World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Factor 10

Factor Ten is the radical idea that humanity must reduce resource turnover by 90 percent on a global scale within the next 30 to 50 years. Human energy use and material flows is currently unsustainable and destructive to the environment. To achieve dematerialization, Factor 10 proposes that within the next generation human energy use must decrease by a factor of 10 while resource productivity and efficiency must increase by a factor of 10.[1]


  • History 1
  • Factor 4 2
  • Goals 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5


Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy first proposed the Factor 10 and dematerialization concepts in the early 1990s. He concluded in his studies that 80 percent of the world’s resources are distributed among first world nations which only contribute 20 percent of the global population. This means that developed nations are prompting an unsustainable system of development. The goal of Factor 10 is to assure that nations do not exceed the planet’s carrying capacity and leave sufficient resources for future generations.[2]

Factor 4

Factor 10 evolved from the less dramatic Factor 4 which was originally proposed by L. Hunter Lovins and Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Ernst von Weizsäcker, founder of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment & Energy. Their book Factor 4 explains how simple it is for nations to achieve Factor 4 results with existing technologies. This concept attempts to reduce resource and energy use by 75 percent by doubling output and halving input of production.


Factor 10 requires the creation of new technologies, policies, and manufacturing processes along with socio-cultural change to create a global economy that is sustainable for a long period of time. Due to the long-term goal of Factor 10, many governments and firms aspiring toward short term relief have difficulty achieving the massive reductions proposed by factor 10. Eco-efficiency, environmental purchasing design for environment, policies and environmental taxes have already been used by business and governments implementing the Factor 10 theory.[3]

Factor Ten goes further as a response to the United Nations Environment Programme call for a tenfold reduction in resource consumption in industrialised countries as a necessary long-term target, if adequate resources are to be released for the needs of the developing countries.[4] With the predicted rise in population and economic growth to maintain the level of pollution we have today, we need to be able to produce the same output for 10% of the impact.

Factor X concept is the direct way of utilising metric and various activities that can reduce the throughput of resources and energy in the given process. The essential question is: by what factor can or should certain flows be reduced? It is a useful tool to monitor the performance of business in terms of dematerialization.[5]


  1. ^ "Factor 10 Institute". Factor 10 Institute. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  2. ^ "Factor 10 : Dictionary of Sustainable Management". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  3. ^ "Sustainability Concepts: Factor 10". Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  4. ^ UNEP, Global Environmental Outlook 2000, 1999.
  5. ^ Robert, K.H., Schmidt-Bleek, B., et al. (2002). "Strategic sustainable development, selection, design and synergies of applied tools." Journal of Cleaner Production.

Further reading

  • Schmidt-Bleek, F. (2008). "Factor 10: The future of stuff". Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 4 (1): 1–4. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.