A Solution Named Dematerialization System Policies

Sustainable economic conditions cannot be reached without increasing the resource productivity of the industrialized countries dramatically. By 2050, the world-wide average per capita consumption shall not exceed 8 tons of material per year. System policies need be developed and applied to ascertain success.


  1. The existing economic system de-stabilizes the ecosystem services that are crucial for the survival of humans on earth, and cannot be replaced by technology.

  2. The physical root cause imperiling the eco-system services is the enormous consumption of natural resources (material, water, and land surface) for creating material welfare. The economic root cause is the near zero price for using nature.

  3. Limited physical resources on earth, population growth and the need to protect eco-system services necessitate a substantial increase in resource productivity.

  4. The human economy must be constrained to function within the limits of the environment and its resources and in such a way that it works with the grain of, rather than against, natural laws and processes (Ekins).

  5. First estimates indicate that capping the yearly consumption of natural material resources at close to 6 or 7 tons per capita seems unavoidable. This implies a tenfold dematerialization on average for the economy of traditionally industrialized countries.

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