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With growing evidence of natural resource depletion and environmental pollution, environmental issues became complementary to economic goals. Reduction of negative effects of human activities on the environment while enhancement of the use of alternative and renewable resources are now required together with satisfactory economic performance. The European Union made declarations to follow these goals in the Lisbon Strategy and consequently in the Strategy 2020. This paper examines to what extent these goals are fulfilled vis-à-vis EU member countries. Specifically, by performing Data Envelopment Analysis we provide an alternative way of assessing the ability of the individual EU countries to achieve these objectives. This ability is represented by relative efficiency scores of the EU members which reflect both economic and environmental goals. The paper finds that Denmark, Luxembourg, and Sweden are the most efficient countries, and also identifies the areas to be improved by the inefficient countries to reach the frontier.

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There is a need for a proper indicator in order to assess the environmental impact of international trade, therefore using the carbon footprint as an indicator can be relevant and useful. The aim of this study is to show from a methodological perspective how the carbon footprint, combined with input- output models can be used for analysing the impacts of international trade on the sustainable use of national resources in a country. The use of the input-output approach has the essential advantage of being able to track the transformation of goods through the economy. The study examines the environmental impact of consumption related to international trade, using the consumer responsibility principle. In this study the use of the carbon footprint and input-output methodology is shown on the example of the Hungarian consumption and the impact of international trade. Moving from a production- based approach in climate policy to a consumption-perspective principle and allocation, would also help to increase the efficiency of emission reduction targets and the evaluation of the ecological impacts of international trade.

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Sustainability as a driver for corporate economic success

Consequences for the development of sustainability management control

Society and Economy
Author: Stefan Schaltegger

Sustainability issues create opportunities and threats to business success. This paper discusses drivers to create a business case for sustainability and argues for a more systematic approach to management than current approaches which in practice involve working with checklists. Based on the core logic of the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard (SBSC) perspectives, a structure for sustainability management control is discussed.

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Abstract

It is now becoming widely accepted that our economy has reached the limits both in terms of the carrying capacity of our planet and in terms of bringing real social justice to the table. Degrowth is a research area that aims to transcend mainstream approaches. While moving beyond the growth paradigm would entail serious changes in all areas of social life and Degrowth research extends into most of them, the transformation of sports is not among them. Neither is Degrowth a recognised concept among those who deal with sports. The participatory backcasting research introduced in this paper attempts to fill this void. In the backcasting project, master students of sports economics envisioned the sustainable future of sports and identified potential intervention steps that lead towards such normative states. This paper describes the results and assesses those elements that aim for strong sustainability. The results show that relocalisation and the sharing economy are the most accepted Degrowth concepts in a normative scenario on sustainable sports in this group. At the same time, the paper offers frameworks of thoughts for those who want to move beyond the slogans of sustainability either as responsible citizens or in positions related to the world of sports.

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Large retail chains have become the dominant purchasing places for Hungarian consumers. At the same time when the first large scale retail unit was opened in Hungary the first critical voices were heard on the environmental effects of hypermarkets. In the new century economic critiques have overtaken the environmental ones. In countries with longer history of retail chains and market economies the most intensive discussion is about the social effects of big box retailing. Nonetheless these social debates have had almost no effect on the Hungarian regulation of large retail chains, yet some of the problems are addressed by self-regulation. This paper consists of two parts. First it gives an overview of the critical academic literature on the effects of large retail chains on the environment, on communities and on local economies. Second it analyses how these problems are reflected in industrial self-regulation, namely in the codes of ethics of retail companies.

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With the growing environmental crisis affecting our globe, ideas to weigh economic or social progress by the ‘energy input’ necessary to achieve it are increasingly gaining acceptance. This question is intriguing and is being dealt with by a growing number of studies, focusing on the environmental price of human progress. Even more intriguing, however, is the question of which factors of social organization contribute to a responsible use of the resources of our planet to achieve a given social result (‘smart development’). In this essay, we present the first systematic study on how migration — or rather, more concretely, received worker remittances per GDP — helps the nations of our globe to enjoy social and economic progress at a relatively small environmental price. We look at the effects of migration on the balance sheets of societal accounting, based on the ‘ecological price’ of the combined performance of democracy, economic growth, gender equality, human development, research and development, and social cohesion. Feminism in power, economic freedom, population density, the UNDP education index as well as the receipt of worker remittances all significantly contribute towards a ‘smart overall development’, while high military expenditures and a high world economic openness are a bottleneck for ‘smart overall development’.

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The aim of this paper is to describe the consumer behaviour and everyday lifestyle patterns of Hungarian university and college students. The results are gained from an international survey, carried out by the Department of Environmental Economics and Technology at the Corvinus University of Budapest, supported by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. As background literature, characteristics of the consumer society and the development of sustainable consumption as a concept are interpreted in the paper. The empirical analysis aims to describe the most important clusters of students, based on the factors of their consumer behaviour, environmental activism and pro-environmental everyday habits. Our results identify two extreme clusters which most significantly differ from each other: the environmental activists and the indifferent group. However, a third cluster has the most modest consumer behaviour, namely the group which considers product features, energy consumption and the behaviour of producers. They spend the least on consumer goods. The three other clusters show quite mixed lifestyle patterns.

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This paper aims to provide an overview of the key themes in the development of carbon accounting and auditing over the past twenty years. The evolution of the field since the Kyoto Agreement of 1997 has been divided into four stages. The need to account for and disclosure of greenhouse gas-related emissions of industrial organizations has emerged parallel to growing concerns about climate change, and international and national policy developments in the field have followed. Carbon accounting is an emerging field of business economics and covers a wide range of activities, including the measurement, calculation, monitoring, reporting and auditing of greenhouse gas emissions at organizational, process, product or supply chain levels. Various initiatives (such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or the Carbon Disclosure Project) motivate and assist industrial organizations in accounting for and reporting their achievements in the field. Different methodologies of carbon accounting (bottom-up, top-down and hybrid) enable industrial organizations to quantify their emissions; however, some trade-offs emerge when choosing among these approaches. Carbon accounting should not be an isolated task for businesses. On the contrary, there is a strong need to integrate carbon accounting issues into different functional fields in order to achieve both corporate and climate policy goals.

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Abstract

Industrial parks may be high pollutants of the local environment, but also engines of regional development, employment, and economic value added. To make them more sustainable, regional planning often purports to promote a transition to a greener approach, but in reality, many green measures oppose business logic and profitability, while those companies that do invest in sustainable solutions do so without having a clear strategy. This complicated setup is to be explored and modelled in this article which is focused on a remarkable area, the urban region of Székesfehérvár, an industrial city in Hungary having an impressive economic development and hosting significant domestic and international companies. The disharmony between greening policies, intentions and actions is observable in Székesfehérvár, despite the considerable local and regional potentials of renewable energy resources. Findings indicate that systemic thinking and future-oriented decision making will be necessary to achieve true sustainability, which also requires a mutually proactive attitude and the cooperation of different sectors. A legitimate strategy aiming at greening the local and regional economy (with renewable energy concerns), implemented by both public and business actors can be the key element of a successful transition. This strategy needs to be stimulated by local governance.

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Abstract

Despite a long period of post-crisis recovery, the COVID crisis caught the EU in a precarious state. The policy and institutional innovations during the financial crisis tempered the macroeconomic imbalances that had caused the crisis. Nevertheless, the EU was left with a strong trend of divergence in economic and social performance because of the lack of sufficiently strong reforms at EU and national levels. But the lessons of the previous crisis were learned. This time around, the EU-level policy and institutional innovations were decisive. The fiscal capacities of the hard-hit countries were strengthened quickly. Green and digital transformation will require a major new wave of innovation in the corporate sector in the EU. This, in turn, critically hinges on improving the quality of public and private institutions and advancing with the implementation of major reforms at the EU level, such as the digital single market or Capital Market Union. Implementing these reforms fully, and preventing later reversals is a key to stemming the trend of economic and social divergence, thus strengthening the coherence of the EU.

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