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Efficiency, resources and the rebound effect

  • Mario Schmidt
  • Hannes Spieth
  • Christian Haubach
  • Christian Kühne

Abstract

Efficiency is a term that is used in many different ways both in technology and business. It is especially relevant when something is in short supply and needs to be used as profitably or beneficially as possible. Efficiency can be understood as the numerical ratio of benefit to cost. This is, for example, how the Association of German Engineers (VDI) has defined it, as "the ratio of a specific benefit or result to the expenditure required for it" in VDI-Standard 4800 on resource efficiency. Efficiency is therefore a relative quantity. It always relates to a single unit of a quantity, e.g. the same quantity of raw material or energy. The inverse ratio, cost to benefit, would then be an intensity: how much energy or raw material is needed per unit of benefit?

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Schmidt
    • 1
  • Hannes Spieth
    • 2
  • Christian Haubach
    • 1
  • Christian Kühne
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Industrial Ecology (INEC)Pforzheim UniversityPforzheimDeutschland
  2. 2.Umwelttechnik BW GmbHStuttgartDeutschland
  3. 3.Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-WürttembergStuttgartDeutschland

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