Resource Productivity and Resource Savings – A Future Dialogue


Analysing hot-spots of resource consumption is an effective way to identify the potential for increasing resource efficiency in global value chains. For this reason hot spot analysis can play an important role in identifying opportunities for concrete action toward a sustainable economy. In order to reach all relevant stakeholders, information about feasible strategies, measures and opportunities needs to be shared. In particular companies dealing with material intensive production processes have in this perspective substantial efficiency potentials.


Using the “value chain” approach to support international action

The so called “value chain” approach can be used to identify resource consumption hot-spots. The approach aims to examine the entire lifespan of a product or a service. Resources are tracked from their point of extraction through their manufacturing and use phase to the end of their life and their final disposition. In this way, all the environmental impacts of resource use and their peaks (hot spots) can be holistically analysed and reduction potentials can be identified. By necessity in a globalised world, attempts to improve resource productivity extend beyond the question of how countries extract, produce or process resources within their own territory. Accordingly the “Resource Productivity and Resource Savings – A Future Dialogue” project used a value chain approach to analyse growing international material flows across national boundaries.


Working together with business, government and civil society

The CSCP in collaboration with other project partners (see below) examined strategies and measures that empower stakeholders from business, science and government to increase resource efficiency in global value chains. Workshops were held to strengthen the dialogue and to identify the potential for resource productivity and the requisite measures and intervention points. The focus areas were on the copper, steel, housing and mobility sectors. The final paper “Raising resource productivity in global value chains – spotlights of international perspectives and best practice” outlined how the public and private sectors can jointly support increasing resource productivity. The paper identified and elaborated concrete opportunities for action by governments and business in developed countries in four distinct stages of global value chains (extraction, manufacturing, use and end of life).  



This project was organised and implemented by the UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), funded by the German Federal Environment Agency. It was part of the project “Resource Productivity and Resource Savings – A Future Dialogue”.


For more information please contact:

Nadine Pratt • Project Manager

+49 (202) 459 58 10 •



Project website (only in German)