Sustainable Materials Management

Making Better Use of Resources

image of Sustainable Materials Management

Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) is increasingly recognised as a policy approach that can make a key contribution to green growth and the challenges that are posed by sustained global economic and demogarphic growth. One of the key challenges of the SMM approach is to effectively address the environmental impacts that can occur along the life-cycle of materials, which frequently extends across borders and involves a multitude of different economic actors.   This book outlines a series of policy principles for SMM, examines how to set and use targets for SMM, and explores various policy instruments for SMM.  In addition it provides examples of policy action plans from the UK and the Netherlands, before presenting a series of conclusions and recommendations.



SMM principles

This chapter proposes four broad SMM policy principles as guidance for specific governmental policies to shift the behaviour of economic actors and human societies toward meeting their material needs without destabilising natural systems. The chapter provides a description and rationale for each of the SMM policy principles along with suggested strategies for implementation and examples of national applications by OECD member countries.


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