Inderscience Publishers

Green productivity: clarifying terminology and concepts

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Employing and adjusting conventional productivity measures to represent the (mis)use of natural capital in production processes has recently generated increased interest. However, the literature relating to natural capital and productivity is highly fragmented, at times uses different definitions and misleading terms, and lacks conceptual unity. This not only leads to duplication and fragmentation of the research agenda, it is also a barrier to transferring knowledge within the academy and to policy makers. This paper aims to clarify the terminologies in use, categorise methodologies, and provide recommendations for best practice language in research on productivity measurement and natural capital. Recommendations include using green productivity as the general term for these measures, natural resource productivity to describe partial measures considering natural resource flows, and environmentally adjusted productivity for multifactor productivity calculations including undesirable outputs.

Keywords: environmentally adjusted accounting, green productivity, natural resource productivity, resource productivity, environmentally adjusted productivity, natural capital, undesirable outputs

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