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Competitiveness, sustainability and the environment: towards a “win-win-win” scenario

journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-01, 00:00 authored by Mark Smith
This paper addresses how domestic firms might enjoy profitability and international competitiveness with fewer harmful
environmental impacts than the “winner take-all approach” of neo-classical economics has thus far encouraged (i.e. the use
of “limitless” resources to maximise short-term profits). It argues that private firms that either (i) produce material goods
or (ii) use physical inputs in supplying services can improve their profitability by increasing their resource productivity. Not
only does a positive change in resource productivity mean increased profitability for the individual firm, but it also means
a dramatic improvement on the impact of business on the environment--the life support system of our planet-- particularly
with regards to climate change (and other forms of pollution) and the depletion of natural resources. Focusing on resource
productivity improvements need not be a matter solely for individual firms. There is also an important role for government
in promoting resource productivity through its regulatory toolkit, particularly tax policy. This paper explores how income
taxes, by adopting a certain kind of tax credit--the Business Sustainability Credit--might help promote increased resource
productivity and firm profitability.



New Zealand business law quarterly



Article number



1 - 18


Thomson Reuters


Wellington, New Zealand





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2017, Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd and Mark Bowler-Smith