How can you know what the true value is?
A product that returns high revenues on a short term basis,
but does not account for the degradation in the environment
does not value the product at actual cost.
Methods for alternative valuation:
Environmental economists have tried to assign monetary values to ecosystems services.
Surveys: determine how much people are willing to pay to protect or restore a resource
Money, time, effort people expend to travel to parks for recreation
Inferring the dollar value of landscapes
Viewsheds, peace and quiet
Costs required to restore natural systems
The biosphere provides at least $44 trillion (2009 dollars) worth of ecosystem services per year
Ecolabeling: tells consumers which brands use sustainable processes
A powerful incentive for businesses to switch to better processes
“Dolphin safe” tuna – Socially responsible investing in sustainable companies
True Value is ultimately measured in QUALITY OF LIFE
Sustainability can be defined by identification of a
Standard of Living below which no citizen of the global community should be expected to live below
Products and Raw materials not valued at actual cost because environmental costs are often not considered
External Costs/ Externalities: Costs unaccounted for in the transaction; Hard to identify and eradicate
Human health, Property damage, Declines in desirable elements, Aesthetic damage, Stress and anxiety,
Declining real estate values, etc. etc.
•Human health •Property damage •Declines in desirable elements •Aesthetic damage •Stress and anxiety •Declining real estate values
Techniques for providing alternate monetary values
The biosphere provides at least $44 trillion (2009 dollars) worth of ecosystem services per year —
more than the gross domestic product of all nations combined (2009 data)