Assessing Trade-Offs in Investments for the Environment – The Case of a VOC-Reduction Investment at Auto Group
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 19(2): 114–128
Posted: 10 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2012
This case focuses on the assessment of trade-offs between different environmental features of investments. Using the example of a VOC-reduction investment at a car maker, the case applies an innovative approach for the assessment of environmental investment projects. Since it is unusual that all environmental performance characteristics of investment projects will be in harmony, decision-makers need to ascertain the overall environmental effect of different investments. This case transfers the logic of financial investment appraisal to the environmental assessment of investment projects. The analysis shows, in monetary terms, by how much each investment option out-performs or under-performs environmental efficiency targets. With monetary figures, decision-makers can balance conflicting environmental performances and identify the investment option that supports a company's environmental strategy best. The case provides a step-by-step explanation of the assessment approach and offers students and decision makers a novel perspective on the assessment of trade-offs in environmental investments.
Keywords: environmental investment, trade-offs, sustainable value, automobile industry, VOC emissions, investment appraisal
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