Open source sharing of LCA key for achieving global eco-efficiency, conference concludes
Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands, June 11, 2010 - Third International Conference on Eco-Efficiency concludes that endusers have to be enabled to get better access to information and data tools. The "Earthster" program, was mentioned as an example of open source sharing of LCA environmental and social data.
Participants of the conference, organized by CML (University of Leiden) discussed how to ensure that 8 billion people in developed and (former) developing countries can have a good life by 2050.It was stated that two challenges needed to be fulfilled simultaneously. The environmental challenge is that by 2050 the pressure on the environment needs to be diminished with a factor 2 to 5 (this means that the environmental stress will be reduced with 50-80%). The socio-economic challenge is that by 2050 a 4 fold increase of Global Gross Product (GGP) will be needed to eradicate poverty, have all people live a ‘good life’, having access to basic needs and more.Meeting both environmental and socio-economic goals means that the world needs to improve its eco-efficiency with a factor of 10 (over 5% per annum). The 5% target is an average figure, and will need to be applied to all technologies and product-service systems; those with lower potential will need to be compensated by more progress in others.
Improvement of technologies alone were not considered sufficient, rather a decoupling of economic growth from environmental damage by means of developing and implementing deep eco-innovations: new technology/product-service systems, combined with changing consumer demand and mindsets.;
Integrating and 'bringing together' various related concepts and approaches was considered important for achieving better understanding among researchers. System thinking skills were pointed out. Enabling endusers to get better access to the various information and data tools was considered key for the effectiveness of policies. The "Earthster" program, developed in the USA, was mentioned as an example of open source sharing of LCA data, enabling companies and governments to better know and work with their supply chain.