This groundbreaking book takes a fresh look at how environmental problems emerge from economic activity and how they may be addressed in a responsible and sustainable manner. At its centre is the concept of joint production. This captures the phenomenon whereby several effects necessarily emerge from one activity and whereby human action always entails unintended consequences. This, according to the authors, is the structural cause behind modern-day environmental problems. Combining concepts and methods from philosophy of science, systems theory, thermodynamics, economics and ethics in a truly interdisciplinary manner, the authors convincingly argue that the joint-production perspective has fundamental and far-reaching implications for the valuation of economic goods, the dynamic analysis of economy-environment interactions, and the accumulation of stocks in ecological-economic systems. Complementing the joint-production perspective with the ethical notion of responsibility, the authors develop principles of sustainable environmental policy, and give philosophical support to the precautionary principle. Four extensive case studies illustrate and deepen the approach.With a wide range of analysis and case studies, this book will be of great interest to researchers and students in ecological economics, environmental and resource economics, environmental policy and regulation, environmental valuation, as well as environmental ethics and responsibility.