St. Gallen, 19 November 2015 Two new WRF Publications were published this month and are now available for free download. In “NATURAL RESOURCES – Sustainable Targets, Technologies, Lifestyles and Governance”, Christian Ludwig, Cecilia Matasci, and Xaver Edelmannn, present the best papers of WRF 2013, held in Davos, Switzerland (October 6-9), and WRF 2014, held in Arequipa, Peru (October 19-22). Many high standard scientific presentations have contributed to both Forums. The best papers were selected and authors were invited to update and resubmit revised versions. Another new publication is “Towards a Resource Efficiency Index of Nations” in which Arnold Tukker, Jeroen Guinée, Lauran van Oers, and Ester van der Voet present first steps towards the creation of a WRF Index for nations.
The sustainable management of natural resources is a key factor for the further prosperous development of mankind. Conservation as well as intelligent use of the available resources will be required. Innovative approaches are needed. Indicators are necessary to measure the status and set reasonable targets to protect the environment. Decoupling economic growth from an ever increasing demand of natural resources will be essential to be successful on the long-term. Clean technologies have to be resource and energy efficient. Materials cycles should be controlled and closed if appropriate, i.e. if technically and economically feasible, and if the environmental impact can be reduced. Circular economy thinking is an important step towards a sustainable governance of natural resources.
Resource efficiency refers to the sustainable use of the Earth’s limited resources. It allows for the optimization of productivity and value while minimizing input and wastage. Ranking countries and businesses in this regard will induce stakeholders to take action in order to increase natural resources efficiency, productivity or sufficiency. In view of this, the WRF wishes to develop resource efficiency indices for countries and businesses. The objectives of the foreseen indices are: 1) The indices will become a thermometer of the state of the planet, raise awareness about the need for taking action and inspire people in order to increase natural resource efficiency, productivity or sufficiency. 2) The indices highlight the most natural resource efficient, productive or sufficient businesses and countries as well as the ones that are doing the most and provide an incentive for others to adopt effective measures and instruments. 3) The indices need to be easily understood and communicated, to be credible and to be innovative.