Environmental, economic and employment effects of resource savings in Austria

Stocker, A, Hinterberger, F., Großmann, A. & Wolter, M.I. (2007)

Paper presented at the IIOA 2007 in Istanbul.

The paper addresses possible environmental, economic, and employment effects on Austrian society under the assumption that companies increase their investments in resource productivity. Together with the project sponsor and experts four scenarios were defined which specify what an increased dematerialization may look like. The scenarios were simulated for the period 2005 – 2020, using a new integrated ecological-economic model for Austria. This model integrates an input-output model with an energy and a resource use model and is linked to a world model to show the effects of international trade on Austrian economy.

The modeling results show that savings on resource costs may lead to substantial economic improvements and employment increases. However, due to rebound effects, the efficiency gains do not lead to savings in the use of resources. Thus, increasing resource efficiency is not sufficient for achieving sustainable development and must be accompanied by other activities and measures.

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