Begrebet bæredygtighed og socialøkonomiske virksomheder

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Line Nygaard Larsen
4. term, Applied Philosophy, Master (Master Programme)
Sustainability is a concept which contain a great deal of different connotations, depending on in which context it is applied. A widely used definition is the one, from the report developed by the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. In this report sustainability or sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
This understanding of the sustainability concept, is indeed a very general definition and is often to be accused of being vague in its formulation of the concept, however it is still the most commonly used definition of sustainability.
The definition from Our Common Future, will also serve as fundamental for my understanding of the concept of sustainability in this thesis, as the theories used to illustrate the concept of sustainability is based upon this definition.
It is my attention, that this thesis could contribute to a clearer definition of what sustainability really means, throughout the use of the following theories.
Poul Lübckes theory aims to provide a nuanced understanding of the concept of sustainability, by splitting the definition up into four categories, respectively named; species and substance-specific sustainability, ecological sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability. These four categories clarify, that even though they are based on the same basic structure, containing reproducibility, yield and optimization within the four systems in the described categories, it is simply not possible to include all aspects of the sustainability concept within one joined definition.
Also applied in this thesis, is the theory of the Triple Bottom Line, as described by John Elkington, with the intend to describe how sustainability can be obtained in companies focusing on respectively: economic prosperity, environmental quality and social justice.
These theories are then confronted with theories of social-economic enterprises, in an attempt to clarify whether or not the social-economic enterprises have a significant impact on the sustainability debate.
It is my intention, that this thesis, will be able to contribute to a clarification of the concept of sustainability starting from an understanding of social-economic enterprises.
Significant issues that can be made in relation to this thesis, is whether it is possible for one, to speak of sustainability within social-economic enterprises. Are these companies by virtue of the way they are driven, in itself sustainable? And which aspects of sustainability is implicit applied in companies of this kind. 
LanguageDanish
Publication date30 Sep 2014
Number of pages38
ID: 240356316