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Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5512-5534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6095512

Sustainability Assessment and Indicators: Tools in a Decision-Making Strategy for Sustainable Development

1
Centre for Sustainable Development, Ghent University, Poel 16, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Laboratory of Systems Ecology and Resource Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
3
Environmental Science Department, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford Street, P.O. Box, Halifax, NS 15000, Canada
4
Plant Biology and Nature Management, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
5
University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 28 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Recognizing the urgent need for sustainability, we argue that to move beyond the rhetoric and to actually realize sustainable development, it must be considered as a decision-making strategy. We demonstrate that sustainability assessment and sustainability indicators can be powerful decision-supporting tools that foster sustainable development by addressing three sustainability decision-making challenges: interpretation, information-structuring, and influence. Particularly, since the 1990s many substantial and often promising sustainability assessment and sustainability indicators efforts are made. However, better practices and a broader shared understanding are still required. We aim to contribute to that objective by adopting a theoretical perspective that frames SA and SI in the context of sustainable development as a decision-making strategy and that introduces both fields along several essential aspects in a structured and comparable manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; sustainability indicators; decision-making; impact assessment; sustainable development sustainability assessment; sustainability indicators; decision-making; impact assessment; sustainable development
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Waas, T.; Hugé, J.; Block, T.; Wright, T.; Benitez-Capistros, F.; Verbruggen, A. Sustainability Assessment and Indicators: Tools in a Decision-Making Strategy for Sustainable Development. Sustainability 2014, 6, 5512-5534.

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