Analysis and exploitation of resource efficiency potentials in industrial small and medium-sized enterprises – Experiences with the EDIT Value Tool in Central Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Material and energy costs represent about 50% of the operating costs incurred by European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although the potential for resource efficiency improvements is high, the necessary awareness and human resource capacities to explore this potential are limited. Existing tools for exploration of resource efficiency improvement potentials have several shortcomings: they are either tool-driven, of a solely qualitative nature or do not address all levels of a business. Users of such tools therefore miss important improvement opportunities. In order to overcome these limitations and to systematically identify, quantify and fully explore resource efficiency improvement potentials, an international team developed and tested a new comprehensive, needs-driven and quantitative diagnosis tool named the ‘EDIT Value Tool.’ This tool can be used to perform initial diagnoses for companies. The EDIT Value Tool was piloted in eighteen manufacturing SMEs in six Central European countries. Evaluation of the test results showed that the tool is effective in helping company personnel to identify the main weaknesses and the potentials for company improvements. The tool achieves this by evaluating a business's characteristics: its stakeholder values, the corporate strategy to implement its mission and vision, assessment of the effectivity of the company's management systems, processes and products. The benefits of using the EDIT Value Tool that were of most benefit to the companies were the proposed changes to corporate technology and management. The collection of quantitative and qualitative data helped company personnel to develop new perspectives on how to monitor and to improve resource efficiency and to increase awareness of and commitment to more sustainable manufacturing systems.

Details

Authors
  • Vladimir Dobes
  • Johannes Fresner
  • Christina Krenn
  • Pavel Růžička
  • Caterina Rinaldi
  • Sara Cortesi
  • Cristian Chiavetta
  • Gyula Zilahy
  • Maksymilian Kochański
  • Philipp Grevenstette
  • Daniel de Graaf
  • Conrad Dorer
Organisations
External organisations
  • Stenum GmbH
  • ENVIROS
  • Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Management

Keywords

  • Cleaner production, Eco-design, Initial review, Life cycle approach, Resource efficiency, Stakeholder analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-300
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume159
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 15
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes