When is sustainable also value-adding? New column of ‘Der T(h)urmblick’ published in forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften


The newest column in forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften is covering the question in how far solutions that are called to be sustainable really add value. I am using on the one hand the example of Puma’s Environmental P/L approach and the consequences this new level transparancy has for the firm, creating real value for sustainability (however the methodology used doesn’t yet cover all areas of impact). On the other hand I elaborate on the desastrous move towards shale gas and fracking, mainly in the U.S. (but admittedly true elsewhere, just in less amounts and much more discussed), as an example for what is called sustainable is just a short-term relief on the economy, while preparing for the next downturn around 2020, when many resources become unburnable if the world will keep a minimum chance to stay within the 2 degree target (some say we have passed the point of no return already). As the EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) will most likely meet somewhere in the early 2020’s there will be a halt to all convential exploitation of fossils, so every dollar now spent on those technologies is a nail in the coffin for the future of the U.S. economy, while strengthening China at the same time. Reading their 12th 5-year-plan reveals a lot about their short/mid/long-term move towards renewables. A national Environmental P/L would have surely revealed these flaws in the U.S. or elsewhere.

You can read the (German) full version of the column here: FNW_2013_02_Thurm

As always comments are much welcome.