Infomail 02/01

Welcome to the February/March edition of SERI's InfoMail in 2001.

The monthly published electronic news bulletin of the Vienna
Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI).

 

Table of contents

1. SERI-News: General news from SERI and SERI members
  • Francois Schneider at the SEI, Tallin
  • SERI members at a working group for the Genoa Non Governmental (GNG) Initiative in occasion of the G-8 meeting
  • Niki Rosinski joins UNEP, Paris

2. Project-Overview: News from our projects, our other work and new research fields

  • Labour and Environment - Austria
  • Evaluation of Environmental Integration
  • Sustainable OECD
  • Material flows and land use - Accounting, Analysis and Scenario Formulation

3. Friends: Seri and ... (News about co-operation and partnerships)

  • Sustainability.TV: Some videos on the internet
  • CEIF-Ambiente in Portugal - ...making the invisible visible
  • Invitation of young post-doc researchers

4. Selected publications: Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers

  • Sustainable Finance: Niki Rosinski's diploma thesis on Sustainable Finance
  • BOCKERMANN, MEYER, OMANN, SPANGENBERG:
    "Modelling Sustainability - European and German Approaches"
  • CHAMBERS, SIMMONS, WACKERNAGEL:
    "Sharing Nature's Interest"

5. Links + Other: News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc.

  • Proposal for the 6th FP for research
  • Eco-efficient Ski World Championships/Lahti 2001
  • 2nd Announcement for the 2nd international conference:
    "From Eco-Efficiency to Overall Sustainability in Enterprises"
    Düsseldorf, Germany, from 14th to 17th May 2001
  • Announcement for the ESEE FRONTIERS CONFERENCES:
    Frontiers 1: 04-07 July 2001 - Cambridge, UK
    Frontiers 2: 12-15 February 2003 - Tenerife, Spain

6. Going on in Vienna

  • Announcement of the next SERI brownbag seminar:
    "Ecological Economic Policy"; with Juerg Minsch and Fritz Hinterberger.


Contents

1. SERI-News: General news from SERI and SERI members

Francois Schneider at the SEI, Tallin

Francois Schneider is now staying for a month at Tallinn, developing scientific co-operations in Estonia, Finland and Sweden. He continues to work with SERI headquarters in Vienna through internet links.

Contact: Francois@seri.at

SERI members at a working group for the Genoa Non Governmental (GNG) Initiative in occasion of the G-8 meeting

Fritz Hinterberger and Giovanni Mastino have been invited to join a working
group on Sustainable development and Environment for the Genoa Non
Governmental (GNG) Initiative in occasion of the G-8 meeting in Genoa (next
July, 20-22) to encourage a dialogue and a discussion Forum on global issues
between the G-8 and non governmental actors.
Other members of the working group include Gianfranco Bologna, Wolfgang
Sachs, and Norman Myers.

Niki Rosinski joins UNEP, Paris

Niki Rosinski is now staying in Paris as an intern (February - May) in the
UNEP-project: "Strategies and mechanisms for promoting cleaner production in developing countries."
The project aims at launching new instruments/project initiatives, e.g.
credit lines, trust funds, policy changes and training to foster CP.

Click http://www.unep.org for more on UNEP.
To contact Niki visit his website .

2. Project-Overview: News from our projects, our other work and new research fields

Labour and Environment - Austria

The project "Labour and Environment - Austria" was started. On behalf of the Austrian ministry for the environment, we discuss the feasibility of an Austrian research programme on this topic.

See our german website on the topic for details.

Evaluation of Environmental Integration

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) has just recently completed a study evaluating the environmental integration reports of the Council formations Internal Market , Energy and Transport. SERI has developed practicable policy recommendations for the design of this process in the following years.
These recommendations refer to the individual sectors and their specific issues, as well as to the more general, institutional aspects of the process.

You find the summaries of the different parts and the complete studies as download in pdf-format here. The German version is available here.

Sustainable OECD

In 1999, the OECD Council of Ministers asked the Paris headquarters to
hammer out corner stones of a sustainability strategy for the OECD and its
member countries, including policy measures and monitoring mechanisms. A
number of hearings followed, providing high quality input, and a conference
in Rome in December 1999.
Since the 2000 Progress Report to the ministers was focussing on a quite
narrow-minded economistic view, national delegations (representing the
ministries involved, like economic, finance, environment, social affairs)
rejected the draft for its lack of balance and its ignorance for the mandate
the OECD had been given. One of the key demands from the ministers was to
strengthen the social dimension of sustainable development to give it equal
weight as compared to economic and environmental concerns.
SERI has been contracted along with the Wuppertal Institute to advise the
German Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs on this matter. By mid-April
it will be clear if this advice has been acceptable to the national
delegation as well as to the other OECD members.

To get more information on this project please click here.

Material flows and land use - Accounting, Analysis and Scenario Formulation

In co-operation with IIASA and other partners worldwide, we are making a new
attempt for the accounting, analysis and scenario formulation of material
flows and land use.

See our globalisation website for details.

 

3. Friends: Seri and ... (News about co-operation and partnerships)

Sustainability.TV:

Some videos on the internet Central parts of some lectures given by Mathis Wackernagel, Fritz Hinterberger and Arnim Wiek can now be viewed at www.sustainability.tv.
A dicussion with EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström was broadcasted live and will soon be available for download.

CEIF-Ambiente in Portugal - ...making the invisible visible

CEIFAmbiente Lda - Centre of Studies, Information and Education on the
Environment - is a service-oriented company recently founded in Portugal.
The company's goal is to assist people, companies and institutions in their
search for economically and ecologically efficient solutions to challenging
environmental problems in Portugal.
CEIFAmbiente operates in Portugal and other countries as a "network
generator". It brings together people and institutions that are proposing
and implementing ambitious environmental projects in Portugal, and want to
exploit the potential of knowledge and technology transfers within the EU.
CEIFAmbiente's task is to establish and co-ordinate interdisciplinary
working groups which fulfil the requirements of the individual projects.
These working groups are to develop and/or implement scientifically founded,
socially and ecologically compatible concepts adapted to local needs, thus
ensuring sustainable development in Portugal.

Contact in Portugal:
email: caixinhas@mail.telepac.pt or osorio-peters@zew.de.

SERI would still like to invite post-doc researchers intending to apply for Marie Curie Fellowships to work with SERI or members of the SERI network in other parts of Europe.

See www.cordis.lu/improving/src/hp_mcf.htm for more, or try the links below for detailed information:

http://www.cordis.lu/improving/src/hp_ncp.htm
http://www.cordis.lu/improving/src/mc_tsf_pg.htm
http://improving-mcf.sti.jrc.it/project/
http://www.mariecurie.org/
http://www.cordis.lu/tmr/src/grants1.htm

But we are also looking for interesting places of research to which our researchers could go for some time!

4. Selected publications: Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers

Sustainable Finance: Niki Rosinski's diploma thesis on Sustainable Finance

This paper explores the state of sustainability in the financial markets and
consequences for companies:
As an important resource provider, financial markets have a considerable
impact on corporate strategies. Today, signals for increased importance of
sustainability are multiplying in the financial markets. Therefore it will
become more and more difficult for companies to evade the challenge of
sustainability. Thus, companies that act in a proactive way will be able to
profit from future changes triggered by sustainable development.

The paper is for download as pdf-file at our Sustainable Finance page.

New Publication (extended version) by

Andreas BOCKERMANN, Bernd MEYER (GWS), Ines OMANN (SERI, Vienna), Joachim H. SPANGENBERG (Wuppertal Institute and SERI, Vienna)

"Modelling Sustainability - European and German Approaches"

Paper presented at the International Conference Systems Science 2000, Osnabrück, Germany, March 20th - 22nd 2000

Abstract
Sustainable Development is probably the key new paradigm on which to base
policies for the future. However, so far the concept remains vague at best
in many aspects, and in particular as regards the interaction environmental,
economic and social politics. Based on some theoretical considerations this
paper defines minimum conditions for sustainable development. This provides
minimum conditions for the suitability of economic models for sustainability
questions, as well as a criterion to assess the sustainability of the
scenarios presented in the remainder of the paper. Both models introduced
are shown to meet these requirements.
This paper presents two such models. One (PANTA RHEI) is a highly
sophisticated econometric model for the German economy (Meyer et al. 1999).
The other one (SuE) is less disaggregated system dynamics model for the EU
15 economy (Spangenberg, Scharnagl 1998). Both include the measuring of
energy and material consumption and are thus well suited to indicate the
linkage of economic development and environmental impact. Similarly, both
calculate the employment effects of a given policy, permitting to include
one key social concern in the evaluation of sustainability policies as well.
When comparing the results of similar strategies simulations run on both
models, their inherent structural difference rules out any methodological
bias or system artefact. All the more relevant are those outcomes that point
into a similar direction for policy development, having a base in two
independent, structurally independent policy impact assessments. Key results
include:
There is a trade off between growth and employment on the one and
environmental concerns on the other hand, however sustainable compromises
are possible.
No single policy instrument (neither legal measures nor economic incentives)
is able to deliver a sustainable economy. What is needed is an intelligent
mix of economic, social, environmental and labour policy measures.
If such a combined strategy is applied, it is possible to reduce the
currently unsustainable high unemployment levels to significantly below five
percent of the labour force, while at the same time reducing resource
consumption, safeguarding or increasing the standard of living and not
running into significant public debt.

Key Words: Sustainability, Modelling, IO-Analysis, Embodied Energy
Accounting, Dematerialisation, Employment.

To download the extended version of this paper click here.

New Publication by

Nicky CHAMBERS, Craig SIMMONS, Mathis WACKERNAGEL:

"Sharing Nature's Interest"

Ecological footprinting is rapidly being adopted as an effective and
practical way to measure our impact on the environment - in both large- and
small-scale planning and development. This is an introduction to ecological
footprint analysis, showing how it can be done, and how to measure the
"footprints" of activities, lifestyles, organizations and regions. Case
studies illustrate its effectiveness at national, organizational, individual
and product levels.
Sharing Nature's Interest is an online resource for individuals and
organisations interested in ecological footprint analysis.

The book is published by Earthscan and available through good bookshops. The
book is supported by a web-based resource at:
http://www.ecologicalfootprint.com. Price £13.95 (P&P £2.50 UK or £3.50 rest
of world from Earthscan, 120 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9BR or email
earthinfo@earthscan.co.uk). ISBN 1853837393.


5. Links + Other: News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc.

Proposal for the 6th FP for research

The proposal from the European Commission for the 6th framework programme
for research and technological development can be downloaded here.

See also www.cordis.lu/rtd2002/ or www.kowi.de to get an overview in
German language.

Eco-efficient Ski World Championships/Lahti 2001

The project Eco-efficient Ski World Championships is organized by Suvi
Häkkinen and aims at reducing the environmental effects of Lahti 2001.

See www.seppo.net/lahti.html for details.

For the official website of this Ski-event click below:
www.lahti2001.fi/eng/ymparisto/index.html.

2nd Announcement for the 2nd international conference:

"From Eco-Efficiency to Overall Sustainability in Enterprises"
taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 14th to 17th May 2001.

The Wuppertal Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development (WBCSD) have been mandated to organise for the 2nd time after
1998 an international conference that will give an outlook over technologies
and concepts that go beyond pollution control.

Oriented on the topics of ENVITEC - energy, water and resources - noted
speakers will present entrepreneurial success stories. For the first time,
one session will deal with social aspects of eco-efficiency, with the
corporate social responsibility of enterprises. A further session will be
hosted by the consulting company Arthur D. Little and will deal with
possibilities of consulting enterprises towards eco-efficiency.

You can find further information about the conference and eco-efficiency on
the web site www.eco-efficiency.de.
It also gives you the possibility to sign the directory to receive the
conference programme by mail.

Information about ENVITEC (The International Trade Fair for Supply and Waste
Management) is available on the web site www.envitec.de.

Announcement for the

ESEE Frontiers Conferences:

Funding has been approved towards two 'mini-conferences' on ecological
economics under the EC High-Level Scientific Conferences (type: EuroConferences), Human Potential Programme, 1998-2002. The main objectives of such conferences are to promote scientific excellence by (i) allowing senior researchers to impart their experience to younger researchers; and (ii) creating a framework for networking of EU researchers with scientists outside the Member and Associated States. Numbers are limited to 100 participants to allow for good focus and interaction.

Frontiers 1
4/7 July 2001 - Cambridge, UK
The focus will be on fundamental issues concerning ecological economics. The
CALL FOR PAPERS is posted on the Frontiers website. Deadline for
submissions is 15 March 2001.

Frontiers 2
12-15 February 2003 - Tenerife, Spain
The second Frontiers conference will focus on state-of-the-art applications
of ecological economics for environmental planning and management, in
education and for testing the robustness of research tools.

Further details: www.euroecolecon.org/frontiers.

6. Going on in Vienna

The SERI brownbag seminar

In a loose series of lectures, to which we invite all interested guests, we want to discuss our own work and that of our colleagues. Please bring your own lunch bag!

Forthcoming seminar: "Ecological Economic Policy"

with Juerg Minsch and Fritz Hinterberger.

Location: SERIs office in Vienna.
Date and time: April 2nd 2001, 2 p.m.

Juerg Minsch, professor for sustainable development at the Vienna university
of agriculture and Fritz Hinterberger will discuss on the issue of "Ecological Economic Policy".
It seems that an overall and absolute reduction of material flows through
industrial economies is by no means being achieved without policies
deliberately aiming at such a reduction: rebound effects eat up these gains
(food needs a special treatment). And the access to these
services/technologies is unevenly distributed.
These problems are a challenge to individual goals and efforts as well as
for policy. Both Juerg Minsch and Fritz Hinterberger will give short
presentations (20-30 minutes each) introducing a broader discussion.

The event will be broadcasted at www.sustainability.tv.

These were our messages and news for this month. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for detailed information on our projects and for possibilities in co-operation and partnership. It’s a challenge to start an interactive dialogue of exchanging experiences. You are all invited to participate in this process.


SERI is the first "virtual" research institute with associated researchers all over Europe.

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute, together with a supporting legal association, exists since September 1999 according to Austrian Law. The headquarters have been established in Vienna. We would like to invite you to participate in this undertaking.

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) is a Pan-European think tank aiming to explore sustainable development options for European societies. SERI's research agenda and methodology is based on previous work carried out by Friends of the Earth and the Wuppertal Institute. The Institute aims to develop the concept of environmental space and shows ways to substantially reduce the resource throughput of modern industrial societies. The research carried out by members of SERI supports the dialogue within European civil society. It specifically aims to further develop the exchange of ideas between environmental citizens organisations, governments, trade unions and industry. The scientific dialogue SERI aims to engender is supported by its web page and this newsletter, conferences, meetings as well as publications.

Have a nice day – your SERI-Team.

SERI-Infomail 02/2001
Distributed by Jürgen Schäfer
Managing Editor, SERI-InfoMail
All Rights Reserved.
© SERI 2001 (Vienna / Essen)


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