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Rorarius, Jonas (2008) Assessing sustainability from the corporate perspective. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

Today, there is an increasing awareness of problems related to aspects of sustainability in the world. These problems are addressed in various forms, from an economic, environmental and socio-cultural perspective. From a corporate point of view it would be ideal if all of these perspectives were included in assessment that serves as grounds for policies, plans and programs. The existing assessment tools are argued to be inappropriate as they do not cover all of the aspects of sustainability. Thus, there is a need for better sustainability assessment tools to help corporate ex-ante decision-making. This thesis explores sustainability aspects in ex-ante assessment tools for assessing sustainability from the corporate perspective. The approach is based on notion that sustainability objectives require interdisciplinary thinking. These different disciplines and their contribution to sustainability objectives serve as a basis in a discourse analysis. The results of these analyses are then compared to selected assessment tools (Cost-Benefit Analysis, Environmental-Impact Assessment, social-Impact Assessment) and to newer sustainability assessment tools (Sustainability Impact Assessment, Integrated Sustainability Assessment), to evaluate to what degree they cover sustainability objectives. Any of these tools could serve as a starting point for a development of a corporate ex-ante assessment tool box. Over time, a useful 'toolbox' may even become the main stream corporate tool in a standardization process. Findings show that short-term profit-maximization thinking at the expense of other sustainability aspects is a key problem. None of the existing assessment tools alone adequately include all of the aspects of sustainability in their assessments. Newer sustainability assessment tools are found to better ensure a holistic approach for assessing sustainability. These are, however, not well-developed and they are also rather time consuming as well as resource intensive in practical use. As each of the discussed assessment tools provided some positive aspects it might be useful to integrate some of the attributes that these tools provide. In general, corporations should consider economic, environmental, socio-cultural, spatial and temporal aspects of sustainability in their assessment processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: sustainable development, assessment tools, ex-ante, decision-making, discourses, standardization
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences > Dept. of Economics
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Jonas Rorarius
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:07
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2777

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