The Geneva-based WBCSD, a coalition of about 125 leading, international companies that share commitment to the environment.

economic growth and sustainable development has identified a handful of key action-areas of a basic eco-efficiency mandate.

It also facilitates the development of an eco-efficient “design of processes and operations based on opportunities to reduce costs and environmental impacts and improve net value”. A reduced risk of unintentionally shifting the burden or environmental impacts created by company decisions in direct operations to upstream or downstream activities – for starters. A “reduced business risk from hidden socio-economic or environmental liabilities, and/or regulatory or stakeholder expectations” – now for a traditional energy company that is not only serious baggage potentially unloaded but a massively enhanced ‘license to operate’.

The good news, at least from the perspective of the eco-efficiency journey, is that the corporate sector has woken up to realize that eco-efficiency is the only way forward.

For instance, offering services in a manner that meets the environmental, economic and social (triple bottom line) expectations of all stakeholders will create a solid foundation for increasing shareholder value over the long term. Canada-based Suncor Energy for instance, uses the Life Cycle Value Assessment tool to facilitate “integrated decision making that takes into account long-term triple bottom- line benefits and impacts, not just short-term paybacks”.