Introduction to the concept of the EVR

The Ecocosts / Value Ratio, EVR, is an indicator which fulfills 3 different functions in the EVR model:
1. it is an indicator for sustainability in LCA (additional to the eco-costs) in cases where the quality of products (with the same functionality) differs
2. it is an indicator which is relevant to corporate strategies and governmental policies: it links the consumer side with the production side, and reveals the key issues of successful circular business models
3. it is a parameter of economic allocation in LCA.

1. The EVR brings the quality aspect in the LCA

The Ecocosts / Value Ratio, EVR, combines economy and ecology. It stems from an early definition (1993) of eco-efficiency by the WBCSD:
The delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring ‘quality of life’,
while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity, throughout the lifecycle, to a level at least in line with the earth’s estimated carrying capacity” i.e. delivery of value at low eco-costs

2. The EVR links the production side and the consumers side of our economy

The Ecocosts / Value Ratio has a much wider background than “just dividing the eco-costs by the value”. This ratio appears to be the crucial factor in a sustainable society.

The EVR is an E/E indicator, which means that it is an indicator to describe the eco-efficiency of a product and/or service. The EVR is a dimensionless number which indicates to what extent a (design of a) product contributes to the de-linking of economy and ecology. The EVR is about 2 P’s of the Triple P model.

The basic idea is to link the value chain to the ecological product chain. In the value chain, the added value (in terms of money) and the added costs are determined for each step of the product “from cradle to grave”. Similarly, the ecological impact of each step in the product chain is expressed in terms of money, the eco-costs. See Fig 4.1a.