The If, How and Where of Assessing Sustainable Resource Use

Posted: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Frank Figge

Frank Figge

KEDGE Business School

Tobias Hahn

KEDGE Business School

Ralf Barkemeyer

Queen's University Belfast

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

In today's economies those who sustain the burden of resource use, those using resources and those providing resources are not necessarily identical. With this separation come three fundamental but interrelated decisionmaking perspectives on the sustainability assessment of resource use. These three perspectives correspond to the three assessment questions if, how, and where resources should be used. Most sustainability assessment approaches do not make their underlying assessment perspectives explicit. The goal of this paper is to provide structure and organisation to existing approaches. This structuring suggests that any discussion on the appropriateness and validity of different assessment approaches and their results must take into account the underlying assessment perspective. The three questions if, how, and where resources should be used correspond to the requirements of a sustainable resource use. While existing assessments do address the three questions in isolation, it is all the more important that the limitations and implications of focusing on a single perspective are spelled out. As the main contribution, the paper distinguishes the rationale of each assessment perspective and develops on their interlinkages and thus provides the context and structure for a more informed and fruitful debate on the assessment of sustainable resource use.

Keywords: Sustainability assessment, Sustainable resource use, Welfare economics, Production economics, Financial economics

JEL Classification: N5, Q2

Suggested Citation

Figge, Frank and Hahn, Tobias and Barkemeyer, Ralf, The If, How and Where of Assessing Sustainable Resource Use (2014). Ecological Economics, Vol. 105, 274-283, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2483675

Frank Figge

KEDGE Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy
BP 921 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, 13288
France

Tobias Hahn (Contact Author)

KEDGE Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy - BP 921
BP 921
Marseille, PACA 13288
France
+33491827313 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kedgebs.com

Ralf Barkemeyer

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

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