labour input per weight [mh per kg]
The first can be calculated at the Point of Sale (POS) by each individual consumer for most physical goods.
Both can be calculated for a company, an economic sector, a region (if the statistical data is available) or a nation based on, for instance, annual data.
The metrics ‘€ per kg’ and ‘man-hour per kg’ of The Performance Economy are absolute decoupling indicators in the sense of OECD’s definition (see quote below).
The term decoupling refers to breaking the link between “environmental bads” and “economic goods. It refers to the relative growth rates of a direct pressure on the environment and of an economically relevant variable to which it is causally linked. Decoupling occurs when the growth rate of the environmental pressure (EP) is less than that of its economic driving force (DF) over a given period. One distinguishes between absolute and relative decoupling. Decoupling is said to be absolute when the environmental variable is stable or decreasing while the economic variable is growing. Decoupling is said to be relative when environmental variable is increasing, but at a lower rate than the economic variable.
The decoupling concept has however no automatic link to the environment’s capacity to sustain, absorb or resist pressures of various kinds (deposition, discharges, harvests).A meaningful interpretation of the relationship of EP to economic DF will require additional information. Also, the relationship between economic DF and EP, more often than not, is complex. Most DF have multiple environmental effects, and most EP are generated by multiple DF, which, in turn, are affected by societal responses. Changes in decoupling may thus be decomposed in a number of intermediate steps. These may include changes in the scale of the economy, in consumption patterns, and In economic structure — including the extent to which demand is satisfied by domestic production or by imports. Other mechanisms in the causal chain include the adoption of cleaner technology, the use of higher quality inputs, and the post facto clean up of pollution and treatment of waste.