Eco-Efficiency, Regulation and Sustainable Business

Eco-Efficiency, Regulation and Sustainable Business

Towards a Governance Structure for Sustainable Development

ESRI Studies Series on the Environment

Edited by Raimund Bleischwitz and Peter Hennicke

This book presents important new research on applied eco-efficiency concepts throughout Europe. The aim of eco-efficiency is to achieve market-based measures of environmental protection, in order to enhance the prospects for sustainable development and achieve positive economic and ecological benefits.

Chapter 1: Translating sustainable development into practice: a 'patchwork' of some new concepts and an introduction to material flows analysis

Peter Bartelmus, Stephan Moll, Stefan Bringezu, Sebastian Nowark and Raimund Bleischwitz

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, asian environment, environmental economics, environmental governance and regulation

Extract

1. Translating sustainable development into practice: a ‘patchwork’ of some new concepts and an introduction to material flows analysis Peter Bartelmus, Stephan Moll, Stefan Bringezu, Sebastian Nowak and Raimund Bleischwitz This chapter introduces briefly the paradigm of sustainable development. With sustainable development, new concepts going beyond traditional ‘pollution prevention’ policies and ‘end-of-pipe’ measures were introduced during the early 1990s. Those concepts widely overlap each other, partly still under development and still have to be fully integrated into policy, markets and society. The ‘patchwork’ of concepts (which is also presented in this chapter) is to be seen in conjunction with industrial transformation as a whole. It is the main thesis of the book that these emerging concepts have consequences for both policy makers and business makers. They bring along a new kind of technological progress, which requires a new thinking about incentives from a regulatory perspective. This is mainly because the new technological progress is closely related to markets and business opportunities, not only to negative externalities. In proving the thesis, the book will lay down these new concepts and analyse technological progress and regulatory policies in the following chapters. 1.1 CONCEPTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: AN OVERVIEW Sustainable Development The term ‘sustainable development’ was introduced by the so-called Brundtland Commission, a working group chaired by the former Norwegian Head of State, Gro Harlem Brundland, which prepared the UNCSD conference 1 2 Eco-efficiency, regulation and sustainable business in Rio de Janeiro. According to the definition of the Brundtland report (WCED, 1987: 43)...

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