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Institutions for Sustainability: The Case of Green Building Certifications
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Society is becoming increasingly dependent on the development of institutions generatingsustainability. In order to speed up this development there is a need to find, evaluate andgeneralize existing institutional mechanisms holding this characteristic.

In this study, the current theoretical framework is expanded to describe how an institution shouldbe designed to generate sustainability. To explain this, a distinction is made between short-termefficient markets (currently known as Pareto-efficient markets) and long-term efficient markets(currently known as ‘strong’ or ecologic sustainability). Further, a sustainable development isdefined as a combination of short-term and long-term Pareto-efficiency. This implies that aconsumption decision today cannot make an individual better off, without making anothercurrent or future individual worse off.

Green building certifications are an interesting candidate to empirically test the theoreticalframework. An empirical study was made in cooperation with Confederation of Indian Industry -Indian Green Building Council, consisting of 18 qualitative interviews with companies andexperts in the Indian building industry. The main purpose of the study has been to investigatewhy actors engage in green building and green building certifications, or why they do not. Theresults have then been analyzed and put in an institutional context.

Building on these results, conclusions have been drawn that bring a valuable perspective to theongoing debate on sustainability. Green building certifications have several interestingcharacteristics contributing to a sustainable development. Most importantly, results areindicating that short-term economic efficiency can lead to long-term mechanisms generatingsustainability. However, there are also limitations to the growth of certifications as an institution,e.g. cultural aspects, risk of ambiguity and insufficient levels of human capital.

Abstract [sv]

Utvecklingen av institutioner som genererar hållbarhet blir allt viktigare. För att påskynda dennautveckling finns det ett behov av att hitta, utvärdera och generalisera befintliga institutionellamekanismer som uppfyller denna egenskap.

För att kunna beskriva hur en institution bör utformas för att generera hållbarhet, utökar dennastudie det aktuella teoretiska ramverket. En distinktion görs mellan kortsiktigt Pareto-effektivamarknader (detta är att likställas med nuvarande begreppet ’Pareto-effektiva marknader’) ochlångsiktigt Pareto-effektiva marknader (detta är att likställas med ’ekologisk hållbarhet’). Vidareär hållbar utveckling definierad som en kombination av kortsiktigt- och långsiktigt effektivamarknader. Detta innebär att ett konsumptionsbeslut idag inte kan öka välfärden för en individ,utan att minska välfärden för en annan nuvarande eller framtida individ.

Certifieringar för hållbart byggande är en intressant kandidat för att empiriskt testa det teoretiskaramverket. Fallstudien gjordes i samarbete med Confederation of Indian Industry - Indian GreenBuilding Council, och består av 18 kvalitativa intervjuer med företag och experter inom denindiska byggindustrin. Det huvudsakliga syftet med studien har varit att undersöka varför aktörerengagerar sig i grönt byggande och certifieringar, eller varför de väljer att inte göra det.Resultaten har sedan analyserats och satts i ett institutionellt sammanhang.

Som institution har certifieringarna flera intressanta egenskaper som bidrar till en hållbarutveckling. Slutsatserna i studien skänker ett värdefullt perspektiv till den pågåendehållbarhetsdiskussionen, framförallt genom att påvisa att kortsiktig ekonomisk effektivitet kanleda till mekanismer som skapar hållbar utveckling. Det finns också begränsningar i tillväxten avdenna typ av institution som kan härledas till t.ex. kulturella skillnader, antalet certifieringar påmarknaden samt tillgång till humankapital.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 77 p.
Series
Examensarbete INDEK, 2013:13
Keyword [en]
New Institutional Economics, Ecological Economics, Institutional Ecological Economics, Sustainable Development, Green Building, Green Building Certifications, Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Green Building Council, Hyderabad, Minor Field Study
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-120466OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-120466DiVA: diva2:615749
Uppsok
Technology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2013-11-19 Created: 2013-04-08 Last updated: 2013-11-19Bibliographically approved

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