Egmond Conference ends on high note

Knowledge brokering11 Jun 2010

On Friday afternoon, June 11, participants of the Eco Efficiency Conference went home with a feeling of being deeply inspired and broader informed in their thinking about the complex field of eco-efficiency. They thanked Gjalt Huppes and his team, co-chairs Paul Ekins, Masanobu Ishikawa and Bas de Leeuw, and other active contributors, for their efforts. Many pledged support for continuing the work in some form, including on the internet.

The closing discussion revealed a keen interest in integration. Better understanding and better sharing of concepts, data and research was considered important. In particular open source sharing of LCA data was mentioned, and a promising new initiative, Earthster, coming on stream in the USA, was showcased as an example to watch (

Sharing information with researchers in other disciplines or policy networks was considered key for making progress. Relevant research in specific areas may be going on under different names, and the results are not always noticed by the proper audience.

It was again stressed how important education was; teaching systems thinking to students in an early phase would help them to see the overall picture while doing specific research.

As one participant observed the conference has not adressed ‘population’. It was observed that during the last decades tremendous progress has been achieved in policies directly or indirectly affecting birth rates, and it was in particular expected that increasing incomes in developing countries would help to keep population figures under control. At the same time participants acknowledged that the issue merited further discussion.

Conferences about eco efficiency should themselves be conducted more eco efficiently, was a comment received through the internet discussion, a recommendation which was warmly received by the participants.