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 4: Sustainable business and consumption strategies

Justus von Geibler, Michael Kuhndt, Eberhard K. Seifert, Rainer Lucas, Sylvia Lorek and Raimund Bleischwitz

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


Justus von Geibler, Michael Kuhndt, Eberhard K. Seifert, Rainer Lucas, Sylvia Lorek and Raimund Bleischwitz 4.1 INTRODUCTION The arena of policy makers is at the heart of the conclusions drawn in the previous chapter on emerging regulatory policies. Nevertheless, addressing policy makers does not necessarily presuppose that this arena holds sufficient steering capacities for any sustainable development of an economy and a society as a whole. Governance across multiple arenas implies rather that business bears responsibility for the economy and its various impacts on humans and nature. Analysing management tools for sustainable enterprises is a logical device following such a governance approach. Here, SMEs may be of special relevance as they often tend to be neglected while offering considerable potential for productivity increase. For the sustainability debate and the proposed eco-efficient services, these features lead to the acknowledgment of consumption and life styles too. Both arenas are addressed in the following chapter. 4.2 STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Introduction From industry’s perspective, framework conditions that governments set in the area of sustainable development have been changing over recent years. So far, conventional environmental approaches have almost predetermined the corporate response. With the emergence of emissions trading, other market-based instruments, voluntary approaches and the rest, in recent and coming years business is facing a wider range of response options. In order to benefit from the emerging flexibility, however, companies have to engage in formulating 116 Sustainable business and consumption strategies 117 strategies and implementing these through appropriate management approaches. In this...

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