Management Theory and Studies for Rural Business and Infrastructure Development, Volume 38, Number 3

The evaluation of cereal farms using ecological footprint method

Kęstutis Biekša

Abstract

Economic activities developed in the framework of sustainable development concept have to ensure balanced economic and technological development without weakening the social and natural environmental conditions. Environmental impact assessment using ecological footprint method helps to choose sustainable economic activities and technologies which are appropriate to sustainable development concept and has less impact to environment. This method is usually used as a public ecological and environmental educational tool and sometimes applied for creation of measures and programs for sustainable regional and economic development. The research problem is to determine whether the ecological footprint method is an appropriate tool to measure environmental impact of agricultural entities in accordance with sustainable development aspects. The paper aim is to evaluate the cereal farms using sustainable process index which is a member of ecological footprint method. The analysis was performed by analyzing the cereal farms which are growing wheat, rye and oats crops in Austria and Lithuania. The calculation was carried out using SPIonExcel software program. The results showed that the most significant environmental impacts arise from the use of fertilizers and the use of agricultural machinery (tractors and harvesters and the biggest share from the total ecological footprint goes to the pollution of air and water. The research also showed that if the ecological footprint method is used with a support service this can be a useful instrument for farmers showing how to improve farming from the ecological viewpoint and how to increase energy efficiency and reduce the use of primary resources.

JEL Codes: O13, Q51.

Keyword(s): agricultural economics, environmental impacts, sustainable development


Full Text: PDF



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15544/mts.2016.16

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Management Theory and Studies for Rural Business and Infrastructure Development eISSN 2345-0355

This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Responsible editor: Dr Audrius Gargasas.