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Value-oriented impact assessment: the economics of a new approach to impact assessment

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  • Frank Figge
  • Tobias Hahn

Abstract

Environmental Impact Assessment has gained a prominent position as a tool to evaluate the environmental effects of economic activities. However, all approaches proposed so far use a burden-oriented logic. They concentrate on the different environmental impacts in order to ascertain the overall environmental damage caused by economic activity. This paper argues that such a burden-oriented view is (a) hampered by a series of methodological shortcomings which hinders its widespread use in practice; and (b) is analytically incomplete. The paper proposes a value-oriented approach to impact assessment. For this purpose an economic analysis of the optimal use of environmental and social resources is conducted from both a burden-oriented and a value-oriented standpoint. The basic logic of a value-oriented impact assessment is explained, as well as the resulting economic conditions for an optimal use of resources. In addition, it is shown that value- and burden-oriented approaches are complementary to achieve optimality. Finally, the paper discusses the conditions under which the use of burden- or value-oriented impact assessments is appropriate, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:47:y:2004:i:6:p:921-941
    DOI: 10.1080/0964056042000284901
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank Figge & Tobias Hahn, 2004. "Environmental Shareholder Value Matrix. Konzeption, Anwendung und Berechnung," Others 0408009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Passel, Steven, 2008. "Assessing farm sustainability with value oriented methods," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44141, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Tobias Hahn & Frank Figge, 2011. "Beyond the Bounded Instrumentality in Current Corporate Sustainability Research: Toward an Inclusive Notion of Profitability," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 325-345, December.
    3. Merante, Paolo & Van Passel, Steven & Pacini, Cesare, 2015. "Using agro-environmental models to design a sustainable benchmark for the sustainable value method," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1-13.
    4. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias & Barkemeyer, Ralf, 2014. "The If, How and Where of assessing sustainable resource use," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 274-283.
    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. Lauwers, Ludwig, 2009. "Justifying the incorporation of the materials balance principle into frontier-based eco-efficiency models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1605-1614, April.
    7. Ang, Frederic & Van Passel, Steven & Mathijs, Erik, 2011. "An aggregate resource efficiency perspective on sustainability: A Sustainable Value application to the EU-15 countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 99-110.
    8. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias, 2012. "Is green and profitable sustainable? Assessing the trade-off between economic and environmental aspects," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 92-102.
    9. Kortelainen, Mika, 2008. "Dynamic environmental performance analysis: A Malmquist index approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 701-715, February.
    10. Moretti, Michele & De Boni, Annalisa & Roma, Rocco & Fracchiolla, Mariano & Van Passel, Steven, 2016. "Integrated assessment of agro-ecological systems: The case study of the “Alta Murgia” National park in Italy," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 144-155.
    11. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:12-21 is not listed on IDEAS

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