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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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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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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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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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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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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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