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Integrating Resource Efficiency, Greening of Industrial Production and Green Industries

Integrating Resource Efficiency, Greening of Industrial Production and Green Industries

Scoping of and Recommendations for Effective Indicators

This study by Ecologic Institute develops an organizing framework to summarize scientific findings concerning a wide selection of indicators and assesses their potential applicability for tracking sustainable industries and sustainable industrial development. Altogether, the use of a set of indicators is suggested in order to balance existing methodological challenges and maximize explanatory power. The study is available for download.

In a first step, a list of 32 indicators is assessed based on a set of criteria in order to select the 10 most promising indicators. Those were then analysed in regards to the respective data availability.

The study [pdf, 1.76 MB, English] can be downloaded.


Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, Tanja Srebotnjak, Lucas Porsch, Max Grünig, Polly Hand, Krista Timeus Cerezo 2012: Integrating resource efficiency, greening of industrial production and green industries – scoping of and recommendations for effective indicators. Ecologic Institute, Berlin.

158 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents
  1. Background
  2. Methodological framework
    2.1 Selecting the organizing framework
    2.1.1 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
    2.1.2 Material Flow Analysis (MFA)
    2.1.3 Organizing framework selected for this study
    2.2 List of criteria for indicator selection
  3. Methodological framework for indicator review
    3.1 Selection of indicator for further analysis
    3.2 Evaluation of data availability
  4. Review of existing relevant resource indicators
    4.1 Selection of indicators for further analysis
    4.2 Evaluation factsheets for indicators selected for further analysis
  5. Review of the data availability for the indicators identified
  6. Discussion of and recommendations for sustainable industry indicators
    6.1 Discussion of the top ten indicators
    6.1.1 Environmentally weighted material consumption (EMC)
    6.1.2 Energy intensity by sector
    6.1.3 Production-based CO2 productivity
    6.1.4 Water consumption by sector
    6.1.5 Sustainable Process Index (SPI)
    6.1.6 Water abstraction rates and water stress
    6.1.7 Corporations’ turnover, value added, and exports of the environmental goods and services sector
    6.1.8 Resource Productivity and Material Productivity
    6.1.9 Total Material Consumption (TMC)
    6.1.10 Ecological Footprint (EF)
    6.2 The MDG 7 Goal and recommendations for sustainable industry indicators
    6.2.1 Indicators for measuring resource efficiency of industries and industrial development
    6.2.2 Indicators for measuring the environmental impacts associated with different life cycle stages of industrial production
    6.2.3 Indicators capturing the social and economic dimension of industries and industrial development
    6.2.4 Basket / Set of indicators
    6.3 Outlook
  7. References
  8. Annex
Resource Efficiency, indicators, sustainable industries, UNIDO,