Improving accounting of materials and energy using TOP 20 method

Improving accounting of materials and energy using TOP 20 method
©stock image #133720946, 2017, source:
Energy, Materials, Water, Waste, Carbon
All sectors
Medium cost
Annual saving:
7 - 25 %
Payback time:
0.5 - 6 Year(s)
Resource savings: Raw material:
5-15 % savings on average
Resource savings: Energy:
5-20 % savings on average
Resource savings: Water:
3-10 % savings on average; for water-intensive operations, the savings can be much higher
Resource savings: Waste:
Waste reduction from less raw material consumption and more efficient use
Resource savings: Waste water:
Waste water reduction from less water consumption and more efficient use
Associated cost savings: Energy:
5 - 20%
Associated cost savings: Water:
3 - 10%
Payback time:
Payback depends on the kind of measures identified; anywhere from 6 months to 5-7 years
Premises and operation areas:
Production building, Product and design, Production processes, Supply operations, Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
One off investment:
1500 - 4000€
What is in it for you:
Better information leading to savings in resources and costs, as well as improved working environment.
Descriptive information:

Traditional accounting systems are not routinely designed to provide companies with information about total costs related to the use of resources and generation of waste and emissions. When a company is able to calculate and allocate costs on so-called non-product outputs, it can better monitor the real efficiency of materials and energy use that leads to better management of resources and financial savings.

For SMEs, it is recommended to use a simple input-output analysis based on 'TOP 20' methodology. TOP 20 materials analysis quantifies potential for improvement in non-product output costs.

TOP 20 collects data on the most significant process inputs, e.g. energy, water, raw materials, materials, auxiliaries and packaging, and their significance to the final product. The calculation is based on annual figures from the previous business year.

TOP 20 analysis has been widely used in 'clean' production projects since the 1990s; recently, it became an integral part of the 'EDIT Value' system developed by the Presource project. EDIT Value, which stands for 'Eco-innovation Diagnosis and Implementation Tool' for increased enterprise 'Value' and includes an updated list TOP 20 inputs, was piloted in 18 companies across six European countries.


"The company knew the amount of waste and price of raw material in waste, but was not used to calculating the total financial loss ... CEO appreciated the complex review of the company. - Fill-Pack, CZ

"We were not thinking about resource efficiency before. However, we recognised its importance for our company after application of the tool." - Kovobel, CZ

"We think that the methodology is helpful to identify necessary resources and to evaluate the efficiency of the process." - Stafer, IT

Want to know if relevant support is offered in your country?