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Social Production and ecology

Efficient treatment of resources, employment and stability

A sustainable type of economy is closely related to the two remaining dimensions. Economic sustainability is linked to the ecological dimension, for instance with respect to saving resources and energy, as well as to the social dimension, for instance through creation and safeguarding of jobs.

As a result, efficiency and stability are two crucial terms, which describe the nature of sustainable economic activity.

 

Sustainability and enterprises

On a micro-economic level, enterprises are the organizational units for an implementation of sustainable strategies. Sustainable economic activity is related to:

  • Mobility: transport of goods, business trips, sustainable vehicle fleet management etc.
  • Consumption of resources: sustainable production, technical innovation, quality
  • Work: new models of working hours, CSR, integration of disadvantaged persons
  • Products: quality rather than quantity, long life-span of products, regional products, environment-friendly or renewable raw materials

 

Enterprises can essentially contribute towards a more sustainable society through their orientation and activity. They are, however, dependent upon the wishes of their customers, who frequently prefer “cheaper” products to “more sustainable” products. The market alone, therefore, cannot lead to sustainability, because CSR measures may yield advantages for single enterprises, the majority, however, produces as cost-efficiently as possible. As the market does only insufficiently pay attention to external factors, such as the destruction of the environment, political control systems are required, which lay down laws for these concerns on behalf of society (environmental specifications, taxes, penalties, privileges etc.).

Tip relating to this topic: The story of stuff

 

Rejection of paradigm of growth – Beyond GDP?

On a macro-economic level, i.e. on the level of society as a whole, the discussion about a sustainable future reaches up to the challenge of current economic paradigms. The current economic-political approaches aim at a stronger growth of economy than consumption of resources. This is designated as a relative decoupling. If an absolute decoupling can be achieved – an increasing growth of economy with at the same time consumption of resources decreased –, is being doubted, at the same time many researchers of sustainability think it to be necessary. Therefore, also a rejection of the paradigm of growth is considered, for instance within the framework of the “Beyond GDP” initiative.

 

“Austria as a dynamic industrial location”

In the Austrian Strategy for Sustainable Development, the following topics are mentioned under the aspect of economic sustainability: furthering innovative structures for competitiveness, correct prices for resources and energy, successful economic activity on the basis of eco-efficiency, furthering sustainable products and services. Central aims in this context are, among others, strengthening the responsibility of entrepreneurs, and an increased decoupling of consumption of energy and resources from economic growth.

 

Economic sustainability and Social Production

Social Production is understood as a comprehensive type of sustainable economic activity.  On account of well-targeted furthering of sustainable high-quality products and services, this project contributes towards the saving of resources. Furthering of regional cooperation helps save routes of transport, production in occupational projects qualifies and integrates disadvantaged persons, and supports safeguarding of employment. Social Production strengthens regional value creation as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, and can contribute towards a better use to capacity and increase in efficiency of (largely or) partly publicly financed social enterprises. Finally, it is an incentive for economic enterprises to assume active social responsibility.

├ľkonomische Nachhaltigkeit: 15.Nov.2012 Teilen Share on Google+