n. The ability to manufacture goods efficiently and with as little effect on the environment as possible.

Example Citation:
McDonough and Alston contend it is not enough for the corporate world to embrace 'eco-efficiency' — a business buzzword coined in the early 1990s.
—William Grady, "Environmental care encouraged," Chicago Tribune, November 4, 2001

Earliest Citation:
J. Hugh Faulkner, executive director of Business Council for Sustainable Development, Geneva, who developed the concept of 'eco-efficiency' said sustainable development was 'good politics and good economics.'
—"Environment watchdog body in UAE soon," Moneyclips, April 8, 1992

As the above citation says, this buzzphrase was coined in the early 1990s. The mint was the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which defined eco-efficiency thusly:

The delivery of competitively-priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level at least in line with the earth's estimated carrying capacity.

What a buzzword bonanza! Now if I could only figure out what all that gobbledygook actually means.

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