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The sustainable value approach: a clarifying and constructive comment

Ang, F. and Van Passel, S. (2010) The sustainable value approach: a clarifying and constructive comment. Ecological Economics, 69 (12). 2303 - 2306. ISSN 0921-8009

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.05.016


Recently, the original benchmarking methodology of the Sustainable Value approach became subjected to serious debate. While Kuosmanen and Kuosmanen (2009b) critically question its validity introducing productive efficiency theory, Figge and Hahn (2009) put forward that the implementation of productive efficiency theory severely conflicts with the original financial economics perspective of the Sustainable Value approach. We argue that the debate is very confusing because the original Sustainable Value approach presents two largely incompatible objectives. Nevertheless, we maintain that both ways of benchmarking could provide useful and moreover complementary insights. If one intends to present the overall resource efficiency of the firm from the investor's viewpoint, we recommend the original benchmarking methodology. If one on the other hand aspires to create a prescriptive tool setting up some sort of reallocation scheme, we advocate implementation of the productive efficiency theory. Although the discussion on benchmark application is certainly substantial, we should avoid the debate to become accordingly narrowed. Next to the benchmark concern, we see several other challenges considering the development of the Sustainable Value approach: (1) a more systematic resource selection, (2) the inclusion of the value chain and (3) additional analyses related to policy in order to increase interpretative power.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:37753
Uncontrolled Keywords:sustainable value; eco-efficiency; sustainability assessment; sustainability

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