Eco-efficiency analysis (EEA) is a method of quantifying and evaluating the environmental and economic performance of products and process alternatives. This analysis evaluates the economic and environmental impacts of a product or a process through its anticipated life cycle. To help provide independent, third-party reviews of EEA analyses, NSF International developed NSF Protocol P352: Validation and Verification of Eco-Efficiency Analyses. Utilizing this protocol, NSF validates EEA methodologies and verifies EEA studies for its clients. This gives clients additional credibility for their EEA methodologies and studies.
The term "eco-efficiency" was developed in 1992 by The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). In the simplest terms, it means creating more goods and services while consuming fewer resources and generating less waste and pollution.
Eco-efficiency is applied as a management philosophy that encourages business to develop and commercialize products with environmental improvements that also yield economic benefits. Eco-efficiency analyses can be implemented at a corporate or company level, or on a specific product category level. For the purposes of this NSF protocol, only those eco-efficiency analysis methodologies developed for evaluation at the product category level are considered.
EEA Analyses vs. LCAs
Eco-efficiency analyses rely upon the concepts outlined in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (ISO 14040 through 14043). A key difference in eco-efficiency analyses as compared to ISO LCAs is the evaluation of both environmental burdens and economic costs in eco-efficiency analyses, whereas LCAs evaluate only environmental burdens. Eco-efficiency analyses address two of the three "pillars of sustainability"-economic, environmental, and social impacts-whereas LCA address environmental impacts.
In this section of the NSF website, you will find information about NSF Protocol P352, review EEA methodologies that NSF has validated, and EEA analyses that NSF has verified. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about the protocol or would like to begin working with us your own EEA methodologies/studies.