Publications
Measuring Sustainability
 
  The special edition "Measuring Sustainability" discusses concepts and tools for the measurment of sustainability mainly from an economic policy persepctive. It evaluates existing system of indicators and introduces new concepts and tools for sustainability impact assessment.

With contributions from:

- Reimund Schwarze and Lydia Illge
- Christoph Böhringer and Andreas Löschel
- Stefan Bayer
- Jürgen Blazejczak and Dietmar Edler
- Thomas Döring, Stefan Heiland and Martin Tischer
- Georg Dybe and Thomas Weith
- Frank Figge and Tobias Hahn
- Jasmin Häcker and Bernd Raffelhüschen
- Karl Schoer
- Sigrid Stagl
- Carsten Stahmer

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Christoph Böhringer und Andreas Löschel
Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) Mannheim

Die Messung nachhaltiger Entwicklung mit 'Hilfe numerischer Gleichgewichtsmodelle


This paper advocates computable general equilibrium models as a methodological tool that is particularly suitable for measuring the impacts of policy interference on the three dimensions of sustainable development, i.e. environmental quality, economic performance (gross efficiency) and equity. These dimensions are inherently intertwined and subject to trade-offs. Computable general equilibrium models can incorporate various important sustainable development indicators in a single consistent framework and allow for a systematic quantitative trade-off analysis.

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Stefan Bayer
Universität Tübingen
Abteilung Volkswirtschaftslehre, insb. Finanzwissenschaft und Umweltpolitik

Nachhaltigkeitsfonforme Diskontierung - Das Konzept des "Generation Adjusted Discounting"

Discounting is crucial for determining the efficiency of policy programmes. However, it has been criticized that discounting prevents sustainable development. It could only be reached if we refrained from discounting at all. However, the second pillar of sustainable development is not seriously considered for: The needs of currently living generations. We analyze whether there exists a discounting method which is in accordance with sustainability criteria within a utilitarian framework. The Generation Adjusted Discounting (GAD) method is derived and its implications with respect to sustainability are shown. The paper stresses that the GAD is favourable, compared to conventional discounting as well as to not discounting at all, in terms of efficiency and sustainability. Subsequent living generations are then treated equally - a basic condition in a utilitarian framework. Sustainability can be measured by calculating the discount rate differences between (implicit) GAD and conventional discounting.

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Jürgen Blazejczak* and Dietmar Edler**


*) Fachhochschule Merseburg,
**) DIW Berlin

Nachhaltigkeitskriterien aus ökologischer, ökonomischer und sozialer Perspektive - ein interdisziplinärer Ansatz

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Thomas Döring* , Stefan Heiland** und Martin Tischer***


*) Philipps-Universität Marburg, Abteilung für Finanzwissenschaft,
**) Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung Dresden und
***)B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH München.

Kommunale Nachhaltigkeitsindikatorensysteme in Deutschland.
Zum aktuellen Stand von Entwicklung und Anwendung


The paper provides a survey of the current status of development and application of indicator systems for measuring Sustainable Development at the local and regional level in Germany. For this purpose, 44 indicator systems have been analyzed on the basis of different criteria. Additionally, the indicators used in 25 of these systems have been examined. While the systems correspond regarding to basic questions, such as the underlying philosophy of Sustainable Development, they differ in the issues they address, especially concerning the indicators they use. Beyond that, it will be shown that the present use of sustainability indicator systems on a local level in Practice remains far behind the potentials claimed for them in principle. Here mainly the possibilities for a benchmarking of sustainability in different local communities and for the use of local data measuring sustainability on a federal level are focused. Also the political objectives of local sustainability indicator systems are not yet reached completely. After all the systems are almost never used for supporting, monitoring and controlling political decisions and actions. The paper discusses the reasons for this situation and concludes with proposals for the further development of sustainability indicator systems.

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Georg Dybe und Thomas Weith
Universität Potsdam

Anspruch und Wirklichkeit von ökonomischen Nachhaltigkeitsindikatoren.
Das Fallbeispiel Berlin

Since the middle of the 1990s, many European cities and regions have worked out sustainability indicators in Local Agenda processes. But up to now there is an obvious mismatch between the target schemes and valuation criteria developed at the local level and the de facto societal developments. The case of Berlin is an appropriate example for illustrating this observation. After confronting a theory-based specification of sustainability indicators with the economic goals and indicators contained in the current draft of the Berlin Local Agenda, both reasons for the obvious misconducts and potential alternatives are pointed out.

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Frank Figge* und Tobias Hahn**

*) School of the Environment, University of Leeds,
**) Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung (IZT) Berlin

Sustainable Value Added - Ein neues Maß des Nachhaltigkeitsbeitrags von Unternehmen am Beispiel der Henkel KGaA


This article introduces a new approach to measure corporate contributions to sustainability called Sustainable Value Added. Existing approaches to measure sustainability are based on a comparative assessment of environmental and social burdens and can thus be characterised as burden-based approaches. However, these approaches suffer from severe limitations as a comparative assessment and aggregation of all relevant environmental and social burdens fails in practice. In contrast to these burden-based approaches Sustainable Value Added is value-based. It determines the value that is created by the reduced or increased use of different environmental and social resources. For this purpose the use of environmental and social resources is valued at their opportunity cost. Sustainable Value Added allows an integrated assessment of the economic, environmental, and social performance of a company and expresses the corporate contribution to sustainability in a single monetary indicator. This article explains the theoretical background of Sustainable Value Added, relates it to existing approaches to measure sustainability, and - using the example of Henkel KGaA - demonstrates its practical applicability.

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Jasmin Häcker* und Bernd Raffelhüschen**

*) Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Finanzwissenschaft und
**) Universität Bergen, Norwegen

Denn sie wussten was sie taten: Zur Reform der Sozialen Pflegeversicherung

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Karl Schoer
Leiter der Gruppe "Umweltökonomische Gesamtrechnungen" im Statistischen Bundesamt

Die Nutzung von Gesamtrechnungsdaten für eine
integrierte Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung

The central subject of a policy for sustainable development is the co-ordination of the different sector policies with the objective of finding a balance between conflicting economical, ecological and social goals. The headline indicators for sustainable development itself are mainly a communication tool directed to the general public and the media. They are used for describing important problems under a sustainability perspective and they serve as an instrument for controlling general performance of political measures. But more detailed data are required for the analysis of the underlying mechanisms and reasons for change of the indicator values as well as for the formulation of measures and the assessment of the effects of these measures. Therefore, the individual indicators should be consistently embedded into an underlying database from which they can an be derived by aggregation. Further, the underlying data for the individual indicators should be part of a comprehensive framework that ideally integrates all relevant topics, in order to take account of the interdependencies between the different indicators. The accounting system with its three principle parts, the National Accounts (SNA) and the satellite systems Environmental-Economic Accounts (EEA) and the Socio-economic Accounts (SEA) provides an ideal framework to meet these data requirements.

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Sigrid Stagl
School of the Environment, University of Leeds

Valuation for Sustainable Development -
The Role of Multicriteria Evaluation


Multicriteria methods were found to be useful tools to support decision-making about complex situations - such as those concerned with sustainable development issues - and to deal with conflicts in a structured and transparent way. Increasingly multicriteria evaluation (MCE) is also seen as a constructive response to the critique of cost-benefit analysis. MCE enables decision-makers to take multiple dimensions of impacts of the considered projects into account without the need for full monetarisation. A great number of multicriteria algorithms are now available. The algorithms differ in fundamental ways. Besides the algorithms also the implementation of the valuation technique is important for the outcome. In order to address issues like uncertainty, multiple legitimate perspectives and the need for learning during the decision process, ecological economists apply MCE mostly by combining the analytical tool with participatory techniques.

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Carsten Stahmer
Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden

Aufbau eines sozio-ökonomischen Berichtssystems für eine nachhaltige Gesellschaft

Since summer 2001 a project group at the German Federal Office of Statistics is developing a socio-economic reporting system for Germany. This system shall describe current societial trends based on a system of national accounts. It shall help to develop integrated socio-economic scenarios of a sustainable development and compare these scenarios to current trends, based on a set of sustainability indicators. This paper explain the conceptual foundations and the formal structure of the planned socio-economic reporting system. It debates possible goals for social sustainability and existing or future institutional cooperations to implement the socio-economic reporting system.

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