Vous êtes ici: Home > Publications > sba review > sba review 2009

Sba Review 2009

Economists have long advocated the use of market-based policies to achieve environmental objectives. These policies include taxes on the waste emissions of firms, and programs in which the government limits pollution by issuing emission permits that can be traded among firms. Market-based approaches allow firms to reduce pollution at lowest cost and contain many other advantages.

Poverty and environmental degradation are closely associated and causally interlinked and should therefore be addressed together. The international goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015 and reversing environmental degradation will require addressing rural and urban poverty and environmental degradation simultaneously.

People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business.

The efficient use of non-renewable fossil fuels is in the forefront of ecological concerns and public discussions. Poor waste management, which is processed by means that fail to meet requirements for the environmentally sound final disposal of waste, is an issue in most of the countries of our world. The cement industry is directly concerned by this issue. The properly managed use of wastes as fuels and raw materials in cement kilns establishes itself as a real solution.

While meat and fish production sectors are primordial in order to ensure food security and develop a country's economy, they also generate serious concerns if not managed correctly: natural resources unsustainable consumption (soils, water, feed), fish stocks depletion, pollutions, social tensions, pressure on local ecosystems, deforestation, etc. Only by adopting a global approach, which includes all the implications of livestock farming and fishing systems, could these sectors become more environmentally sensitive, while simultaneously delivering economic and social profitability.

The lack of access to drinking water and water treatment is a crucial issue, which grows along with the global population. While the international community is discussing measures to be taken at the planet level, it is also possible to act locally: by saving water, thanks to a good control of the consumption and using existing techniques of water treatment and recovery, and by protecting the ecosystems from too many disturbances.

Schools have a vital role to play in the preparation of young people so that they become responsible citizens and build the future by taking advantage of what our environment can offer while ensuring its perpetuity. Thus, environmental education sets in the foreground the human adaptation to the potential and limits of our ecosystem, in a perspective of sustainable development. Environmental education concerns all human beings, whatever their age, their country of origin, or their function in the society.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments (WEEE) contain both valuable and hazardous materials, which require special handling and recycling methods in order to maximize resource recovery and minimize potential harm to humans or the environment. They are different existing alternatives to deal with e-waste, and the costs and risks they imply vary a lot...

Industrial ecology explores the interdependency between the human society systems –social system, infrastructures, economic activities, etc.– and the natural environment. This Approach proposes to consider the industrial system as a particular form of ecosystem. The process offers a brand new vision of our production patterns and consumer trends and reveals important potentials in reducing environmental impacts.

Pressure is increasingly applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws. Corporations are keen to avoid interference in their business through taxation or regulations. By taking important voluntary steps, corporations can show to governments and the wider public that they are committed to takle seriously issues such as health, safety or the environment. This voluntary process is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and we introduce this concept in our monthly dossier.

As the world's population is continuing to grow rapidly, experts are also predicting a decline in the amount of farmland available per capita with a forecasted drop of 30% between 1950 and 2050. Efforts to secure food supplies for a burgeoning population by means of modern agricultural techniques started in the 1960s. While they allowed crop production yields to increase significantly, it also had unwanted consequences: water pollution, food contamination, soil degradation, etc. In this context, food industry faces a major challenge: how to conciliate food security, growing population and sustainibility?
Logo EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Logo SBA - Sustainable Business Associates Deco Diploma of advanced studies en stratégie environnementale et enjeux économiques