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foreword

We believe this report will help companies around the world measure their progress toward sustainable development. It is the product of a two-year project to develop a framework for assessing and reporting eco-efficiency which can be used acr oss all industries.

The concept of eco-efficiency was introduced by the WBCSD in 1992 and has been widely adopted. Many businesses in all continents have been pursuing ways of r educing their impact on the environment while continuing to grow and develop. But different companies have interpreted and measured it in different ways. Our task has been to find a common appr oach which will make it easier for companies to measure their performance and for stakeholders to assess the progress they are making.

We have done this by talking to many people, both inside and

outside companies, who are responsible for or interested in corporate eco-efficiency. Most importantly, we have tested the framework with 22 companies from more than 10 industrial sectors and 15 countries.

That rigorous testing has shown that the appr oach, principles, definitions and the indicators explained her e can be implemented by all companies. We have not attempted to define a rigid straitjacket and believe we have left r oom for the flexibility which is required by the natural diversity of business activity. But the year- long pilot testing has shown that the indicators pr esented here can be used right across the business world, while we also pr ovide

guidance on other measures which will help to flesh out an individual company’s eco-efficiency profile.

We would like to thank the many people who have contributed to this work, especially the managers in the pilot companies who have done the hard work of putting these ideas into practice on the ground.

We urge companies to adopt this framework as a way of measuring and reporting their progress and contributing to a mor e sustainable society. We believe it will help to for ge the link between environmental and economic performance which is essential for sustainable development.

Hendrik A. Verfaillie Monsanto Company

Robin Bidwell Environmental Resources Management plc

June 2000

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