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Volume 51, July/August 2016, Number 4 · pp. 200-204


More Productive, Less Sustainable? On the Need to Consider Material Resource Flows

Anke Schaffartzik, Dominik Wiedenhofer, Marina Fischer-Kowalski

In environmental policymaking, the figurative cake that is wanted both to have and eat lies in achieving dematerialisation, i.e. reducing material resource use, and simultaneously pursuing a pathway lined with economic growth. Under such a scenario, we could have it all: increasing production and international convergence at the highest levels of consumption with a reduced impact on the environment in a lifestyle which could also be enjoyed by generations to come. In the following, we make a case for considering the evidence in contemplating the feasibility of such a utopia by taking social metabolism i.e. the material and energy input of society, into account.


This Intereconomics article is available for free at this page after an embargo period of two years. Reading it before August 2018 is possible via SpringerLink or in the next library.