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"Factor 5 - Transforming the Global Economy Through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity"

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A book describing how "whole system design" and a new wave of innovation could provide a path out of ecological dead-end

"Factor 5 - Transforming the Global Economy Through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity"

Factor 5 - Transforming the Global Economy Through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity
dir. Ernst von Weizsäcker
Routledge, 2010

Stemming from the Natural Edge Project (Australia, 2003-2011), Factor 5 describes an engineering approach to combat climate change. This approach mobilizes a set of extremely resource-efficient technologies, and a method - whole system design - that encompasses an industrial product's entire lifecycle, "externalities" included.

The technologies presented fall into 8 categories :

  1. Energy efficiency
  2. Fuel substitution
  3. Heat recovery
  4. Use of renewable energies
  5. Feedstock changes
  6. New process/product design
  7. Materials efficiency
  8. Reducing non-CO2 emissions

In a paper, Ernst von Weizsäcker, who directed the book, describes the "Factor Five message" as the announcement of a new long-term (Kondratiev) economic cycle, "initiated by a new wave of exciting technologies, but this time with technologies reducing, instead of enhancing, resource consumption and environmental degradation":

6 vagues d'innovation

Building up on Carlota Perez's work, the "5th wave" of innovation since the industrial revolution was based on digital and biotech, while the upcoming 6th wave would be that of green techs, in a (very) broad sense: nanotechs and green chemistry, renewables, biomimetism, cradle to cradle, whole system design...

 


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