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14.From 'Labor Productivity' to 'Resource Productivity'

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14.From 'Labor Productivity' to 'Resource Productivity'

The President's Green Column

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14.From 'Labor Productivity' to 'Resource Productivity'

In my previous entry, I explained the theory of 'factor 4'. 'In order to overcome poverty and maintain a balance between wealth and our environment, it is essential to at least increase resource productivity by 4 times'. In other words, the larger the potential to increase resource productivity by 4 times is, the greater the amount of wastage of resources is.

Rapid population growth and Insufficiency of resources changes the definition of 'Productivity'.

The following have been written in the prologue of the book 'factor 4'.

' While 8 billion people are looking for a job, the yearn to increase labor productivity have never stopped. In order to keep up with this, the wastage of limited natural resources have been continual.

From the past, productivity in factory refers to 'the usage of minimal labor to achieve maximal production' within a certain duration. In other words, 'Productivity=Labor Productivity'.

However so, population continues to grow and resources see an increasing insufficiency. Hence, instead of cutting labor that is of abundant supply, it becomes essential to fully utilize resources that are of limited supply. The world has changed its mentality from 'using minimal labor' to 'using minimal resource'.

At such, I would think that it has changed from an era of 'Labor Productivity' to an era of 'Resource Productivity'.

Revolution of Resource Productivity

In such a time whereby the focus is resource productivity, the followings methods have been listed to achieve a revolution of resource productivity like that suggested by factor 4.

(1)Reduction of resource consumed upon production of products Energy and Resource Conservation of upon
(2)Reduction of resource consumed upon usage of products
Energy and Resource Conservation of various machineries
Energy and Resource Conservation as mentioned in (1) and (2)
  • Increase efficiency of Energy Conversion(Fuel→Electricity, Fuel→Power, Electricity→Power, Electricity→Heat etc.)
  • Reduction of Friction and Resistance
  • Conduction
  • Use of exhaust heat
  • Recycling of resources
  • Lightening
  • Control of excessive functions and operations
  • Use of recyclable resources (plants, wind, rain, solar energy)

and etc.

(3)Changing of methods of usage to reduce resource consumption
3-1) 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Avoiding usage as much as possible, uses only the minimal required and recycle resources to a different form for further usage.
3-2) Transition from 'Ownership' economy to 'Service' economy.
Transition from an era whereby it is the norm to own something in order to use it to an era whereby one would consume the service only when necessary.

In my next entry, I would like to write about 'the changing of methods of usage to reduce resource consumption'. This would be explained with the transition from an 'Ownership' economy to a 'Service' economy.

30 Apr 2009 Hironobu Matsui

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