Eco-Efficiency Analysis is a useful tool for comparative assessments of environmental and economic aspects in PROSA – and indeed in general wherever social aspects do not play a major role or data on such aspects are difficult to collect.
The term “eco-efficiency” is used in different ways, for example for the eco-efficiency of national economies, of individual companies (e.g. in eco-rating schemes) or of products and services as in PROSA.
Efficiency generally describes the ratio between target (value) and input and must not be confused with effectiveness, which characterizes the outcome (regardless of input). In both process management and politics, efficiency and effectiveness are generally aimed at in parallel – a defined goal is to be attained fully or to the greatest possible extent (effectiveness) with the lowest possible input (efficiency). Eco-Efficiency Analysis generates information on the efficiency and effectiveness of different alternatives and actions.
The difference between Eco-Efficiency Analysis and energy efficiency analyses, CO2 efficiency analyses and so forth is that Eco-Efficiency Analysis does not examine individual selected aspects, but all relevant environmental aspects. Eco-Efficiency Analyses thus capture the relationship between goal attainment (minimum environmental impact) and (financial) resource input.