various types of resources, sustainability principles (efficiency and consistency), the different categories of indicators (environmental performance indicators, environmental condition indicators) as well as the relevant public, political and market based stakeholder groups.

    Theoretical framework:

    Based on the analysis perspective (at micro level) the key resource indicators are depicted as a case example for production companies as well as for waste disposal and recycling companies. On an elevated tier, these key resource indicators become further aggregated and developed to also be applicable at a regional and/or national level (meso or macro).


    One main issue arising from the analysis is the fact that the measurement of resource efficiency cannot be reduced to the input-output-relation of only production factors and products, as it is done in conventional production theory. A comprehensive examination has to include the input and transformation of reducts[1] (Dyckhoff 2000) at a company level as well as the inter-organizational input-output-relations in networks comprising of manufacturers, waste disposal and recycling companies.


    The central result of the study is the development of a theoretical framework for resource efficiency in company networks including ‘production and reduction'.



    Furthermore, the aim is to provide recommendations for political authorities and companies in relation to the contents of the indicators.

    [1] Reducts are waste materials (‚bads‘) from an upstream company and are normally used in recycling and disposal companies. These input objects are characterized by revenues and not by costs.