Resource Efficiency

Resource Efficiency

Resource Efficiency Jonathan Poland

Resource efficiency is the process of using resources in a way that maximizes their value and minimizes waste. This can involve using fewer resources to produce the same goods or services, using renewable resources instead of non-renewable ones, or finding new ways to reuse or recycle resources. Resource efficiency is important because it can help to reduce the environmental impact of human activities, conserve resources for future generations, and improve the sustainability and long-term viability of communities and economies. Many organizations and governments around the world are implementing resource efficiency strategies in order to meet these goals.

Conversion Efficiency

The amount of available sunlight that a solar panel converts to electricity is known as conversion efficiency. This can exceed 20% for modern solar panels.

Energy Efficiency

The amount of energy used by a facility, product, service, process or activity relative to its output. For example, the luminous efficiency of a light source is a measure of how well a light source converts energy into visible light. The luminous efficiency of an LED light bulb can exceed 20%.

Energy Intensity

Another term for energy efficiency measured in terms of value produced. For example, energy per passenger mile is a means for comparing the energy consumption of transport. This can be measured in kilojoules per kilometer.

Design Efficiency

Design efficiency is achieving the desired level of quality of a design with the minimum amount of resources. For example, a safe, luxurious car that weights 4000 kilograms versus an equivalent design that weights 6800 kilograms. Generally speaking, design efficiency improves with time in a large scale trend known as dematerialization.

Building Efficiency

The energy efficiency of a building. For example, smart glass that adapts to available sunlight to help achieve lighting, heating and cooling settings of a room such that they reduce electricity consumption.


The efficiency of labor is known as productivity. This can be measured as the amount of value produced in an hour of work. For example, a farmer who improves their efficiency to $50/hour by installing an automated irrigation system.

Crop Yield

Crop yield is the amount of a crop produced relative to land used measured with kilograms per hectare or bushels per acre. This is generally increased with intensive farming techniques that may use land effectively but use a large amount of inputs such as water, chemicals and capital equipment.

Land Footprint

Land footprint is similar to crop yield but can be applied to any industry. For example, the land footprint of a highway could be measured in acres per billion passenger miles and compared to a competing type of infrastructure such as a high speed rail line.

Cost Efficiency

Cost efficiency is the cost per output of something. This is occasionally a reasonable approximation for resource efficiency as costs often map to resource consumption. For example, the dollars per mile may be a reasonable approximation for the total resources consumed by travel if you include all costs such as infrastructure costs and the value of land consumed by infrastructure.

Carbon Footprint

The amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted by a facility, process, product, service, activity or entity. For example, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per square foot of construction.

Water Footprint

The amount of water consumed by an output such as a ton of agricultural product.


Externalities, or economic bads, are negative results of economic activity such as chemicals and gases released into the environment by a farm, ship, factory or vehicle. For example, kilograms of agricultural chemicals used per hectare of farmland.

Learn More
Cost Advantage Jonathan Poland

Cost Advantage

A cost advantage refers to the ability of a company to produce a product or offer a service at a…

User Story Jonathan Poland

User Story

A user story is a concise description of a specific expectation or need that a user has for a product,…

Sales Tactics Jonathan Poland

Sales Tactics

Sales tactics are specific strategies or approaches that salespeople use to persuade customers to buy a product or service. Sales…

Value of Offerings Jonathan Poland

Value of Offerings

Value is a concept that refers to the usefulness, worth, and importance that customers assign to products and services. This…

Program Controls Jonathan Poland

Program Controls

Program controls are the mechanisms that enable a computer program to execute a set of instructions in a specific order…

Deal Desk Jonathan Poland

Deal Desk

A deal desk is a team that is responsible for managing the sales proposal, negotiation, and contract process with customers.…

Experiment Cycle Time Jonathan Poland

Experiment Cycle Time

Experiment Cycle Time is a measure of how long it takes for an idea to go through the innovation process,…

Product Markets Jonathan Poland

Product Markets

A product market is a venue where buyers and sellers can exchange goods or services. Product markets can be large…

Acceptable Risk Jonathan Poland

Acceptable Risk

An acceptable risk is a level of risk that is deemed to be tolerable for an individual, organization, community, or…

Latest Thinking

Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) Jonathan Poland

Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS)

Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) refers to a special classification of stock in the United States that offers significant tax…

Barrick Gold Jonathan Poland

Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) is a significant player in the global economy, particularly within the gold mining industry. Its…

Newmont Corporation Jonathan Poland

Newmont Corporation

Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM), being the world’s largest gold mining corporation, with extensive operations in mining and production of not…

Gold is Money Jonathan Poland

Gold is Money

Overview The history of gold as money spans thousands of years and has played a pivotal role in the economic…

What is Leadership? Jonathan Poland

What is Leadership?

In the modern business world, where rapid changes, technological advancements, and global challenges are the norm, effective leadership is more…

Product Durability Jonathan Poland

Product Durability

A durable product, often referred to as a durable good, is a product that does not quickly wear out or,…

Durable Competitive Advantage Jonathan Poland

Durable Competitive Advantage

The most important aspect of durability is market fit. Unique super simple products or services that does change much if…

Praxeology Jonathan Poland


Praxeology is the study of human action, particularly as it pertains to decision-making and the pursuit of goals. The term…

Business Models Jonathan Poland

Business Models

Business models define how a company creates, delivers, and captures value. There are numerous business models, each tailored to specific…