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Tool BoxEcological Economics

Ecological economics is the transdisciplinary study of the human economy as part of nature’s economy – or natural ecosystems – and focuses on the relationships between them. Ecological economics is essentially where the disciplines of economics and ecology overlap. As such, it provides a solid analytical framework or context within which to consider sustainability and sustainable communities.

For additional information in Ecological Economics, contact Sustainability Team members:
  • The Triple Bottom Line Tool
    The Triple Bottom Line Tool helps optimize investments for economic, environmental and social impacts. A short video orients users to the TBL Tool. The site contains a users guide and information about the Tool, how to calculate a TBL and TBL case studies.

  • Defining and Measuring Sustainability
    The seminal publication from 1995 on the background for defining and measuring "sustainability". It addresses the interface of the economic/social with "biogeophysical" (Pertaining to the composite of biological, geological, and physical processes operating in an area).

  • Ecological Economics (ST-21)
    A brief, early paper introducing the subject from two of the pioneers in the field in the US, Stephen Farber, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh; and Dennis Bradley, USDA Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station St. Paul, MN.  This paper is still a good starting point for information about ecological economics.

  • The International Society for Ecological Economics
    A professional society of ecological economists and interested parties that publishes research journals, books, and other materials; holds and sponsors scientific meetings; develops educational materials; and facilitates a voice for ecological economists in public forums.

  • The International Society for Ecological Economics (Encyclopedia of articles)
    This is a collection of reference material from the International Society for Ecological Economics. It is comprised of papers and other documents on subjects and topics in the discipline. Intended for researchers, students, and the general public.

  • Ecological Economics
    The academic journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics. A subscription service.

  • United States Society for Ecological Economics
    The website for this society regarding ecological economics. It is associated with the international society.

  • The New Economics Foundation
    The New Economics Foundation (NEF) aims to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment and social issues. NEF combines rigorous analysis and policy debate with practical solutions on the ground, often run and designed with the help of local people. NEF also creates new ways of measuring progress towards increased well-being and environmental sustainability. Website topics include finance and business, well-being, democracy and participation, social policy, natural economies, valuing what matters, and has a number of downloadable publications.

  • International Journal of Green Economics
    International Journal of Green Economics (IJGE) addresses all aspects of green economics, aiming to encourage economic change and positioning green economics at the centre of the economics disciplines. IJGE focuses particularly on resource management, meeting peoples' needs and the impact and effects of international trends and how to increase social justice. This is a subscription-based journal with prices available at the web site.

  • The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
    Many of the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability publications, as well as a variety of videos, are available for download at the website. Publications focus on economic and environmental collapse, equitable ways to cut greenhouse emissions, strengthening local economies and many other topics.

  • Gaian Economics
    Gaian Economics is an internet showcase for a group of researchers who agree that the major problems facing humanity have their root in our economic system and who recognize the need to develop a new kind of economics.

  • Gund Institute for Ecological
    The Gund Institute is located at the University of Vermont where transdisciplinary research is conducted at the interface of ecological, social and economic systems with a focus on practical solutions to local and global environmental challenges. The web site has videos produced by the Gund Institute and a link to their YouTube Channel for over 200 additional videos.

  • What is Green Economics
    This article by Brian Milani is posted on the Urban Habitat website and provides an overview of green economics.

  • Ecology and Science
    A journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability. Free subscription.

  • Economics for Equity and the Environment
    Economics for Equity and the Environment Network is a national network of economists developing new and better arguments for protecting people and the planet. Through applied research and public engagement, we seek to improve decision making and further understanding of the relationship between economy and ecology.

  • Environmental Economics information from the Environmental Literacy Council
    A 28 page PDF on Environmental Economics, Volume 1: The Essentials, from the Environmental Literacy Council.

  • Full Cost Accounting
    Full Cost Accounting: A Course Module on Incorporating Environmental and Social Costs into Traditional Business Accounting Systems. A 46 page PDF from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Redefining Progress: The Nature of Economics
    This site focuses on shifting public policy to achieve a sustainable economy, a healthy environment and a just society. Topics include an ecological footprint, climate policy, environmental justice, sustainable economics, sustainable indicators, research and publications.

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  • Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications
    Herman E. Daly (2003)
    Ecological Economics is an introductory-level textbook. This textbook is transdisciplinary, incorporating the biological, physical, and social sciences with basic economic concepts.

  • Ecological Economics: The Science and Management of Sustainability
    Robert Costanza (1991)
    Probably the first textbook on the subject of ecological economics. This textbook brings together economics and environmental studies. It discusses ecological economics; accounting, modeling, and the analysis of ecological economics systems, institutional changes and case studies.

  • Ecological Economics: An Introduction by Michael Common and Sigrid Stagl (2005)
    Essentially a basic introduction to micro & macro economics, but embedded in modern sustainability thought. For example, the beginning of the book covers basic science about the earth, its atmosphere, the laws of thermodynamics, etc. It then proceeds to examine basic concepts from economics within a broader, biogeophysical context.

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