Dear Friends and colleagues
We wish all of you, your families and friends, nice, quiet and especially PEACEFUL holidays, "Merry Christmas" as well as a happy and successful New Year 2003.
We look forward to (further) cooperation with you in the field of sustainable development. May 2003 bring (further) improvements of the global environment, social and international relations, equity and prosperity.
Table of contents
4. Selected publications
5. Links + Other: News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc.
Students@SERI Launch of the SERI-Students Section
SERI and its members are now actively encouraging students of all faculties to write thesis in cooperation with SERI. Topics of master thesis are announced and advise is given in cooperation with the students universities. The students present their findings in regular meetings of the SERI-Students-Group and discuss the progress of their work. The results are also featured on www.seri.at/students
Please contact: email@example.com
SERI at the Frontiers2 conference 2003
The FRONTIERS 2 Conference - European Application in Ecological Economics - will take place in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, 12-15 February 2003 and 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.
A number of SERI members will attend the conference and present papers. Further information and papers for download (soon available) can be found at www.seri.at/frontiers2 and http://www.euroecolecon.org/frontiers/.
For the current news on SERI check also http://www.seri.at.
e-System for Real Time Democratic Land-Use Planning of Urban Environment
- Pilot Action in Narva Community (Estland)
SERI is partner in the eCommunity project (funded by the LIFE programme of the EU), that aims to apply innovative web-based software solutions, which will promote the concept of e-democracy by enabling exchange of opinions and information. That will help raising public awareness. A further aim is to produce results that can be reproduced in spatial planning and policymaking processes at a local level. The final goal of the project is to demonstrate a system as a tool for urban planning in the EU.
The Sustainability Strategies Network finally got its green light: from December 1st, inEcom Berlin and SERI Vienna will co-ordinate a European network analysing the meaning of sustainability strategies from a wide range of scientfic and cultural backgrounds. Meetings, workshops and conferences as well as project publications will be announced through the SERI infomail, amongst other outlets.
A first conference of the Sustainability Strategy project will be held in Brussels, at the end of January 2003. As a second step, a parallel meeting within the framework of ESEE's Frontiers 2 conference in Mid-February is held in Tenerife. Results of both meetings are to be published and will be accessible via the SERI homepage.
The aim of INTELCITY is to explore new opportunities for sustainable development of cities through the intelligent use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The project will integrate the knowledge of experts in sustainable urban development (SUD) and ICTs to deliver a roadmap that relates the range of potential ICT development options to planning and urban re/development processes. SERI is part of the think tank of the project.
Health and Environment
The German Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia is preparing a "Health and Environment" programme. SERI was called upon to contribute a comprehensive overview of the global trends regarding environmental degradation of all kinds. The literature survey has been produced by Joachim Spangenberg; an extended version will be made available as soon as a permission for publication has been obtained
For detailed information about SERI’s projects please surf to:
Workshop on EU policy integration
On March 3rd, SERI organised a workshop on EU policy integration, the annual Spring Synthesis report and the role of the Structural Indicators for the Green Group in the European parliament. The input paper prepared for the workshop is available from the SERI office.
Spangenberg, J.H. (2002) Environmental space and the prism of sustainability: frameworks for indicators measuring sustainable development, Ecological Indicators, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 295-309
The notion of Environmental Space refers to external criteria regarding resources available for human consumption. On the one hand, it has been demonstrated that the reduction of energy consumption, material flows and land use would significantly contribute to reducing the main stresses for the European environment. On the other hand, the concept de-fines a socially motivated minimum of resource availability, permitting to lead a dignified life in the respective society.
Environmental space is a tool for exploring sustainable development benchmarks on a sound scientific basis, and it is helpful to derive indicators of sustainable development for different applications on the macro as well as on the micro level. However, the environmental space concept expresses no preference regarding the structure of the economic system, as long as the environmental and social benchmarks are respected, nor does it suggest specific economic sustainability indicators.
Since in 1995, the CSD formally introduced the institutional dimension as the fourth dimension of sustainable development, sustainable development can be described by referring to four dimensions and their six interlinkages. Using the Prism of Sustainability, the conceptalthough, rather complexcan easily be communicated and used as a tool for gathering public support for sustainability policies. The prism simplifies matters by structuring them, but avoids the oversimplification inherent to aggregate indices.
At the macro level, the environmental space and the prism of sustainability have been applied to international, regional and national indicator development. At the micro level, systems of indicators for households, companies and local communities have been developed.
The indicators have also been used in dynamic modeling, demonstrating their capability to assess the sustainability of different policy strategies.
Joachim H. Spangenberg (2002) The changing contribution of unpaid work to the total standard of living in sustainable development scenarios, Int. J. Sustainable Development, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 461-475:
In Europe since the 1950s, the average working hours declined steadily and the time available for unpaid work increased. Nonetheless, its contribution to the total standard of living has not been taken into account so far, although the majority of working hours in Germany and Europe is in unpaid work. The qualitative integration of unpaid work in the new framework concept of 'mixed work' is introduced as an alternative more appropriate for the emerging new patterns of working life than the traditional concept of life-long, full time 'normal work'.
Two quantitative sustainability scenario simulations have been evaluated concerning their impact on unpaid work. Depending on the kind of politics simulated (cost cutting, growth, integrated sustainability), the future contribution of unpaid work to the total standard of living can decline, stagnate, or increase. The implications of different policies on the time budgets are discussed.
The same issue is dealt with in a bit more detail in a new German language publication:
Spangenberg, J.H., Lorek, S. (2002) Lebensstandardmessungen einschließlich nicht-marktlicher Dienstleistungen, in: Boch, Hennicke, Hilbert, Kristof, Scherhorn (Hg.), Die Zukunft von Dienstleistungen, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt, S. 455 - 481
Spangenberg, J.H., Lorek, S. (2002) Environmentally sustainable household consumption: from aggregate environmental pressures to priority fields of action, Ecological Economics, Vol. 43, No. 2-3, pp 127 - 140.
The objective of the paper is to identify those areas of consumption, in which private households can make significant contributions to environmental sustainability, and to present a transparent and comprehensive set of indicators for them. The analysis of the environmental impacts of households focuses on consumption clusters that permit to depict different life spheres of private households. Two criteria guided the investigation of the relevance of these clusters:
•The environmental significance of the consumption cluster in terms of resource consumption, and
•The potential influence of households as compared to other actors.
Resource consumption was chosen as simplified, but reliable representation of environmental pressure dynamics. Growing resource consumption goes together with growing environmental pressures and vice versa, although not necessarily proportionally. The key resources analysed are energy and material consumption, and land use. Based on this analysis, three consumption clusters were identified as priority fields for action by households: construction and housing, food/nutrition and transport (in this order). All
other consumption clusters can be considered environmentally marginal, providing combined saving potentials of less than 10% of the total resource consumption.
Finally, from description of the respective roles of actors based on anecdotal evidence a semi-quantitative “actor matrix“ is presented indicating the relative influence of different actors per consumption cluster.
Metzner, Andreas: Umwelt, Technik & Risiko sozialwissenschaftliche Zugänge. Ein Beitrag zur Kontroverse zwischen Konstruktivismus und Realismus; Habilitationsschrift, Westf. Wilhelms Universität Münster 1999
How does the social scientific research concerning risk, environmental and tecnical issues deal with riskproblems of the industrial society. What does this mean for the social theory. What kind of consequenses result for the praxis societal riskmanagement. In order to answer these questions, the book looks at the genesis of the perception and assessment of risks in the context of socio-cultural constructions (constructivist approach). On the other hand, it analyses the genesis of risks in the context of the of mankind with nature (realistic appraoch). The analysis develops its answers by investigating the interaction of symbolic and material dimensions of societal reality. It uses a reciprocal critique of both approaches.
For more information about these and other publications please visit:
Marie Curie Scholarships at the University of Keele (UK)t
The Centre for Research on Environmental Sustainability (CRES), located in the School of Politics, International Relations and the Environment (SPIRE) at the University of Keele, is looking for applications for Marie Curie scholarships. Researchers should be working in the following three areas: (a) Ecological Economics, (b) Environmental Politics and Theory and (c) International Relations of the Environment. Scholarships last up to 6 months and are at 1200 EURO pero month.
For more information see http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/spire/Research/cres/marie_curie/marie_curie_page.htm
European Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility
The European Commission has set up a Forum, with several Round Tables, to discuss principles of corporate responsibility for their environmental and social impacts. The Forum will report in 2004. SERI member Duncan McLaren represents environmental NGOs on the Forum. Here he appeals for contributions from other SERI members.
The Forum's Round-tables hope to address a range of issues including: dissemination of knowledge and exchange of good practice in CSR; educational and promotional tools; incentives to stimulate innovation and uptake of CSR; fostering CSR amongst SMEs; CSR through the supply chain; the enabling governance framework for CSR; the role of investors and the finance sector; synergies between voluntary CSR and existing law and international agreements; credibility, accountability and verification of CSR practices and tools, including reporting and codes of conduct; common practices and shared principles between countries and sectors; transparency to stakeholders, including investors, and consumers through, for example, reporting, contract disclosure and labeling; the role of CSR where governance institutions are weak or lacking; and development aspects of CSR such as fair trade, health promotion and labour standards.
The Round-tables hope to gather information through multi-stakeholder case studies of particular companies or initiatives that can offer lessons on these themes. I would be immensely grateful if SERI members with relevant research or case studies could contact me (contact details below).
Duncan McLaren (Policy Director, Friends of the Earth)
e: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +44-20-7566 1682 fax: +44-20-7490 1555
snail: 26-28 Underwood Street, London N1 7JQ United Kingdom
Internet-Docomentation about sustainable products and services
Have a look on the Internet Site
Calls for papers
• Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental magement Conference, Leeds, 30 June - 1 July 2003
• Business Strategy and the Environment Conference, Leicester, 15-16 September 2003
(for both see www.erpenvironment.org)
• 6th Nordic Conference on Environmental Social Sciences (NESS)
June 12-14, 2003, in Turku / Åbo, Finland (www.abo.fi/6thNESS)
European Conference on EvaluAtion of SustainabilitY, 15 - 17 May , 2003 in Vienna is an international conference for evaluators, contracting authorities and researchers in the field of Sustainable Development Evaluation.
If you have any questions please contact: email@example.com. Please circulate this information.
Baltic Sustainability Conference
SERI members are invited to participate in the Baltic Sustainability Conference, 26.-28. 3. 2003, Riga-Jurmala, Latvia. For students, finacial support for the participation is available on request. Joachim Spangenberg will deliver a keynote speach. For detail, please consult the conference homepage at http://www.home.lanet.lv/~asi/conference.htm
For other interesting links click below:
Lifecycle Approaches to Sustainable Consumption
End of November leading scientists from Europe, the United States and Japan presented the outcomes of their research on life-cycle approaches to sustainable consumption in a workshop in Laxenburg near Vienna. The meeting was organised by IIASA in partnership with UNEP and the Japanese Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
All abstracts and full papers are available on http://www.iiasa.ac.at/~hertwich/index.html?sb=1
For more information on SERI related events in Vienna pleas surf to:
SERI is the first "virtual" research institute on sustainable development with associated researchers all over Europe. If you want to get more detailed information on the Institute and its members please visit our website: http://www.seri.at.
The Sustainable Europe Research Institute, together with a supporting legal
All InfoMail editions from the year 2000 are downloadable as pdf-Files at http://www.seri.at/infomail.
On this website you’ll also find all editions from the year 2001 as well as the current InfoMail, offering the advantage of easy and fast navigation through the InfoMail’s topics. You’ll have easy access to all downloadable files, links and other resources of the SERI Internet-presentation.
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Have a nice day your SERI-Team.
Have a nice day - Your SERI-Team.
|last update 19-Dec-2002|