In series:OECD Green Growth Studiesview more titles
Published on February 12, 2015
Improving resource productivity and ensuring a sustainable resource and materials management building on the principle of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) is a central element of green growth policies. It helps to improve the environment, by reducing the amount of resources that the economy requires and diminishing the associated environmental impacts, and sustain economic growth by securing adequate supplies of materials and improving competitiveness. To be successful such policies need to be founded on a good understanding of how minerals, metals, timber or other materials flow through the economy throughout their life cycle, and of how this affects the productivity of the economy and the quality of the environment. This report contributes to this understanding. It describes the material basis of OECD economies and provides a factual analysis of material flows and resource productivity in OECD countries in a global context. It considers the production and consumption of materials, as well as their international flows and available stocks, and the environmental implications associated with their use. It also describes some of the challenges and opportunities associated with selected materials and products that are internationally-significant, both in economic and environmental terms (aluminium, copper, iron and steel, paper, phosphate rock and rare earth elements).
The material basis of the economy and resource productivity5 chapters available
Key material resources factsheets6 chapters available
Natural resources are fundamental to the economy and human well-being
Natural resources provide essential raw materials and other commodities, and are an important source of income and jobs. They also support the provision of ecosystem services necessary to develop human and social capital.
The way natural resources and materials are managed and used is important, not only from an environmental perspective but also from an economic perspective. Improving resource productivity is thus central to achieving green growth and has become a priority for governments and businesses alike.
Resource productivity contains both a quantitative dimension (producing more with a given amount of natural resources), and a qualitative dimension (reducing the environmental impacts of natural resource use).
The OECD report Material Resources, Productivity and the Environment examines how material resources flow between the economy and the environment, and the factors that drive changes in resource productivity over time and across countries.
The report uses concepts and tools from material flow analysis and accounting, and provides a factual basis to help understand some of the key challenges and opportunities associated with material resources and resource productivity in OECD countries.
The way forward
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