About The Factor 10 Institute 2008

The Factor 10 Institute 2008

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Bio Schmidt-Bleek, President

“Factor 10/MIPS is a comprehensive concept, which answers to the most pressing socio-economic and ecological needs of today. It does not loose itself in theoretical thoughts but shows a practical way out of a dilemma, offering profits and growth while making the path to the future”.
Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, formerly Environment Minister and Member of the Board of Deutsche Shell AG.

“Within one generation, nations can achieve a ten-fold increase in the efficiency with which they use energy, resources and other materials”.
Quotation from the 1994 Declaration of the International Factor 10 Club.

“We call upon governments, industry, international and non-governmental organizations, to adopt a factor ten increase in energy and resource productivity as a strategic goal for the new Millennium".
From the 1997 Carnoules Statement to Government and Business Leaders of the International Factor 10 Club.

“For improving decisively the chances of human survival on planet earth, the world-wide generation of welfare must be achieved by 2050 with a per capita ecological footprint of 1.8 ha, a per capita consumption of 5 – 6 yearly tons of non-renewable material resources, and an emission of CO2 not exceeding 2 tons per year and person. These goals imply a manifold dematerialization in the western world, but will allow reasonable growth in many poorer countries”.
2008 Position Paper 08/01, "Future beyond Climate Change", Factor 10 Institute.

The non-profit Factor 10 Institute is a kind of "virtual institute", operating with a very limited permanent staff. Located in the hills of southern Provence, it provides a forum for some of the best minds around the globe, who wish to share and discuss pioneering ideas and knowledge with others for safeguarding the life sustaining services of nature. From here, the first call for a new phase of environmental protection emanated to the international arena in the 90ies. While symptom-oriented protection measures were – and still are – needed, the future oriented phase of “environmental protection” must respond to systemic problems, imminent in our current ways in creating welfare.

At the beginning of Schmidt-Bleek's work on policies to save the future, a tenfold increase in resource productivity seemed ludicrous to many. No longer. In the meantime, the technical potential to do so has been verified in practice - without compromising end-use satisfaction. And ways to get the prices right on the market have been identified in order to make eco-intelligent solutions profitable.

For more than 15 intensive years, the activities and publications of the Factor 10 Institute and its Club have noticeably influenced the political and the public debate about approaching ecological sustainability. It is now our aim to take advantage of the new wave of interest in climatic change by designing practical ways for breaking through to the economically unavoidable dematerialization of the world economy. The reader may be interested in turning to the Position Paper 08/01: "Future beyond Climatic Change" (can be downloaded from www.factor10-institute.org), and the book: "Nutzen wir die Erde richtig?". Fischer, Frankfurt 2006 (English edition in 2008).

The Factor 10 Institute has been created to provide practical support for achieving significant advances in resource productivity in the production and consumption sectors through:

The Factor 10/MIPS-Concept was developed by Schmidt-Bleek, starting in 1989. MIPS stands for the life-cycle-wide material input per unit service (utility or value derivable from a product), S/MI being a measure for resource productivity. He also coined the term "ecological rucksack" to account for the total input of natural material and energy while creating a product. His original concept of measuring the yearly Total Material Flow through an economy - TMF - (Total material Requirement) has been introduced into national accounts.

The international Factor 10 Club was founded in October 1994. The members hail from 14 countries, including India, Thailand, China, Canada, Japan, USA, as well as from most western European countries. The Factor 10 Club was called into being because of mounting concerns over the uncharted role of human-induced global material and energy flows, and the ecological ramifications of their unchecked growth.

In response to increasing demands in industry and administrations, The International Factor 10 Innovation Network was founded in 1998. It provides practical help for increasing resource productivity in production and consumption, for appropriate management structures in moving from the age of consuming products to the solution of problems, and for questions related to sustainability in general. It has considerable practical experience resulting from consulting with hundreds of enterprises.
For information please turn to Dr. Christa Liedtke, Wuppertal Institut; DI Christopher Manstein, Factor 10 Institute Austria, or Dr. Willy Bierter, Vice Président, Institut de Facteur 10 (bierter[at]bluewin.ch).