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The Corporate Social Responsibility of Hydropower Companies in Alpine Regions—Theory and Policy Recommendations

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  • Werner Hediger

    () (Zentrum für wirtschaftspolitische Forschung ZWF, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft HTW Chur, Comercialstrasse 22, 7000 Chur, Switzerland)

Abstract

Hydropower activities must increasingly be evaluated from a sustainable development perspective. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the principle frequently applied to evaluate corporate contributions in this regard, though there exists no conceptual and theoretical basis that is common to the various approaches. With the present work, we fill this gap and provide a generic model that formally integrates the corporate and societal perspectives of hydropower activities within a welfare-economic framework that encompasses both externalities and distributional concerns. Building on this background and focusing on the current situation in Switzerland, the water tower of Western Europe, we particularly address the issues of water rights, resource rents and governance. This is crucial when analyzing investment projects of hydropower companies with shared private and public ownership; i.e., if external stakeholders are also sensitive shareholders who grant, at the same time, the company the right to operate. Altogether, this contribution shall support better informed decision making on both corporate and policy levels, especially regarding new and retrofitting investments in hydropower when social concerns are at stake.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Hediger, 2018. "The Corporate Social Responsibility of Hydropower Companies in Alpine Regions—Theory and Policy Recommendations," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-1, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:10:p:3594-:d:174464
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Geoffrey Heal, 2005. "Corporate Social Responsibility: An Economic and Financial Framework," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 30(3), pages 387-409, July.
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    3. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Banfi, Silvia & Filippini, Massimo, 2010. "Resource rent taxation and benchmarking--A new perspective for the Swiss hydropower sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2302-2308, May.
    5. David P. Baron, 2007. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 683-717, September.
    6. Hediger, Werner, 2000. "Sustainable development and social welfare," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 481-492, March.
    7. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    8. Hediger, Werner, 2010. "Welfare and capital-theoretic foundations of corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 518-526, August.
    9. Banfi, Silvia & Filippini, Massimo & Mueller, Adrian, 2005. "An estimation of the Swiss hydropower rent," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 927-937, May.
    10. Jonas Savelsberg & Moritz Schillinger & Ingmar Schlecht & Hannes Weigt, 2018. "The Impact of Climate Change on Swiss Hydropower," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-1, July.
    11. Daniel Ehrbar & Lukas Schmocker & David F. Vetsch & Robert M. Boes, 2018. "Hydropower Potential in the Periglacial Environment of Switzerland under Climate Change," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(8), pages 1-1, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maripaz Muñoz Prieto, 2020. "Legislation, Regulations, and Reflections on Environmental Accounting as a Reflection of the Incorporation of Social Responsibility in Companies," Laws, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-1, June.
    2. Manuela Ingaldi & Dorota Klimecka-Tatar, 2020. "People’s Attitude to Energy from Hydrogen—From the Point of View of Modern Energy Technologies and Social Responsibility," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(24), pages 1-1, December.
    3. Barry, Michael & Betz, Regina & Fuchs, Sandro & Gaudard, Ludovic & Geissmann, Thomas & Giuliani, Gianluca & Hediger, Werner & Herter, Marc & Kosch, Mirjam & Romerio, Franco & Schillinger, Moritz & Sch, 2019. "The Future of Swiss Hydropower Realities, Options and Open Questions," Working papers 2019/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hydropower; sustainable development; corporate social responsibility; welfare economics; water fees; governance; energy policy; Switzerland; Alpine regions;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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