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Sustainability, Volume 1, Issue 3 (September 2009), Pages 335-788

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Sustainability and Urban Dynamics: Assessing Future Impacts on Ecosystem Services
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 346-362; doi:10.3390/su1030346
Received: 22 May 2009 / Accepted: 8 July 2009 / Published: 22 July 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable management of a region’s critical and valued ecosystem resources requires an understanding about how these resource systems might function into the future. In urbanized areas, this requires the ability to frame the role of resources within the context of urban dynamics [...] Read more.
Sustainable management of a region’s critical and valued ecosystem resources requires an understanding about how these resource systems might function into the future. In urbanized areas, this requires the ability to frame the role of resources within the context of urban dynamics and the implications of policy and investment choices. In this paper we describe a three-step approach to assessing the impact of future urban development on ecosystem services: 1) characterize key ecosystem resources and services, 2) forecast future land-use changes, and 3) assess how future land-use changes will affect ecosystem services. Each of these steps can be carried out with different levels of sophistication and detail. All steps involve a combination of science and process: the science provides information that is deliberated upon by stakeholders in public forums before conclusions are drawn. We then illustrate the approach by describing how it was used in two regions in the state of Illinois in the United States. In the first instance, an early application of this approach, a simple overlay was used to identify development pressure on an environmentally sensitive river bluff; this finding altered thinking about public policy choices. In the second instance, the more fine-grained analysis was conducted for several ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Social Equity Considerations in the Implementation of Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation Policies
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 363-383; doi:10.3390/su1030363
Received: 16 June 2009 / Accepted: 20 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean prepare to take climate change adaptation measures, there is a distinct possibility that the most vulnerable groups, especially the poor, women, indigenous, elderly, and children in rural and coastal communities are at risk [...] Read more.
As the Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean prepare to take climate change adaptation measures, there is a distinct possibility that the most vulnerable groups, especially the poor, women, indigenous, elderly, and children in rural and coastal communities are at risk of being marginalized. It is necessary to take into consideration the adaptation needs of these groups that are likely to be disproportionately affected due to inherent structural and social disparities. In this paper we focus on the need to ensure inclusion and social equity in adaptation planning as climate change issues disproportionately impact health, settlement, and livelihoods of these vulnerable groups. We also focus on climate change potential impacts on tourism, agriculture and fisheries sectors, which are the major economic drivers of these island states. Based on Caribbean region wide observations, we recommend priority areas including increasing community participation, local initiatives and filling critical socio-economic and livelihood data gaps, which policy makers need to focus on and incorporate in their climate change adaptation plans in order to ensure effective and equitable climate change adaptation Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
Open AccessArticle Policy and Planning Challenges to Promote Efficient Urban Spatial Development during the Emerging Rapid Transformation in China
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 384-408; doi:10.3390/su1030384
Received: 16 June 2009 / Accepted: 31 July 2009 / Published: 3 August 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the linkage between emerging urban spatial development and institutional arrangements in China. Emerging spatial patterns, which are prevalent and sizable so that any impacts will be substantial, include dispersed employment concentration, fragmented land development, over-scaled land development, leapfrogging development, [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the linkage between emerging urban spatial development and institutional arrangements in China. Emerging spatial patterns, which are prevalent and sizable so that any impacts will be substantial, include dispersed employment concentration, fragmented land development, over-scaled land development, leapfrogging development, and whack-a-mole development. From the institutional point of view, these patterns are associated with decentralization, fiscal incentives for local government, land regulations, and fragmented planning system. It is concluded that these emerging spatial patterns significantly affect long term city sustainable growth and comprehensive reforms are needed to promote efficient urban spatial forms. It is further concluded that labor division between planning and markets should be reshaped in determining urban spatial growth by shifting planning to focus on zoning that provides sufficient development room in a long term and making markets to decide the timing of land development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Design for Sustainability: Current Trends in Sustainable Product Design and Development
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 409-424; doi:10.3390/su1030409
Received: 7 July 2009 / Accepted: 3 August 2009 / Published: 4 August 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Design for Sustainability (D4S) concept outlines methodologies for making sustainable improvements (social, economic and environmental) to products by applying elements of life cycle thinking. D4S builds on the work of ecodesign to include economic and social concerns, and its methodology includes [...] Read more.
The Design for Sustainability (D4S) concept outlines methodologies for making sustainable improvements (social, economic and environmental) to products by applying elements of life cycle thinking. D4S builds on the work of ecodesign to include economic and social concerns, and its methodology includes both incremental and radical innovation. The United Nations Environment Programme and the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in concert with key partners, work to support, illustrate, and diffuse targeted D4S demonstration efforts, including the European Commission-funded Cleaner Production for Better Products project in Vietnam, that are needed to change unsustainable consumption and production patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Public Health and the Environment: What Skills for Sustainability Literacy – And Why?
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 425-440; doi:10.3390/su1030425
Received: 22 June 2009 / Accepted: 31 July 2009 / Published: 6 August 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper is an exploration and reflection on the question of what skills, values, attributes and dispositions learners will need to navigate their lives in the challenging conditions of the twenty first century, in relation to sustainability and well-being. First, an overview [...] Read more.
This paper is an exploration and reflection on the question of what skills, values, attributes and dispositions learners will need to navigate their lives in the challenging conditions of the twenty first century, in relation to sustainability and well-being. First, an overview of the multiple concepts that are considered important for sustainability literacy is gradually built up. These include: multiple ‘bottom lines’ and contexts of wellbeing, climate change, collective action at various levels, good citizenship, community participation, information technology, psychological aspects, behavioral features and researching sustainability. Secondly, a wide range of skills that learners will require in order to interact with these concepts are explored. The emerging relationships between the given concepts and their attending skills are neither definitive nor prescriptive, but provide an indication of what sustainability literacy could be useful for learners and practitioners in order to enable them to contribute towards the wellbeing of sustainable societies. The paper concludes with that a fundamental overarching skill for sustainability is the ability to work constructively with others in building more sustainable communities, businesses and societies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Linkage-Based Frameworks for Sustainability Assessment: Making a Case for Driving Force-Pressure-State-Exposure-Effect-Action (DPSEEA) Frameworks
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 441-463; doi:10.3390/su1030441
Received: 18 June 2009 / Accepted: 5 August 2009 / Published: 10 August 2009
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to discuss different approaches, identify challenges, and to select a framework for delivering effective sustainability assessments. Sustainable development is an idealistic concept and its assessment has always been a challenge. Several approaches, methodologies and conceptual [...] Read more.
The main objective of this paper is to discuss different approaches, identify challenges, and to select a framework for delivering effective sustainability assessments. Sustainable development is an idealistic concept and its assessment has always been a challenge. Several approaches, methodologies and conceptual frameworks have been developed in various disciplines, ranging from engineering to business and to policy making. The paper focuses mainly on various linkage-based frameworks and demonstrates that the driving force-state-exposure-effect-action (DPSEEA) framework can be used to achieve sustained health benefits and environmental protection in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, especially because of its resemblance to the environmental risk assessment and management paradigms. The comparison of linkage-based frameworks is demonstrated through an example of sustainability in a higher educational institution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Figures

Open AccessArticle U.S. Demand for Organic and Conventional Fresh Fruits: The Roles of Income and Price
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 464-478; doi:10.3390/su1030464
Received: 17 July 2009 / Accepted: 10 August 2009 / Published: 14 August 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using retail purchase data reported by Nielsen’s Homescan panel this study investigates the U.S. demand for organic and conventional fresh fruits. The study fills an important research void by estimating the much needed income and price elasticities for organic and conventional fruits [...] Read more.
Using retail purchase data reported by Nielsen’s Homescan panel this study investigates the U.S. demand for organic and conventional fresh fruits. The study fills an important research void by estimating the much needed income and price elasticities for organic and conventional fruits utilizing a censored demand approach. Household income is found to affect organic fruit consumption. Consumers are more responsive to price of organic fruits than to price of conventional fruits. Cross-price effects suggest that a change in relative prices will more likely induce consumers to “cross-over” from buying conventional fruits to buying organic fruits, while it is less likely that organic consumers will “revert” to buying conventional fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Educating for Local Development and Global Sustainability: An Overview in Spain
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 479-493; doi:10.3390/su1030479
Received: 23 July 2009 / Accepted: 7 August 2009 / Published: 14 August 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (67 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The following are systematized examples, taken from the general panorama of activities currently being implemented in Spain, of significant experiences and formative strategies of local sustainable development. They correspond to three different intervention areas in education: different levels in the school system, [...] Read more.
The following are systematized examples, taken from the general panorama of activities currently being implemented in Spain, of significant experiences and formative strategies of local sustainable development. They correspond to three different intervention areas in education: different levels in the school system, adults training in competence and technical abilities, and community education. They offer a contextualized model of education intervention that contributes to ecological and environmental sustainability, social promotion and productive competitiveness. The experiences described permit, in many cases, changes of life styles and social customs, adjusting them to the requirements of sustainable development; in others, to form new generations for local sustainable development and global sustainability. Although procedures must vary to suit the particular features inherent in each such realm, it is the function of education to tackle first and foremost the training of the intellect, the education of emotions and moral personality, and the acquisition of professional skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Global Emissions, Local Emissions and Immissions of Different Heating Systems
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 494-515; doi:10.3390/su1030494
Received: 29 June 2009 / Accepted: 12 August 2009 / Published: 19 August 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper assesses and compares existing and new technologies for space heating in Germany (e.g., heat pumps, and solar thermal and wood pellet systems) in terms of their environmental impacts. The various technologies were analyzed within the context of the new German [...] Read more.
This paper assesses and compares existing and new technologies for space heating in Germany (e.g., heat pumps, and solar thermal and wood pellet systems) in terms of their environmental impacts. The various technologies were analyzed within the context of the new German legislation. The assessment was carried out on three levels: 1. Global emissions: a life cycle assessment was carried out in order to find the global environmental footprint of the various technologies; 2. Local emissions: the effects of local emissions on human health were analyzed; and 3. Immissions: the immissions were evaluated for the various technologies using a dispersion calculation. A special feature of this study is the substitution of frequently used database emission values by values obtained from field studies and our own measurements. The results show large differences between the different technologies: while electric heat pumps performed quite well in most categories, wood pellet systems performed the best with respect to climate change. The latter, however, are associated with high impacts in other environmental impact categories and on a local scale. The promotion of some technologies (especially systems based on fuel oil, a mixture of fuel oil and rapeseed oil, or a mixture of natural gas and biomethane) by the newly introduced German legislation is doubtful. In terms of the immissions of wood pellet systems, it can be concluded that, even for extremely unfavorable meteorological conditions, the regulatory limits are not exceeded and the heating systems have a negligible influence on the total PM load in the ambient air. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
Open AccessArticle The Growth Delusion
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 516-536; doi:10.3390/su1030516
Received: 2 July 2009 / Accepted: 19 August 2009 / Published: 24 August 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concern for the environment and a move towards “sustainable development” has assisted progress in a wide range of renewable energy technologies in recent years. The science suggests that a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable sources of energy in a time frame [...] Read more.
Concern for the environment and a move towards “sustainable development” has assisted progress in a wide range of renewable energy technologies in recent years. The science suggests that a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable sources of energy in a time frame commensurate with the demise of the fossil fuels and prevention of runaway climate change is needed. However, while the movement towards sustainable energy technologies is underway, the World does not want to give up the idea of continuing economic growth. In recent times the financial collapse of October 2008 has given rise to yet another set of pleas from corporations and politicians alike to restart the growth machine. The transition to renewable energy technologies will be difficult to achieve as nowhere within existing economic and political frameworks are the limits to when growth will be curtailed being set. It is possible that the irrational insistence on endless growth as a non negotiable axiom, by a large proportion of the world’s population, may in fact be akin to the similarly irrational belief, by a similarly large proportion of the world’s population, that a supernatural being controls our existence and destiny. The irrationality of religion has recently been examined by Richard Dawkins in “The God Delusion”. Dawkins’ book is used as a starting point to investigate similarities between a belief in God and a belief in continuous growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Promotion and Branding: Messaging Challenges and Possibilities for Higher Education Institutions
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 537-555; doi:10.3390/su1030537
Received: 14 July 2009 / Accepted: 25 August 2009 / Published: 31 August 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (79 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports on case study research into six higher education institutions (three in the UK and three in the USA) that give prominence to their sustainability credentials in their paper form and/or electronic promotional and recruitment materials. The purpose of the [...] Read more.
This paper reports on case study research into six higher education institutions (three in the UK and three in the USA) that give prominence to their sustainability credentials in their paper form and/or electronic promotional and recruitment materials. The purpose of the research was to draw important lessons and identify significant issues concerning the sustainability branding and marketing of higher education institutions. Key findings include, first, the importance of calibrating sustainability marketing according to actual sustainability performance while also embracing a sustainability vision; second, the importance of combining internal with external marketing; third, the importance of institutional clarity in determining marketing parameters; fourth, the advantages of marrying broad-based ‘subtle’ marketing with intensive niche and segment marketing. It was found, too, that higher education institutions with a sustainability brand are not collecting systematic data to assess marketing impact on student recruitment, or utilizing the sustainability/employability interface to good marketing effect, or employing a multi-dimensional conception of sustainability in their marketing. There is clear evidence of the stirrings of movement away from paper-form towards electronic marketing across the cases considered. An overarching insight of the study is that rigorous institutional engagement with marketing sustainability credentials can have a significant impact on the quality and depth of sustainability performance by helping spread, enrich and diversify the institutional sustainability culture. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Public Attitudes and Behaviour to Household Waste Management in Cameroon to Drive Strategy Development: A Q Methodological Approach
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 556-572; doi:10.3390/su1030556
Received: 8 July 2009 / Accepted: 25 August 2009 / Published: 3 September 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (75 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Household waste is an environmental and public health problem, especially for the large cities in Sub-Saharan African countries. While the improper management of household waste in Cameroon is linked to the systematic failure of policy makers and municipal authorities to identify the [...] Read more.
Household waste is an environmental and public health problem, especially for the large cities in Sub-Saharan African countries. While the improper management of household waste in Cameroon is linked to the systematic failure of policy makers and municipal authorities to identify the most sustainable ways of dealing with it in such a manner that is in line is with their socio-economic aspirations, the impact of public attitudes and behaviour has been neglected. It is in this context that this paper uses Q-methodology, a powerful methodology for identifying the different trends in behaviour in the management of household waste in Douala, Cameroon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Growth and Development in the U.S. Retail Organic Food Sector
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 573-591; doi:10.3390/su1030573
Received: 17 July 2009 / Accepted: 29 August 2009 / Published: 3 September 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study uses retail purchase data reported by the Nielsen Homescan panel to examine the development of selected U.S. organic food sectors since the implementation of the National Organic Standards. Results show that organic market shares within the fresh fruit and vegetable [...] Read more.
This study uses retail purchase data reported by the Nielsen Homescan panel to examine the development of selected U.S. organic food sectors since the implementation of the National Organic Standards. Results show that organic market shares within the fresh fruit and vegetable sectors grew slightly in 2003–2006. Apples, bananas, carrots, and tomatoes prove to have the highest share of organic sales within their sectors. The share of organic milk sales attributed to private labels has increased from 12 to 32 percent in 2004–2007. The organic market share within the strained baby food sector almost doubled from 8 to 15 percent in 2004–2007. Findings show a demographically diverse group of consumers willing to expend their food dollars on organic foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Potential Challenges Faced by the U.S. Chemicals Industry under a Carbon Policy
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 592-611; doi:10.3390/su1030592
Received: 29 July 2009 / Accepted: 31 August 2009 / Published: 3 September 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemicals have become the backbone of manufacturing within industrialized economies. Being energy-intensive materials to produce, this sector is threatened by policies aimed at combating and adapting to climate change. This study examines the worst-case scenario for the U.S. chemicals industry when a [...] Read more.
Chemicals have become the backbone of manufacturing within industrialized economies. Being energy-intensive materials to produce, this sector is threatened by policies aimed at combating and adapting to climate change. This study examines the worst-case scenario for the U.S. chemicals industry when a medium CO2 price policy is employed. After examining possible industry responses, the study goes on to identify and provide a preliminary evaluation of potential opportunities to mitigate these impacts. If climate regulations are applied only in the United States, and no action is taken to invest in advanced low- and no-carbon technologies to mitigate the impacts of rising energy costs, the examination shows that climate policies that put a price on carbon could have substantial impacts on the competiveness of the U.S. chemicals industry over the next two decades. In the long run, there exist technologies that are available to enable the chemicals sector to achieve sufficient efficiency gains to offset and manage the additional energy costs arising from a climate policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Tools for Measuring Progress towards Sustainable Neighborhood Environments
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 612-627; doi:10.3390/su1030612
Received: 9 July 2009 / Accepted: 2 September 2009 / Published: 3 September 2009
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Various assessment tools are available to assist designers, developers and regulatory bodies to reduce the negative impacts of contemporary multi-housing subdivision projects in industrialized countries. These tools vary considerably in what and how they measure and how the measurement results are presented [...] Read more.
Various assessment tools are available to assist designers, developers and regulatory bodies to reduce the negative impacts of contemporary multi-housing subdivision projects in industrialized countries. These tools vary considerably in what and how they measure and how the measurement results are presented and interpreted. This paper is largely a desktop study of subdivision assessment tools developed in Australasia, Great Britain and the United States of America. The paper identified a variety of themes and sub-themes that support assessment tools at both the project design phase and the project operational phase. These themes and sub-themes revolve around one or more of the three pillars of sustainability—namely the environmental, economical and social pillars. The paper firstly compares the themes and sub-themes of the assessment tools and then relates those themes to a set of sustainability targets produced for a proposed inner suburban housing subdivision in Perth, Western Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Lessons from Participatory Evaluation of Cropping Practices in Yunnan Province, China: Overview of the Effectiveness of Technologies and Issues Related to Technology Adoption
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 628-661; doi:10.3390/su1030628
Received: 9 August 2009 / Accepted: 9 September 2009 / Published: 16 September 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing crop production, while maintaining sustainability, is a priority for agricultural development projects, particularly in developing countries. This study investigated the factors contributing to the effectiveness of agricultural development projects in improving the sustainability of cropping systems in a small upland watershed [...] Read more.
Increasing crop production, while maintaining sustainability, is a priority for agricultural development projects, particularly in developing countries. This study investigated the factors contributing to the effectiveness of agricultural development projects in improving the sustainability of cropping systems in a small upland watershed in south-west China. This involved a review of recent related projects and detailed evaluation of one project: the SHASEA Project. Farmers’ perceptions of several agricultural technologies are discussed, along with factors contributing to farmers’ adoption of these technologies. Local, national and international institutions need to adopt several strategies to improve project effectiveness and agro-environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Business Students’ Conceptions of Sustainability
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 662-673; doi:10.3390/su1030662
Received: 14 August 2009 / Accepted: 15 September 2009 / Published: 16 September 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (52 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the field of higher education, the role of sustainability is increasingly seen as an important capability of successful graduates, one of a group of higher-level dispositions that is particularly important for students’ future professional roles. Discussion of sustainability often assumes that [...] Read more.
In the field of higher education, the role of sustainability is increasingly seen as an important capability of successful graduates, one of a group of higher-level dispositions that is particularly important for students’ future professional roles. Discussion of sustainability often assumes that all participants understand the term in the same way, and different understandings can make meaningful dialogue difficult. This article presents an empirical investigation of the ways in which students from a business faculty at a large metropolitan university view sustainability in the specific context of their tertiary education. While some students viewed the notion in quite naïve ways—for example, the idea of ‘keeping themselves going’—others talked about much broader views incorporating ideas of inter-generational justice. Investigation of such views provides important evidence for dialogue on sustainability with the next generation of professional leaders in business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Exploring and Contextualizing Public Opposition to Renewable Electricity in the United States
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 702-721; doi:10.3390/su1030702
Received: 25 August 2009 / Accepted: 16 September 2009 / Published: 21 September 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (84 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores public opposition to renewable power technologies in the United States. It begins by discussing the genesis of environmental ethics, or how some Americans have come to place importance on the protection of the environment and preservation of species, ecosystems, [...] Read more.
This article explores public opposition to renewable power technologies in the United States. It begins by discussing the genesis of environmental ethics, or how some Americans have come to place importance on the protection of the environment and preservation of species, ecosystems, and the biosphere. As result, renewable power systems have become challenged on ethical and environmental grounds and are occasionally opposed by local communities and environmentalists. The article finds that, however, such concern may be misplaced. Renewable electricity resources have many environmental benefits compared to power stations fueled by coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium. Opposition towards renewable resources can at times obscure the true costs and risks associated with electricity use and entrench potential racial and class-based inequalities within the current energy system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Strategies for Electrical and Electronic Equipment Supply Chains: Which to Choose?
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 722-733; doi:10.3390/su1030722
Received: 19 August 2009 / Accepted: 17 September 2009 / Published: 23 September 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is one of the major world-wide waste streams triggering the emergence of environmental strategies. Environmental regulations, closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) activities and design-for-environment (DfE) practices are environmental friendly strategies being implemented by governments and industry. In this [...] Read more.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is one of the major world-wide waste streams triggering the emergence of environmental strategies. Environmental regulations, closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) activities and design-for-environment (DfE) practices are environmental friendly strategies being implemented by governments and industry. In this paper, we apply a System Dynamics model to a CLSC of electrical and electronic equipment in Greece. Extensive numerical investigation provides insights regarding the impact of different legislative measures, CLSC activities and DfE practices on the environmental (availability of natural resources and landfills) and economic sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 335-345; doi:10.3390/su1030335
Received: 27 April 2009 / Accepted: 14 July 2009 / Published: 20 July 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The return to land-based biofuels ignores the lessons of the past that led to the collapse of civilizations such as that of Easter Island. Even the more efficient ethanol feedstocks such as sugar cane and switchgrass can greatly worsen the environmental damage [...] Read more.
The return to land-based biofuels ignores the lessons of the past that led to the collapse of civilizations such as that of Easter Island. Even the more efficient ethanol feedstocks such as sugar cane and switchgrass can greatly worsen the environmental damage associated with agriculture because they would require enormous amounts of land to meet US demand for transportation fuel. Too often, style wins over substance because most citizens do not know the basics of well-to-wheel analysis. Therefore, the incorporation of energy literacy into the high school curricula should play a significant role in any comprehensive plan for addressing the energy crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy and Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Life-Cycle Assessment and the Environmental Impact of Buildings: A Review
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 674-701; doi:10.3390/su1030674
Received: 13 August 2009 / Accepted: 15 September 2009 / Published: 18 September 2009
Cited by 100 | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of various management tools for evaluating environmental concerns. This paper reviews LCA from a buildings perspective. It highlights the need for its use within the building sector, and the importance of LCA as a decision making support [...] Read more.
Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of various management tools for evaluating environmental concerns. This paper reviews LCA from a buildings perspective. It highlights the need for its use within the building sector, and the importance of LCA as a decision making support tool. It discusses LCA methodologies and applications within the building sector, reviewing some of the life-cycle studies applied to buildings or building materials and component combinations within the last fifteen years in Europe and the United States. It highlights the problems of a lack of an internationally comparable and agreed data inventory and assessment methodology which hinder the application of LCA within the building industry. It identifies key areas for future research as (i) the whole process of construction, (ii) the relative weighting of different environmental impacts and (iii) applications in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessReview The Realities of Community Based Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 734-788; doi:10.3390/su1030734
Received: 15 July 2009 / Accepted: 11 September 2009 / Published: 25 September 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This is an historic overview of conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa from pre-colonial times through the present. It demonstrates that Africans practiced conservation that was ignored by the colonial powers. The colonial market economy combined with the human and livestock population explosion of [...] Read more.
This is an historic overview of conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa from pre-colonial times through the present. It demonstrates that Africans practiced conservation that was ignored by the colonial powers. The colonial market economy combined with the human and livestock population explosion of the 21st century are the major factors contributing to the demise of wildlife and critical habitat. Unique insight is provided into the economics of a representative safari company, something that has not been readily available to Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) practitioners. Modern attempts at sharing benefits from conservation with rural communities will fail due to the low rural resource to population ratio regardless of the model, combined with the uneven distribution of profits from safari hunting that drives most CBNRM programs, unless these ratios are changed. Low household incomes from CBNRM are unlikely to change attitudes of rural dwellers towards Western approaches to conservation. Communities must sustainably manage their natural areas as "green factories" for the multitude of natural resources they contain as a means of maximizing employment and thus household incomes, as well as meeting the often overlooked socio-cultural ties to wildlife and other natural resources, which may be as important as direct material benefits in assuring conservation of wildlife and its habitat. For CBNRM to be successful in the long-term, full devolution of ownership over land and natural resources must take place. In addition, as a means of relieving pressure on the rural resource base, this will require an urbanization process that creates a middleclass, as opposed to the current slums that form the majority of Africa‘s cities, through industrialization that transforms the unique natural resources of the subcontinent (e.g., strategic minerals, petroleum, wildlife, hardwoods, fisheries, wild medicines, agricultural products, etc.) in Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Growth and Sustainable Wildlife Management)

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