Resource productivity and waste


Material Resources, Productivity and the Environment

Improving resource productivity and ensuring a sustainable resource and materials management building on the principle of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) is a central element of green growth policies. It helps to improve the environment, by reducing the amount of resources that the economy requires and diminishing the associated environmental impacts, and sustain economic growth by securing adequate supplies of materials and improving competitiveness. To be successful such policies need to be founded on a good understanding of how minerals, metals, timber or other materials flow through the economy throughout their life cycle, and of how this affects the productivity of the economy and the quality of the environment. This report contributes to this understanding. It describes the material basis of OECD economies and provides a factual analysis of material flows and resource productivity in OECD countries in a global context. It considers the production and consumption of materials, as well as their international flows and available stocks, and the environmental implications associated with their use. It also describes some of the challenges and opportunities associated with selected materials and products that are internationally-significant, both in economic and environmental terms (aluminium, copper, iron and steel, paper, phosphate rock and rare earth elements).

Published on February 12, 2015

In series:OECD Green Growth Studiesview more titles


Executive summary
Reader's guide
The material basis of the economy and resource productivity5 chapters available
Natural resources: The material basis of the economy
An evolving economic context and new environmental challenges
Sustainable resource use and resource productivity
The material basis of the global economy
The material basis of OECD economies
Key material resources factsheets6 chapters available
Aluminium factsheet
Copper factsheet
Iron and steel factsheet
Paper factsheet
Phosphorus factsheet
Rare earth elements factsheet
Powered by OECD iLibrary