Dematerialization is basically reducing the material base in a given product. For example, in a car, using less material to built it. It would be like out of a 2.7 tons car, built another one that would weigh 1.5 tons. In term of Sustainability it is quite relevant as those materials have their own footprint. By using then less, it help to reduce the footprint.
Therefore, companies nowadays apply dematerialization as in using technologies and data processing instead of archiving in paper. So, the process of changing from paper basis activities like accountability and such to a more data saving process is dematerialization.
It also exists in economics. It is refers in the same to a reduction of the meaning, the quantity to do an economic functions. Indeed, having the same outcome or even more by doing less.
Bottom line is we can see dematerialization in two types. The first one is reducing material components in product or service to reduce the footprint. Other than that is while doing a reducing process, use it a product at its full extend. For instance, for a car or a flat, always use the full potential of those by carrying more people in a car and/or in a flat.
Dematerialization is important for overall life and people. It help for a better world because we will be using less to do more.
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Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the IMBA Seminar on Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, March 2015.
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