Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Measuring and Valuing Ecological Impacts: A Systematic Review of Existing Methodologies

Measuring and Valuing Ecological Impacts: A Systematic Review of Existing Methodologies

Many organizations are interested in decreasing their negative environmental impacts, but doing so requires that they first understand what these impacts are.To gain insight into how to determine these impacts, 180 studies were reviewed and 20 tools were identified. 15 of the 20 tools were measurement-based, while five were valuation-based. Only seven of these tools were studied in both academic and practitioner settings: four were measurement-based (balanced scorecard approach, carbon footprint, ecological footprint and life cycle analysis) and three were valuation-based (ecosystem service valuation, sustainability value added and the triple bottom line). All 20 tools can be used to investigate a firm's environmental impact; however, some are better than others at particular tasks. For example, several tools are more proficient in determining a firm's environmental impact in relation to one product or one event, whereas others are better at evaluating the environmental impact of an entire industry. In addition, some of the tools are well supported by in-depth research and/or readily available guidelines and computer software to assist firms in determining their environmental impact.


Network for Business Sustainability

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GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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