Dear friends and colleagues,

Welcome to the 5th edition of SERI's InfoMail in 2005. InfoMail ist the regularly published electronic news bulletin of the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI). You are receiving this InfoMail, because you indicated an interest in SERI's activities. To unsubscribe see the end of this InfoMail.

The web-edition of our current InfoMail is available at: www.seri.at/infomail. There you will also find the InfoMail Archive.

Table of contents

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

  • SERI contributes to "Lange Nacht der Forschung" - 1st October
  • SERI Bad Oeynhausen in new office space
  • Stefan Giljum invited as external reviewer for two material flow projects
  • Jill Jäger at The First Global and Regional Scenarios Workshop of GEO-4, 11-15th September
  • SERI at the Environmental Accounting Conference in Prague

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

  • MATISSE Core Group Meeting
  • NEDS: Status Seminar in Bonn
  • „Topic of the Month“ at www.nachhaltigkeit.at: 5 Years Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

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

  • SERI supports Memorandum for Corporate Responsibility

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

  • “Governance for Sustainable Development” Special Issue of the International Journal for Sustainable Development (IJSD) edited by Joachim Spangenberg and Stefan Giljum
  • New Publication by the Aachener Foundation Kathy Beys including a chapter by SERI
  • Rodrigues, J., Giljum, S. (2005). The accounting of indirect material requirements in material flow-based indicators. ICFAI Journal of Environmental Economics III (2), 51-69.

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

  • Die Wende der Titanic. Wiener Deklaration für eine zukunftsfähige Weltordnung
  • Wachstum: Fluch oder Segen? Erwartungen - Wirkungen - Ergebnisse
  • European Commission publishes proposals for FP7 Specific Programmes

6. SERI - 5 Years ago

  • New project area: Labour and Environment
  • Macro data for material input analysis
  • Sustainable Europe Lecture Series

7. Going on in Vienna

  • Event: SERI brownbag seminar

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

SERI contributes to "Lange Nacht der Forschung" - 1st October

On October 1st, 2005 the first „long night of science“ takes place in Innsbruck, Linz and Vienna, Austria. Under the theme „into science!“ more than 70 research institutions open their doors. SERI will be one of them, showing where research happens, how research questions are generated and how society is influenced by current research.

„Sustainable, for sure – towards a life of happiness“ is the motto for the night. A sustainability tour through the office will cover topics of consumption and the relation to environment and resource use, our lifestyles and the according ecological footprint, the distribution of work and possible changes towards more equality. Further we offer a discussion-lounge about happiness, where visitors can discuss with researchers about happiness and lifestyles. In a workshop visitors can decide about their future energy supply and evaluate different scenarios.
We offer a buffet and a vernissage from B. Nowitzki.

You can find us at: SERI, Garnisongasse 7, rechte Stiege, 3.Stock, Tür 27.
Contact: DI Sophie Strasser (sophie.strasser@seri.at), tel: +43-(0)1/9690728-16, www.seri.at/langenacht
.

SERI Bad Oeynhausen in new office space

Not even a year after opening an office in Bad Oeynhausen, Joachim Spangenberg and Dorothea Schüler have to announce a new address: in the "Industriestr. 15" SERI Bad Oeynhausen found a new residence. Fire water disabled the old office, a relocation was inavoidable. The new office is operating since 1st September. Phone, fax and ZIP remain unchanged.

Stefan Giljum invited as external reviewer for two material flow projects

Stefan Giljum has been invited as an external reviewer for two projects devoted to accounting and modelling of material flows and ecological footprints.
The first project is commissioned by WWF UK and provides a feasibility study for assessing resource flows and ecological footprints of industries within a global context. It is carried out by the "Stockholm Environment Institute at York" and "Best Foot Forward".
The second project is carried out by the Topic Centre for Waste and Material Flows of the European Environment Agency (EEA). The Topic Centre has developed a macro-level model for prospective analysis of future trends of waste quantities and material flows in Europe. First results of the model simulations have been included in EEA's recent Environment and Outlook Report 2005 (see http://reports.eea.eu.int/eea_report_2005_4/en).
For further information please contact Stefan Giljum (stefan.giljum@seri.at).

Jill Jäger at The First Global and Regional Scenarios Workshop of GEO-4, 11-15th September

The purpose of this meeting was to begin the development of regional scenarios for the next Global Environmental Outlook (GEO), UNEP's flagship product, which will be published in 2007. Taking the scenarios developed in GEO-3 as a basis, Jill Jäger facilitated the Asia-Pacific regional group in discussing what the region would look like in 2050 under the four scenarios: Markets First, Policy First, Security First and Sustainability First. This was followed by development of timelines and discussion of quantitative indicators. Given the economic importance of the Asia-Pacific region in three of the four scenarios, it was a fascinating exercise. In the fourth scenario (Security First), the participants suggested that the trends would lead to societal collapse in 2030.

SERI at the Environmental Accounting Conference in Prague

Arno Behrens and Stefan Giljum will speak at the conference on “Environmental Accounting and Sustainable Development Indicators”, taking place from 26 to 27 of September at the Charles University Environmental Centre in Prague. Arno Behrens’ speech will focus on the global extraction of natural resources and its implications for international development policies. In the same working group, Stefan Giljum will talk about the quantification of indirect natural resource requirements with a global input-output model. Both presentations and related papers will be available for download at www.seri.at/Prague05.


For the current news on SERI check also www.seri.at.

 

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

MATISSE Core Group Meeting

The Core Group of the EU project MATISSE (Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessment) met in Paris on September 8 - 9. The main priority for the meeting was to draft a definition of "Integrated Sustainability Assessment (ISA)" to guide the work of the project as a whole. Jill Jäger attended the meeting. Although committee definitions of important concepts can often become unwieldy, the Core Group indeed managed to agree on a relatively simple description of ISA and sketched out the steps that such a process must include.
For further information see www.matisse-project.net or contact Jill Jäger at jill.jaeger@seri.at.

NEDS: Status Seminar in Bonn

On September 13th, mid-term results of the NEDS project (Sustainable Development between Throughput and Symbolism, see www.seri.at/neds) were presented at a status seminar in Bonn, organised by the Socio-Ecological Research Programme of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (see www.sozial-oekologische-forschung.org). External experts took up and approved the results produced by the NEDS team with great interest. Final results of the three regional material flow analyses, which SERI is performing for the metropolitan regions of Hamburg, Leipzig and Vienna will be available beginning of next year and published at the official NEDS project website (www.neds-projekt.de).

„Topic of the Month“ at www.nachhaltigkeit.at: 5 Years Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, are subject to a number of international, regional and national reviews. The “Topic of the Month” September 2005 summarises the most important of these reviews and gives insight into development, implementation and evaluation of the MDGs. In the run-up to the Millennium+5 Summit that took place in New York from 14 to 16 September 2005, the Topic presents selected initiatives in support of the MDGs and features prominent guest commentators such as Luis Michel, Vandana Shiva and Franz-Josef Radermacher.
Read the topic of the month
.

 

For more information on our projects check also www.seri.at/projects.

 

3. SERI and Friends: News about co-operation and partnerships

SERI supports Memorandum for Corporate Responsibility

SERI supports an initiative from the German "Verbraucher Initiative e.V."
for increasing corporate responsibilty. You can download the paper (in german) here. For further information please contact Mark Hammer (mark.hammer@seri.at).

 

For more news please check also www.seri.at.

 

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

“Governance for Sustainable Development” Special Issue of the International Journal for Sustainable Development (IJSD)
edited by Joachim Spangenberg and Stefan Giljum

SERI members Joachim Spangenberg and Stefan Giljum edited the latest IJSD volume (Vol. 8 , No. 1/2, 2005) as a Special Issue on “Governance for Sustainable Development”. The Special Issue is part of the GoSD research initiative led by SERI (see www.gosd.net) and contains nine contributions from international experts on institutional, social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability governance. Several SERI members served as authors and co-authors of articles for this issue. You find the full list of papers plus abstracts from contributions by SERI members here. Click here to find information about this Special Issue on the official IJSD website.

New Publication by the Aachener Foundation Kathy Beys including a chapter by SERI

The Aachener Foundation Kathy Beys has recently published a book on resource productivity entitled "Ressourcenproduktivität als Chance - Ein langfristiges Konjunkturprogramm für Deutschland" (Resource Productivity as an Opportunity – A long-term Programme for Stimulation of the German Economy). The book includes a chapter by Arno Behrens, Friedrich Hinterberger, Markus Stewen and Andrea Stocker of the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) on the potentials of a material input tax (MIT) to reduce material use and to create jobs.

The results presented in the book emphasise the positive effects of increased resource productivity on economy, state and society. The Aachener Scenario, for example, promises about one million new jobs, while taking pressure from the federal budget. This scenario includes measures such as the introduction of a MIT allowing for a simultaneous and budget neutral reduction of income taxes. Similarly, the study quantifies the effects of a shift of VAT away from services to the use of materials.
For more information (in German) please click here.

Rodrigues, J., Giljum, S. (2005). The accounting of indirect material requirements in material flow-based indicators. ICFAI Journal of Environmental Economics III (2), 51-69. Reprint of SERI Working Paper No. 3.

One important question in the field of Material Flow Accounting (MFA) is the accounting of indirect material flows, via an appropriate indicator and computation methodology. Several indicators and computation methodologies are currently in use, which complicates the articulation and comparison between different empirical studies. In this paper we present an input-output model that puts different MFA indicators in a common framework. We present a methodology for the computation of MFA indicators that assigns indirect material requirements to economic flows and is valid at both the macro and the micro levels. We argue that our socio-economic methodology is superior to purely physical approaches because it avoids methodological problems connected with physical input-output analysis, requires less problematic data acquisition and is theoretically more satisfying. From our model a new indicator arises, Total Material Production (TMP), a counterpoint to the familiar indicator of Total Material Consumption (TMC). TMC and TMP are the only indicators (of those discussed) that account for indirect material requirements and are additive.

You can download the SERI Working Paper No. 3 from www.seri.at/workingpapers.

 

For other interesting publications please visit www.seri.at/publications.


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

Die Wende der Titanic
Wiener Deklaration für eine zukunftsfähige Weltordnung
Herausgeber: Herbert Rauch und Alfred Stringl. Mit Vorworten von Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Mathis Wackernagel und Tobias Moretti, und einem Beitrag von Friedrich Hinterberger.

Warum ähneln die weltweiten Entwicklungen in vielem dem Titanic-Kurs so erschreckend? Diktiert die Wirtschaft mehr denn je der Politik den Kurs und vergessen die Kapitäne die ihnen übertragene „vorsorgende Sicherheit“?

Globaler Freihandel und Privatisierungen besiegen Hunger und ökologische Miseren nicht! Die Kluft zwischen Arm und Reich wächst stetig – regional, national, global. Steuern wir unweigerlich auf eine nicht mehr abwendbare Katastrophe zu?

Eisberge sind bereits zu spüren, aber noch könnten wir den Kurs ändern: Wenn wir die Bedrohung begreifen und den Mut zu einer tiefgreifenden “Wende” aufbringen.

Die Wiener Deklaration ist im Diskurs eines breiten Netzwerkes von Theoretikern und Praktikern, ehrenamtlich Arbeitenden und Entscheidungsträgern aller Gesellschaftsbereiche entstanden. Die Autoren sprechen ungeschminkt Tabus wie die Wachstumsdoktrin an und versuchen damit ein ahistorisch gewordenes System zu entlarven und die „kollektive Trance“ zu durchbrechen. Sie suchen Lösungen für ein zukunftsfähiges 21. Jahrhundert und formulieren reale, griffige Forderungen wie eine Wirtschaftsverfassung mit ressourcengestützter Währung, eine nachhaltige Nord-Süd-Kooperation, eine Grundsicherung, eine Verbreiterung von Demokratie, einen Naturregenerationsplan, eine gestärkte Welt- Innenpolitik, aber auch vertiefte regionale Subsidiarität, solidaritätsgetragene Konfliktkultur und vieles mehr.

Die Studie wird am 2.11. in der Österreichischen Nnationalbibliothek bei der folgenden Veranstaltung der Öffentlichkeit präsentiert:

Wachstum: Fluch oder Segen?
Erwartungen - Wirkungen - Ergebnisse

Matinée; Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2005; 11.00 Uhr; Nationalbibliothek, Josefsplatz 1,1010 Wien
Heide Schmidt im Gespräch mit Hannes Androsch, Matthias Horx, Herbert Rauch

"Wachstum muss Vorrang haben", brachte jüngst eine Zeitungsüberschrift den Tenor der öffentlich geführten Diskussion auf den Punkt. Aber wie viel und welche Art von Wachstum brauchen unsere Gesellschaften wirklich und wie viel vertragen sie? Wem nützt es, wen oder was gefährdet es? Ist es richtig für die Lösung unserer Probleme, alle Bemühungen auf Wachstumssteigerung zu konzentrieren oder gibt es Alternativen? Die Diskussion soll mögliche Diskrepanzen zwischen Gewolltem und Erreichtem ansprechen, den Ursachen dafür nachspüren, um die Tauglichkeit der debattierten Vorschläge beurteilen zu können. Denn die Entwicklung der Gesellschaft ist nicht zwangsläufig vorgegeben. Sie hängt mit der jeweiligen Politik zusammen.

European Commission publishes proposals for FP7 Specific Programmes

The European Commission has outlined its detailed plans for implementing the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) with the publication on 21 September of the proposed Specific Programmes.

Specific Programmes have been produced for each of the four main pillars of FP7 - Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities - as well as for the Commission's in-house research facilities, the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The documents will be discussed with the European Parliament, before a final decision is taken by the Council.For more information click here.


For other interesting activities and links click www.seri.at.

 

6. SERI - 5 years ago

New project area: Labour and Environment

SERI established a new research area entitled „Labour and Environment" under its „Sustainable Societies“ Programme. In a transfer process of an earlier project, in which several SERI members were involved before its foundation, results will be presented and made available to the public and decision makers. Besides, SERI together with the iff Social Ecology of Vienna worked on a project "labour and environment in Austria", where sustainable paths for Austria in the area "labour and environment" were developed.
Click www.seri.at/a-und-oe for further details.

Macro data for material input analysis

In this project, SERI was helping the Factor 10 Innovation Network to study conditions for collecting, generating, and validating natural resource productivity data, a project commissioned by the German research ministry and the Austrian innovation ministry. The studywas completed by the end of October 2000.
The results were the starting point for a European initiative to build up Resource Productivity Registries - PROREGIS centers.

Sustainable Europe Lecture Series

On the 5th of September the second lecture of the Sustainable Europe lecture series featured Mathis Wackernagel from Redefining Progress (San Francisco). The lecture was a great success for the organisers with around 70 people from governmental institutions, NGOs and the scientific community meeting at the Elephant House in Vienna’s Zoo to listen to the very eventful and creative presentation.
In the first part Wackernagel gave a general introduction to the concept of sustainable development from an ecological footprint perspective. In the second part the audience together with the presentator discussed possible strategies for reducing the environmental impact of human activities and thus achieving the goal of "living on a smaller footprint".

 

7. Going on in Vienna

SERI brownbag seminar:
25.10.2005 12h30-14h00
Stefan Giljum: MOSUS: Europäische Nachhaltigkeitsszenarien bis 2020

Im Projekt MOSUS (siehe www.mosus.net) werden mit einem globalen Wirtschafts-Umwelt-Modell verschiedene Entwicklungsszenarien für Europa bis zum Jahre 2020 simuliert und hinsichtlich ihrer ökonomischen, ökologischen und sozialen Auswirkungen bewertet. Der Schwerpunkt der simulierten Politikmaßnahmen liegt im Bereich Umweltpolitik und beinhaltet unter anderem eine Erhöhung der Öko-Effizienz in für den Materialverbrauch entscheidenden Wirtschaftssektoren (wie Bau-, Energie- und Landwirtschaft), die volle Implementierung des Emissionshandels im Rahmen des Kyoto-Abkommens sowie Veränderungen der privaten Nachfrage nach Mobilität und Wohnbedarf. In diesem Brownbag-Seminar werden die Ergebnisse der Szenariensimulationen erstmals präsentiert und diskutiert. Ein besonderer Schwerpunkt wird dabei auf den Bereich Materialverbrauch bzw. Ressourcenproduktivität der Europäischen Wirtschaft liegen. Für mehr Informationen kontaktieren sie Stefan Giljum (stefan.giljum@seri.at).

If you are interested in contributing a seminar, please contact Lisa Bohunovsky at lisa@seri.at.

 

For more information on SERI related events in Vienna please surf to www.seri.at/events.


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 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: www.seri.at.

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. 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.

All InfoMail editions since the year 2000 are downloadable as pdf-Files at www.seri.at/infomail. On this website you’ll also find all other editions 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.

Have a nice day – your SERI-Team.


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SERI-Infomail 05/05 distributed by Andrea Stocker (Managing Editor). All Rights Reserved. © SERI 2000 – 2005 (Vienna / August 2005).