Title: Corporate responsibility and systems thinking – tools for balanced risk management

Authors: Matti Kamppinen, Petteri Vihervaara, Nina Aarras

Addresses: Department of Cultural Studies, University of Turku, FIN 20014 Turku, Finland. ' Section of Biodiversity and Environmental Research, University of Turku, FIN 20014 Turku, Finland. ' Department of Economic Geography, Turku School of Economics, FIN 20500 Turku, Finland.

Abstract: Corporate responsibility amounts to taking into consideration conditions and effects that are systematically linked to corporate action. Systems thinking and its variants offer tools for understanding and managing the multitudes of conditions and effects that constitute corporate responsibility. We look first at the general tools of systems thinking, and then at a case of Finnish forest industry, and assessment of four particular systemic concepts that could be used to improve corporate environmental management: life cycle assessment, regionality, industrial ecosystem and ecosystem services. We conclude that systems thinking in one form or in another is a precondition for balanced economic, social and environmental management.

Keywords: balanced risk management; corporate responsibility; ecosystem services; industrial ecology; systems thinking; Finland; forestry; forest industry; environmental management; life cycle assessment; LCA; regionality; industrial ecosystems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2008.022572

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.158 - 171

Available online: 15 Jan 2009

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