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Eco-efficiency improvements in industrial water-service systems: assessing options with stakeholders

Levidow, Les; Lindgaard-Jørgensen, Palle; Nilsson, Åsa; Alongi Skenhall, Sara and Assimacopoulos, Dionysis (2014). Eco-efficiency improvements in industrial water-service systems: assessing options with stakeholders. Water Science and Technology, 69(10) pp. 2113–2121.

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The well-known eco-efficiency concept helps to assess the economic value and resource burdens of potential improvements by comparison with the baseline situation. But eco-efficiency assessments have generally focused on a specific site, while neglecting wider effects, e.g. through interactions between water users and wastewater treatment providers. To address the methodological gap, the EcoWater project has developed a method and online tools for meso-level analysis of the entire water-service value chain. This study investigated improvement options in two large manufacturing companies which have significant potential for eco-efficiency gains. They have been considering investment in extra processes which can lower resource burdens from inputs and wastewater, as well as internalising wastewater treatment processes. In developing its methodology, the EcoWater project obtained the necessary information from many agents, involved them in the meso-level assessment and facilitated their discussion on alternative options. Prior discussions with stakeholders stimulated their attendance at a workshop to discuss a comparative eco-efficiency assessment for whole-system improvement. Stakeholders expressed interest in jointly extending the EcoWater method to more options and in discussing investment strategies. In such ways, optimal solutions will depend on stakeholders overcoming fragmentation by sharing responsibility and knowledge.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 IWA Publishing
ISSN: 0273-1223
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
‘EcoWater: Meso-level eco-efficiency indicators to assess technologies & their uptake in water use sectors’282882European Commission
Keywords: eco-efficiency; meso level; innovative practices; manufacturing industry; value chain; water-service systems; Volvo; Arla
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Item ID: 40224
Depositing User: Les Levidow
Date Deposited: 23 May 2014 13:15
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 23:00
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