Understanding Resource Efficiency

Discover what resource efficiency is, its role in an organization, and the key areas to consider when promoting sustainability throughout your company.

a group of business executives meeting about resource efficiency strategies with the help of analytics and mobile devices

What is Resource Efficiency?

Resource efficiency is a practice wherein organizations aim to get the maximum output from resources while producing minimum waste. That way, resources are utilized in the most optimal way while also reducing the company’s environmental impact. To implement resource efficiency, companies must pay close attention to their water, electricity, and material consumption to ensure that they get the most out of their resources and produce the smallest amount of waste.

While practicing resource efficiency may look different for every industry or organization, common resource-efficient practices include recycling, reusing materials, and reducing waste to produce a more resilient economy. Overall, the goal of resource efficiency is to meet the needs of the current generation while ensuring that future generations have the resources necessary to survive.


Resource efficiency is a key factor in sustainable development and business sustainability. Practicing resource efficiency allows companies to produce output that meets their requirements and satisfies customers without consuming too many materials. Our resources are limited – this is why businesses must limit their resource consumption to what they require and make steps for proactive waste reduction. That way, resources are abundant for future generations, allowing them to sustain themselves and push society forward.

On top of that, resource efficiency also offers economic benefits to companies, in such a way that they can potentially boost their income and improve overall productivity. These can be done by avoiding unnecessary overspending on materials and optimizing resource allocation on projects and processes.

Key Areas of Resource Efficiency

There are many areas of resource efficiency, and the ones that your company must focus on may vary depending on company size, industry, the materials you use, and various other factors. That said, here are some of the key aspects that you must remember when enforcing these practices:

Resource Conservation

To achieve this, companies must carry out energy-conserving measures such as installing solar panels, reducing energy consumption, and switching to energy-efficient machinery and devices. On top of that, this area also involves ensuring that all resources are fully utilized so that you don’t end up wasting resources.

Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable procurement refers to the process of acquiring materials and resources from responsible and sustainable suppliers. For this, consider the entire life cycle of products, from raw material extraction to disposal, and prioritize suppliers who share your commitment to resource efficiency. This approach can further enhance the sustainability of your supply chain and contribute to the overall reduction of environmental impact.

Waste Reduction

This key aspect goes hand-in-hand with resource procurement and starts with establishing your waste reduction goals. From there, you can start implementing recycling and reusing measures to ensure that you produce minimal waste.

Employee Engagement

Companies should promote a culture of responsibility and ownership, encouraging employees to contribute ideas for improving resource efficiency and making it easier for the organization to reach its goals. It’s also helpful for companies to award or recognize individuals for following or promoting sustainability measures.

Process Optimization

Practicing resource efficiency may also mean updating and optimizing certain processes. Industries are ever-changing, so companies must stay up to date with the latest processes and techniques to ensure that they abide by standards and work proactively toward their efficiency goals.

Technology and Innovation

Employing the latest tools and advancements in the trade makes it easier to achieve resource efficiency and management goals through various features and functionalities, such as automation, workflow management, and business intelligence. On top of that, maximizing the role of technology allows companies to go past their current objectives and reach new heights when it comes to sustainability efforts.

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Best Practices for Resource Efficiency

When working to attain resource efficiency, it’s best to tweak strategies according to your needs and the initial results of your program. If you’re looking for a place to start, here are some of the best practices you can implement:

  • Conduct regular audits on efficiency.
  • Use energy-efficient technology.
  • Consider training your workforce in efficiency.
  • Look for responsible and sustainable suppliers.
  • Adopt practices that promote a circular economy.

Manage Critical Assets in a Single Platform to Maximize Efficiency of Resource Utilization

Organizations across various sectors employ specific tools, equipment, and machinery for day-to-day operations. As your operations expand, so does the complexity of managing vital assets.

The need for comprehensive asset oversight is paramount to this endeavor. Leaders must have a clear view of where assets are located, how they’re used, and what actions to take for recurring safety and compliance issues, alongside resource efficiency efforts. This level of visibility serves as a vital pillar of operational excellence.

Stay on top of your business assets in one place with the SafetyCulture platform’s Assets feature. With Assets, you can unlock frontline-powered insights across your entire asset inventory, enhancing not just asset management but also your overall operations. It’s the key to improved visibility, certainty, and seamless collaboration with both your team and your invaluable assets.

FAQs about Resource Efficiency

Resource efficiency is crucial for sustainability as it focuses on optimizing the use of resources to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. By minimizing waste and maximizing output, it contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible approach to resource utilization. Also, it aligns with the broader goal of preserving ecosystems, reducing environmental impact, and ensuring a balance between economic, social, and environmental factors.

Every industry that works with various resources should prioritize resource efficiency. Not only does this reduce environmental impact, it can also boost an organization’s output and increase its profits. This is why all businesses are encouraged to adopt efficient practices.

It directly impacts cost-effectiveness by minimizing waste and optimizing resource use, leading to reduced production costs and improved profitability. Additionally, businesses embracing resource efficiency are often better positioned to meet environmental regulations, enhance their corporate image, and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, fostering long-term sustainability.

Companies can integrate technology into resource efficiency practices by doing the following:

  • Implementing data analytics and monitoring systems to identify areas of waste
  • Adopting advanced automation for precise control over resource use
  • Leveraging emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to optimize processes and reduce energy consumption

Overall, these enhance operational efficiency by allowing companies to make informed decisions, streamline operations, and continuously improve resource management strategies.

Leon Altomonte
Article by
Leon Altomonte
Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.