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The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Remedying Failing Water Policy: To What Extent Can Corporate Social Responsibility be Used as a Tool for Achieving the Objectives of the Water Framework Directive?

Kallhed, Linnéa LU (2013) JURM02 20132
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Tillgång till tillräckliga mängder vatten av god kvalitet är en väsentlig resurs för samhället. Det behövs för mänsklig konsumtion, för produktion i industrin, för fisket, etcetera. Det är därför mycket oroande att vattenkvaliteten i Europeiska unionen successivt försämras. Östersjön som är mycket påverkad av övergödning kan nämnas som ett exempel.

Övergödning orsakas av utsläpp av näringsämnen i havet. Östersjön är särskilt känslig för övergödning eftersom den är delvis omgärdad av land vilket innebär att havet sällan tillsätts syresatt vatten. Östersjön är vidare mottagare av utsläpp från en landareal som är fyra gånger så stor som havet.

Övergödningen i Östersjön har lett till att sjögräs har ersatts av alger. Detta har i sin tur... (More)
Tillgång till tillräckliga mängder vatten av god kvalitet är en väsentlig resurs för samhället. Det behövs för mänsklig konsumtion, för produktion i industrin, för fisket, etcetera. Det är därför mycket oroande att vattenkvaliteten i Europeiska unionen successivt försämras. Östersjön som är mycket påverkad av övergödning kan nämnas som ett exempel.

Övergödning orsakas av utsläpp av näringsämnen i havet. Östersjön är särskilt känslig för övergödning eftersom den är delvis omgärdad av land vilket innebär att havet sällan tillsätts syresatt vatten. Östersjön är vidare mottagare av utsläpp från en landareal som är fyra gånger så stor som havet.

Övergödningen i Östersjön har lett till att sjögräs har ersatts av alger. Detta har i sin tur haft mycket negativa effekter på fiskebeståndet och har orsakat negativa konsekvenser för rekreationsaktiviteter för människor på grund av giftiga algblomningar. I allvarliga fall kan övergödning leda till att döda zoner skapas, vilket innebär att det inte finns något syre i vattnet. Sådana områden finns redan i Östersjön och situationen försämras med tiden. Detta påverkar den biologiska mångfalden i havet eftersom endast de organismer som kan överleva i syrefattiga vatten kan leva där.

Europeiska unionen har försökt åtgärda problemet med övergödning genom lagstiftning. Trots att utsläpp av näringsämnen har minskat blir problemet med övergödning dock fortsatt värre och fler åtgärder krävs för att komma till rätta med problemet. Vattenförvaltningen måste vidare göras övergripande eftersom vatten både påverkar och påverkas av flera olika aktiviteter så som industri, hantering av avfallsvatten och mänsklig konsumtion.

Antagandet av ramdirektivet för vatten (2000/60/EG) var ett svar på behovet av en övergripande vattenförvaltning. Europeiska kommissionen framhåller dock att direktivets mål, att alla vatten inom Europeiska unionen ska uppnå god status 2015, inte kommer att nås. Detta beror bland annat på brist på kunskap om vilka förbättringar som kan åstadkommas genom olika åtgärder samt på bristande resurser. Nya metoder för att nå direktivets mål bör följaktligen utforskas.

Behovet av att åtgärda problemet med övergödning i Östersjön har även uppmärksammats av ideella organisationer som uppmuntrar företag att ta samhällsansvar. De initiativ som tagits inom ramen för deras verksamhet har redan nått påtagliga resultat och företagens samhällsansvar kan därför ses som ett verktyg för att förbättra Östersjöns hälsa. De resultat som nås genom företagens samhällsansvar måste dock förbättras och tillämpas över ett vidare geografiskt område om ramdirektivets mål ska uppnås.

Majoriteten av bolagen i Europeiska unionen är små och medelstora företag. Deras miljöarbete måste därför förbättras om övergödningen i Östersjön ska minskas med ett långvarigt resultat. Lagstiftaren kan påverka små och medelstora företag genom att exempelvis erbjuda dem det stöd de behöver för att förbättra deras miljövänliga prestationer, till exempel ekonomiskt stöd och kunskap om varför och hur de kan förbättra sitt miljöarbete. Även multinationella företag måste dock förbättra sitt miljöarbete. Lagstiftaren har möjlighet att öka användningen och effekterna av företagens samhällsansvar. Lagstiftaren har även möjlighet att påverka alla företag inom sin jurisdiktion.

Genom att förbättra de resultat som nås genom företagens samhällsansvar kan lagstiftaren använda dem som verktyg för att nå ramdirektivet för vattens mål. (Less)
Abstract
The supply of good quality water is an essential resource for society. It is needed for human consumption, for production processes in the industry, for fishing, etcetera. The fact that the quality of waters within the
European Union is continuously deteriorating is therefore of major concern. One example is the Baltic Sea, which is heavily affected by eutrophication.

Eutrophication is caused by discharges and run-offs of nutrients to the sea and the Baltic Sea is particularly vulnerable because it is partly enclosed and thus the water body is very seldom flushed out with oxygen-rich water. The Baltic Sea is also the recipient of discharges from an area of land that is four times bigger than the sea itself.

The eutrophication in... (More)
The supply of good quality water is an essential resource for society. It is needed for human consumption, for production processes in the industry, for fishing, etcetera. The fact that the quality of waters within the
European Union is continuously deteriorating is therefore of major concern. One example is the Baltic Sea, which is heavily affected by eutrophication.

Eutrophication is caused by discharges and run-offs of nutrients to the sea and the Baltic Sea is particularly vulnerable because it is partly enclosed and thus the water body is very seldom flushed out with oxygen-rich water. The Baltic Sea is also the recipient of discharges from an area of land that is four times bigger than the sea itself.

The eutrophication in the Baltic Sea has caused coastal sea grasses to be replaced by algae. This in turn has had major negative effects on fish populations and has caused disturbance of recreational activities for humans because of toxic blooms of algae. Severe cases of eutrophication can lead to the creation of dead zones, which means that there is no oxygen in the water. Such zones exist in the Baltic Sea and the situation is getting worse. This affects the biodiversity in the sea since large parts of the sea only provide habitat for species that can survive in waters where the oxygen levels are low.

The European Union has attempted to deal with the problem of eutrophication through legislation. Even though this has led to that discharges of nutrients have been reduced, the problem of eutrophication is worsening and further actions need to be taken to deal with this issue. Furthermore, the approach taken to water management must be holistic since water is affected by, and affects, many different activities such as the industry, wastewater treatment and human consumption.

The enactment of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) was a response to the need for a more holistic water management. By including all water bodies in the European Union, and by including stakeholders in the process of implementing the directive, sustainable and effective regulations were going to be developed. However, due to several reasons, such as a lack of knowledge of what improvements that can be made through different measures as well as a lack of resources, the European Commission holds that the objective of the Water Framework Directive, to achieve good ecological status for the water bodies in the European Union by 2015, will not be met. New ways of achieving the objective should therefore be explored.

The need to address the problem of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea has also been acknowledged by non-governmental organisations that promote corporate social responsibility initiatives. The initiatives taken because of their work have already reached tangible results regarding eutrophication in the Baltic Sea, showing that corporate social responsibility can be used as a tool for improving the health of the Baltic Sea. However, the effect of corporate social responsibility initiatives must be improved and applied more widely if the objectives of the Water Framework Directive are going to be achieved.

The majority of companies in the European Union are small and medium-sized enterprises. Their environmental performance therefore needs to be improved if the eutrophication in the Baltic Sea is going to be reduced over the long-term. The legislator has the ability to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with the support they need to improve their environmental performance, such as financial support and knowledge about why and how they can improve their environmental performance. However, multinational enterprises must also improve their environmental performance. The legislator has various possibilities of enhancing the use and effects of corporate social responsibility. The legislator can also influence all enterprises within its jurisdiction.

By enhancing the results achieved through corporate social responsibility initiatives, the legislator can use them as tools for achieving the objective of the Water Framework Directive. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Kallhed, Linnéa LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20132
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-rätt, EU-law, Environmental law, Miljörätt
language
English
id
4252338
date added to LUP
2014-01-24 10:52:28
date last changed
2014-01-24 10:52:28
@misc{4252338,
  abstract     = {The supply of good quality water is an essential resource for society. It is needed for human consumption, for production processes in the industry, for fishing, etcetera. The fact that the quality of waters within the 
European Union is continuously deteriorating is therefore of major concern. One example is the Baltic Sea, which is heavily affected by eutrophication. 

Eutrophication is caused by discharges and run-offs of nutrients to the sea and the Baltic Sea is particularly vulnerable because it is partly enclosed and thus the water body is very seldom flushed out with oxygen-rich water. The Baltic Sea is also the recipient of discharges from an area of land that is four times bigger than the sea itself. 

The eutrophication in the Baltic Sea has caused coastal sea grasses to be replaced by algae. This in turn has had major negative effects on fish populations and has caused disturbance of recreational activities for humans because of toxic blooms of algae. Severe cases of eutrophication can lead to the creation of dead zones, which means that there is no oxygen in the water. Such zones exist in the Baltic Sea and the situation is getting worse. This affects the biodiversity in the sea since large parts of the sea only provide habitat for species that can survive in waters where the oxygen levels are low. 

The European Union has attempted to deal with the problem of eutrophication through legislation. Even though this has led to that discharges of nutrients have been reduced, the problem of eutrophication is worsening and further actions need to be taken to deal with this issue. Furthermore, the approach taken to water management must be holistic since water is affected by, and affects, many different activities such as the industry, wastewater treatment and human consumption. 

The enactment of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) was a response to the need for a more holistic water management. By including all water bodies in the European Union, and by including stakeholders in the process of implementing the directive, sustainable and effective regulations were going to be developed. However, due to several reasons, such as a lack of knowledge of what improvements that can be made through different measures as well as a lack of resources, the European Commission holds that the objective of the Water Framework Directive, to achieve good ecological status for the water bodies in the European Union by 2015, will not be met. New ways of achieving the objective should therefore be explored. 

The need to address the problem of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea has also been acknowledged by non-governmental organisations that promote corporate social responsibility initiatives. The initiatives taken because of their work have already reached tangible results regarding eutrophication in the Baltic Sea, showing that corporate social responsibility can be used as a tool for improving the health of the Baltic Sea. However, the effect of corporate social responsibility initiatives must be improved and applied more widely if the objectives of the Water Framework Directive are going to be achieved. 

The majority of companies in the European Union are small and medium-sized enterprises. Their environmental performance therefore needs to be improved if the eutrophication in the Baltic Sea is going to be reduced over the long-term. The legislator has the ability to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with the support they need to improve their environmental performance, such as financial support and knowledge about why and how they can improve their environmental performance. However, multinational enterprises must also improve their environmental performance. The legislator has various possibilities of enhancing the use and effects of corporate social responsibility. The legislator can also influence all enterprises within its jurisdiction.

By enhancing the results achieved through corporate social responsibility initiatives, the legislator can use them as tools for achieving the objective of the Water Framework Directive.},
  author       = {Kallhed, Linnéa},
  keyword      = {EU-rätt,EU-law,Environmental law,Miljörätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Remedying Failing Water Policy: To What Extent Can Corporate Social Responsibility be Used as a Tool for Achieving the Objectives of the Water Framework Directive?},
  year         = {2013},
}