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Eco-efficient producer services—what are they, how do they benefit customers and the environment and how likely are they to develop and be extensively utilised?

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0959-6526(02)00157-9
  • Eco-Efficiency
  • Services
  • Products
  • Rebound Effects
  • Critical Success Factors
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Abstract The potential environmental benefits of moving from a product-based economy to a functional economy involving greater use of services is a subject of increasing interest and debate in the field of eco-efficiency. This paper provides a typology and fuller analysis of eco-efficient producer services than hitherto reported. Three broad classes of service are described and assessed: product based including product results, product utility and product extension; electronic substitution and information based. Examples of each are drawn from a major study on the successes and barriers of eco-services in Europe. The paper concludes that while there are a number of areas of success, there are considerable barriers to wider development and uptake of such services, and that many of the more successful service applications are not necessarily driven by environmental considerations. The paper warns that the shift from products to services cannot be assumed to be eco-efficient and there are a number of rebound effects which need to be carefully analysed.

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