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Assessing farm sustainability with value oriented methods

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  • Van Passel, Steven
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    Abstract

    Agricultural policy makers aim to combine strong economic performance with a sustainable use of natural resources. An important step is to move from trying to define sustainability towards developing concrete tools for measuring and promoting achievements in sustainability. Hence, sustainability assessment is inevitably based on strong simplifications both of the theoretical paradigm and of the characteristics of systems of concern. The most known approaches to assess sustainability performance are burden orientated: they assess the costs or potential harm of resource use. These burden-oriented approaches focus on the level of environmental impacts caused by an economic activity compared to another set of environmental impacts, while value-oriented impact assessment analyses how much value has been created with this set of environmental impacts as compared with the use of these resources by other companies. In this paper, an outline of the possibilities and limitations of value-oriented methods to assess farm sustainability will be discussed.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44141
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium with number 44141.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44141

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    Keywords: sustainability assessment; agriculture; value oriented; Farm Management;

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    1. Wilfred Beckerman, 1994. "'Sustainable Development': Is it a Useful Concept?," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 3(3), pages 191-209, August.
    2. Frank Figge & Tobias Hahn, 2004. "Value-oriented impact assessment: the economics of a new approach to impact assessment," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(6), pages 921-941.
    3. Daly, Herman E, 1974. "The Economics of the Steady State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 15-21, May.
    4. Wackernagel, Mathis & Onisto, Larry & Bello, Patricia & Callejas Linares, Alejandro & Susana Lopez Falfan, Ina & Mendez Garcia, Jesus & Isabel Suarez Guerrero, Ana & Guadalupe Suarez Guerrero, Ma., 1999. "National natural capital accounting with the ecological footprint concept," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 375-390, June.
    5. Van Passel, Steven & Nevens, Frank & Mathijs, Erik & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2007. "Measuring farm sustainability and explaining differences in sustainable efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-161, April.
    6. Hueting, Roefie & Reijnders, Lucas, 2004. "Broad sustainability contra sustainability: the proper construction of sustainability indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 249-260, October.
    7. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias, 2004. "Sustainable Value Added--measuring corporate contributions to sustainability beyond eco-efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 173-187, February.
    8. Bebbington, Jan & Brown, Judy & Frame, Bob, 2007. "Accounting technologies and sustainability assessment models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 224-236, March.
    9. Pretty, J. N. & Brett, C. & Gee, D. & Hine, R. E. & Mason, C. F. & Morison, J. I. L. & Raven, H. & Rayment, M. D. & van der Bijl, G., 2000. "An assessment of the total external costs of UK agriculture," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 113-136, August.
    10. Lawn, Philip A., 2001. "Scale, prices, and biophysical assessments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 369-382, September.
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