The following goals and vision statement have been developed by the
Eco-Efficiency Task Force (EETF) over several months of deliberation and
are presented to the President's Council on Sustainable Development
(PCSD) as a consensus product of the EETF. There are several key
assumptions that underlie both the document and the consensus support of
the members for the goals.
GOALS AND INDICATORS OF PROGRESS
- The six goals are presented as a comprehensive package. They are
closely interrelated and are not designed to stand alone.
- The goals are national in scope and are designed to provide for the
maximum flexbility of all parties in achieving them.
- The indicators of progress are designed to provide quantitative
snapshots of the progress the country is making towards achieving the
goals. They are not intended be "top-down" mandates and it is recognized
that they may change over time as the country moves towards these goals
and learns more about the science and policy options underlying them.
Further, many of the indicators of progress are currently not measurable
in any robust manner and will require a full and open developmental
process to identify the measures as the necessary first step towards
In order to provide a context for the goals and to better define the
ends they are designed achieve, the EETF developed the following vision
The U.S. economy shall produce and use globally competitive
goods and services while achieving environmental and social goals. This
vision will result in a transition to an economy in which the
constituents (e.g., people and businesses) provide for their needs and
those of future generations through efficient and environmentally
* Since specific targets may vary between industries, the
Task Force decided not to set specific numerical targets in some cases,
as indicated "[" or "%."
Individuals, through their actions, choices, and decisions, have been
and will continue to be the foundation upon which our society and
economy are built. Therefore, eco-efficiency must become a widely
held societal value in order to capture the significant societal,
economic, and environmental improvements offered by sustainable
development. Only when each individual and each sector (business,
government, environmental organizations, academic institutions, labor,
etc.) understand and value eco-efficiency will the full impact of the
concept be realized.
To encourage and support broad, personal commitment to eco-efficiency a
number of changes must occur. AR entities and individuals must strive to
identify sources of environmental, economic, and social consequences
associated with materials inputs, production processes, distribution,
use, and subsequent management. This will require changes in the areas
of: education; the management practices of all organizational entities;
individual as well as community knowledge and involvement, and
governmental regulatory, fiscal, and tax policies.
To act collectively and individually in ways that contribute to
eco-efficiency and sustainable development through better understanding
and communication of the environmental, economic, and social
consequences of our actions.
Indicators of Progress
- Primary and secondary school curriculum incorporating the concept of
eco-efficiency will be developed by 2000. Such curriculum will be
incorporated into the programs of [50%] of all schools by 2005 and [100%]
of all schools by 2010.
- Professional and continuing education curriculum incorporating the
concept of eco-efficiency will be developed by 2000 and incorporated into
all appropriate programs by 2010.
- Individual consumer adoption of this goal will be aided and measured
A standardized product information system developed by 2000.
An increase in the market share of eco-efficient products
and/or those manufactured in a sustainable manner for each year through
2010 and achieving a majority of the category's market share by
- To assure a closer working relationship between facilities (public and
private) and communities, appropriate communication and involvement
techniques and practices will be adopted by [25%] of all facilities by
2000 and by [50%] of all facilities by 2010.
- Enviromnental management systems (including audits) appropriate to a
facility will be adopted by [25%] of all facilities with over 10
employees by 2000 and [75%] of all facilities with over 10 employees by
- By 2000, [50%] of all adults will have a basic understanding of the
environmental, economic, and social consequences of their actions; by
2010, [75%] of adults win have this understanding; and by 2025, [90%] of
adults will have this understanding.
ECONOMIC GROWTH GOAL
Continued, long-term economic growth is essential to the prosperity of
the United States and is fundamental to sustainable development.
Maintaining this economic growth as the United States
transitions to sustainability is a critical challenge. An important
component of this transition is the inclusion of previously undervalued
natural, environmental, and social resources into a new definition of
To maximize economic growth in the expanding global marketplace as
measured through a newly established Sustainable National Product that
fully accounts for social and environmental externalities.
Indicators of Progress
- A Sustainable National Product and other indices that incorporate
previously undervalued natural, environmental, and social resources
into our nation's system of economic measurement will be formulated using
the following timetable and process:
Appropriate economic values for natural, environmental, and social resources
determined by 2000.
Complete implementation of a Sustainable National Product and other indices
that incorporate previously undervalued natural, environmental, and social
resources into our nation's systems of economic measurement by 2010.
Contributions made to the development of internationally comparable
measures of integrated economic, social, and environmental performance to
be established among all nations by 2025.
- Incorporation of the economic values of the natural, environmental, and
social resources into the marketplace and government policies by 2010.
- Until the Sustainable National Product and other measures are fully
implemented, long-term economic growth will be measured by the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) and will be, on average, [2.5%] while simultaneously
meeting the other PCSD goals.
SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE UTILIZATION GOAL
In the aggregate, cuffent use of materials and energy in the U.S.
economy is not sustainable. Production and consumption of materials now
account for large shares of U.S. energy use, waste,
and pollution. For the U.S. economy to utilize resources on a
sustainable basis will require efforts in the following two areas:
- A national drive to change U.S. production and consumption patterns to
reduce their overall environmental impact. This will include greatly
improved energy efficiency, as well as much more efficient use of virgin
materials in all economic sectors. The eventual goal of a drive to
increase resource efficiency would be to reduce demand for energy and
both renewable and nonrenewable materials to sustainable levels.
Redesigning industrial processes, consumer products, and infrastructure
for greater materials and energy efficiency will lead to recycling and
reusing a much greater share of materials and goods-thereby alleviating
the demand on virgin material inputs.
- The practice of a strong environmental ethic that integrates economic
efficiency and conservation (soil, air, water quality, biological
diversity, aesthetics, etc.)
To efficiently produce and use globally competitive goods and services
while reducing resource use to sustainable levels, thereby greatly
reducing the adverse impacts on natural systems.
Indicators of Progress
Reduced input of virgin materials per unit of output with resources used
at sustainable levels. Sustainable levels should be determined for different
classes of materials taking into account the sustainability of production
systems, renewability capabilities of the resource, relative levels of
recyclability and reusability, and overall environmental impacts by 2000
with subsequent five year updates and reviews of the standards.
Increased market share of renewable and recoverable resources within
sustainable levels: __% by 2000, __% by 2010, __% by 2025.
Commodity-specific recycling and recovery rates established (for paper,
plastic, metal, wood, organic materials, etc.), with careful
consideration of the overall environmental impacts of replacing virgin
materials in each scenario: __% by 2000, __% by 2010, __% by 2025.
Per capita generation and disposal of household waste reduced from the
current 4.4 pounds per person per day. (U.S. population projections for 2000,
2010, and 2025 are needed to set goals for per capita generation consistent
with source reduction goals.)
See the Energy and Transportation Task Force's goals document.
- Research and Development
Assessment of the development and application of technology that improves
and accelerates the efficiency of materials production and use.
Adequate instream flows on major rivers and streams by 2000, and other
significant water bodies of concem by 2010, necessary to support the
Interbasin transfers of water discouraged by locating new projects only in
areas where water resources are available to supply planned economic
development within groundwater recharge rates and at rates that maintain
minimum instream flows necessary to support the ecosystem.
Water-saving measures instituted by developing incentive programs in
targeted areas where water use exceeds groundwater recharge capability and
minimum instream flows are not maintained. Incentives should be designed to
help maintain water use at current levels until 2000, lower water use 10% by
2010, and achieve sustainable levels for each aquifer and watershed by 2025.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY GOAL
In the aggregate, the environmental burden created by U.S. economic
activities is not sustainable. Improving environmental quality involves
avoiding the creation of wastes and adopting practices that protect and
enhance natural ecosystems. Many institutions and individuals have
made significant progress in adopting environmentally responsible
practices, while providing benefits to workers and communities and
improving economic competitiveness. Institutions and
individuals that address the environmental impacts of their activities
as a priority in their decision-making processes will pave the way
toward a new standard of responsibility. The approaches they have taken
to reduce their environmental burdens must be encouraged, facilitated,
and expanded to other institutions.
To attain a safe and clean environment by making pollution prevention,
waste reduction, and product stewardship standard practice, such that all
people and ecosystems are protected and economic and social well-being
Indicators of Progress
- Determining SusWnability Levels
By 2000, sustainable levels of environmental impacts shall be identified
for all media and updated every five years or as required based on new
- Interim Waste Generation and Release Measures
In the interim, existing waste reduction and environmental protection
efforts shall be measured with existing mechanisms and technologies, as
Total national 1995 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) releases reduced [20-
50%] by 2000.*
Total national 1995 TRI waste generation reduced [15-30%] by 2000.*
Overall industrial solid waste disposal and generation reduced [50%] by 2000
through source reduction, reuse, and recycling.**
Overall municipal solid waste disposal reduced [50%] by 2000 through source
reduction, reuse, and recycling.*
[In order to cover all major areas or measures of environmental quality,
the following three Indicators of Progress were added after the last EETF
meeting. They have thus not been discussed explicitly with the full Task
Conventional air pollution reduced __% by 2000; __% by 2010; and __% by 2025.
Conventional water pollution reduced __% by 2000; __% by 2010; and __%
Non-TRI emissions reduced __% by 2000; __% by 2010; and __% by
- Product and Process Stewardship
By 2000, every producer, customer, and marketer will be responsible for
assessing and acting on the health and environmental consequences of
their products and processes.
By the year 2000, in the absence of compelling public health or safety
needs, the release of heavy metals or toxic compounds that persist in the
environment or accumulate in biological organisms shall be prevented.
By 2010, the use of the most toxic substances should be eliminated, by
developing cost-effective, equally productive, and less toxic alternatives.
Assess the number of corporate and governmental institutions that have
adopted decision-making processes and management systems, such as
multimedia pollution prevention and life-cycle assessments, that
minimize their overall environmental burden. [50%] of all institutions
shall have such management systems by 2000; [90%] by 2010; and [100%] by
*The numbers used in metrics 2C and 2D are based on information from the
following sources: Source Reduction Research Partnership, Summary Report
on the Potential for Source Reduction and Recycling of Halogenated
Solvents (Pasadena, CA, 1992); U.S. Congress, Office of Technology
Assessment, Serious Reduction of Hazardous Waste for Pollution and
Industrial Efficiency, OTA-ITE-317 (Washington, DC, Govemment Printing
Since specific targets may vary between industries, the Task Force
decided not to set specific numerical targets in
some cases as indicated by "[ ]" or "__%."
SOCIAL WELL-BEING GOAL
Social well-being is affected by the availability and quality of
educational and job opportunities and the short- and long-range
environmental, health, economic, and social impacts of employers
on individuals and communities. To improve social well-being for all
citizens and ensure that negative impacts are not bome
disproportionately by any segment of society, institutions and
individuals should strive to: 1) eliminate existing inequities, 2)
maximize the quality and quantity of job opportunities, 3) minimize
negative health impacts on workers, customers, and the
community, 4) maximize communication among individuals at industrial
facilities, local governments and other organizations, and the general
public, and 5) include all social costs and benefits
when detemiining the effects of facility expansions and shut-downs.
To increase the quality and quantity of job opportunities in all
communities and protect the health of all people and ecosystems through
appropriate government policies and efficient economic expansion.
Indicators of Progress
The current compliance-based regulatory system focusing on
"end-of-the-pipe" emissions has produced many environmental benefits,
but often has not provided the flexibility necessary to try
alternative, more cost-effective methods throughout the lifecycle to
achieve the desired results. In addition, this system has created
administrative burdens for both government and industry. A
new framework should be created that reorients the current system
toward one that emphasizes a market-driven, incentive-based approach.
It will be important to develop a positive reinforcement system to
encourage all entities to reduce environmental impact throughout the
lifecycle. Another key element of this framework would be a single
multi-media system of regulation, with equivalent timelines for reaching
goals in each medium. Under this new framework, government
would set ambitious environmental performance goals and give regulated
entities both adequate time to meet the goals and the flexibility to
detemiine the most appropriate processes and technologies.
To enable government regulatory policies to achieve eco-efficiency goals
in the most flexible, expeditious, cost-effective manner possible.
Indicators of Progress
- By 2000, % of all facilities will operate under a variety of
market-based, multimedia, and/or performance-based arrangements.
- The number of voluntary agreements between and among industrial sectors,
government, and the public interest sector (including compacts,
regulatory negotiations, etc.) will increase each year.
- Federal and state permit processing and product registration times will
be reduced to  days by 2000, without compromising environmental goals
and while enhancing public participation.
- By 2000, a measure shall be developed that assesses progress in
increasing efficiency, decreasing the cost of complying with
environmental regulations, and meeting environmental policy.