“Integration of ecology and economy”
There is a general consensus on the fact that our society is making progress in terms of sustainability, but the required transition is by far too slow. There are many reasons for that lack of speed. To name a few:
- the pace of the required international consensus about the issue
- the short term focus in politics
- the ultra-short term focus in business on profit and market growth
- the buying behaviour of consumers that is mainly focussed on the personal benefit, rather than the environmental benefit
Moreover, there is an underlaying issue as well: there is a need for a sound metrics system that is widely accepted and free available. Such a system is required to support decision taking is all segments of our society: big companies as well as SMEs, consumers, designers, architects, engineers, business managers, politicians, students.
In LCA and in annual environmental reporting, metrics must fulfil the following requirements:
- it must result in a single score
- it must translate the eco-burden in something that easily can be understood (no “points”, but CO2e or euros), the calculation system must be fully transparent and in compliance with ISO 14008 (“Monetary valuation of environmental impacts and related environmental aspects”)
- it must avoid uncertainties i.e. impacts metrics should be based on prevention costs, rather than damage costs, since the long calculation pathway of damage costs introduces too much uncertainties
- easy comparison between the eco-burden (externalities), real product costs (LCC), and the value for end-consumers (‘customer perceived value’), to enable an integrated approach of innovation of products and services in a circular economy
Eco-costs is a metrics system that meets the abovementioned criteria, and is the most accepted monetized indicator in science (based on count of peer reviewed papers), and seems to be the most applied monetized system in business (approx. 6000 people use the Idemat apps and excel files).
For application of the GHG protocol, the Idemat data are indispensable to make Scope 3 calculations.