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Sustainability, Volume 1, Issue 1 (March 2009), Pages 1-96

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Sustainability: A Crucial Quest for Humanity - Welcome to a New Open Access Journal for a Growing Multidisciplinary Community
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 1-4; doi:10.3390/su1010001
Received: 28 January 2009 / Accepted: 3 March 2009 / Published: 3 March 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (80 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability, although often hard to define precisely, is a rapidly growing area of study that is becoming increasingly applied in diverse areas. The definition put forth in 1983 by the World Commission on Environment and Development, informally known as the Brundtland Commission, captures
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Sustainability, although often hard to define precisely, is a rapidly growing area of study that is becoming increasingly applied in diverse areas. The definition put forth in 1983 by the World Commission on Environment and Development, informally known as the Brundtland Commission, captures many aspects of the topic. That commission defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Other attempts have been made to define what we mean when we refer to sustainability or strive to achieve it as an objective. Despite the differences in definitions, a key theme that emerges is that sustainability is a concept that needs to be incorporated in many if not all of the activities that people undertake. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Opportunity and Problem in Context (OPiC): A Framework for Environmental Management
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 19-34; doi:10.3390/su1010019
Received: 11 November 2008 / Accepted: 4 March 2009 / Published: 18 March 2009
PDF Full-text (84 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most frameworks used in the management of environmental problems focus on problem analysis and pay little or no attention to the explanation of the problem and the opportunities for solving it. The Opportunity and Problem in Context (OPiC) framework aims to be fully
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Most frameworks used in the management of environmental problems focus on problem analysis and pay little or no attention to the explanation of the problem and the opportunities for solving it. The Opportunity and Problem in Context (OPiC) framework aims to be fully balanced in this respect. On a broad theoretical footing, the framework can give structure and interconnection to (i) the analysis and explanation of environmental problems by making use of parallel effect chains and norm chains, the functions and values of the environment, a breakdown of human action through lifecycle principles and explanation through fields of causally related actors, (ii) the identification of opportunities for solutions based on the problem analysis, on system concepts and on creativity enhancement, and (iii) the synthesis of this in the process of design and evaluation of solutions. The OPiC framework has been developed with a special view to developing countries but its applicability is not greatly dependent on scale and context. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Sustainability: A Pragmatic Approach and Illustrations
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 55-80; doi:10.3390/su1010055
Received: 9 March 2009 / Accepted: 27 March 2009 / Published: 30 March 2009
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many factors to be appropriately addressed in moving towards energy sustainability are examined. These include harnessing sustainable energy sources, utilizing sustainable energy carriers, increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and improving socioeconomic acceptability. The latter factor includes community involvement and social acceptability, economic affordability
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Many factors to be appropriately addressed in moving towards energy sustainability are examined. These include harnessing sustainable energy sources, utilizing sustainable energy carriers, increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and improving socioeconomic acceptability. The latter factor includes community involvement and social acceptability, economic affordability and equity, lifestyles, land use and aesthetics. Numerous illustrations demonstrate measures consistent with the approach put forward, and options for energy sustainability and the broader objective of sustainability. Energy sustainability is of great importance to overall sustainability given the pervasiveness of energy use, its importance in economic development and living standards, and its impact on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation Adoption in a Tropical Small-Scale Food Production System: The Case of Yam Minisetts in Jamaica
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 81-96; doi:10.3390/su1010081
Received: 20 January 2009 / Accepted: 19 March 2009 / Published: 30 March 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Grown in Jamaica since the days of slavery, food yams are major staples in local diets and a significant non-traditional export crop. The cultivation system used today is the same as 300 years ago, with alleged unsustainable practices. A new cultivation system called
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Grown in Jamaica since the days of slavery, food yams are major staples in local diets and a significant non-traditional export crop. The cultivation system used today is the same as 300 years ago, with alleged unsustainable practices. A new cultivation system called minisett was introduced in 1985 but the adoption rate twenty four years later is extremely low. This paper analyzes the prospects for the widespread adoption of minisett and sustainable yam cultivation and advocates that greater use be made of farmers’ extensive knowledge of the complex agro-ecological, socio-cultural and economic milieu in which they operate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)

Review

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Open AccessReview On the Way to Improve the Environmental Benignity of Chemical Processes: Novel Catalysts for a Polymerization Process
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 35-42; doi:10.3390/su1010035
Received: 10 February 2009 / Accepted: 14 March 2009 / Published: 19 March 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An example for a process that can, in principle, be improved by the application of a catalyst is the synthesis of poly(2-methyl-propene)s (“polyisobutenes”), which are important for numerous industrial applications. Each year several 100,000 t are produced. The production of low-molecular weight polyisobutenes
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An example for a process that can, in principle, be improved by the application of a catalyst is the synthesis of poly(2-methyl-propene)s (“polyisobutenes”), which are important for numerous industrial applications. Each year several 100,000 t are produced. The production of low-molecular weight polyisobutenes by means of cationic initiation by an excess of Lewis acids is well established. Typically, these initiators require the usage of solvents like chloroform, dichloromethane and ethylene and temperatures far below 0 °C (–100 °C in the case of ethylene as solvent). Solvent stabilized transition metal complexes with weakly coordinating counter anions overcome these drawbacks and thus are not only more efficient, but also more environmentally benign: they can be applied at ambient temperature and in non chlorinated solvents at low concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry for Environment and Health)
Figures

Open AccessReview Climate Change and Air Pollution: Exploring the Synergies and Potential for Mitigation in Industrializing Countries
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 43-54; doi:10.3390/su1010043
Received: 22 January 2009 / Accepted: 20 March 2009 / Published: 24 March 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and black carbon (soot) also contribute to the greenhouse effect. Black carbon is thought to be the second or third most important anthropogenic contributor to global warming, while troposheric ozone is the fourth most important. Both are
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Air pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and black carbon (soot) also contribute to the greenhouse effect. Black carbon is thought to be the second or third most important anthropogenic contributor to global warming, while troposheric ozone is the fourth most important. Both are also major components of indoor and outdoor air pollution. This paper reviews the existing literature of the health, economic, and climatic impacts of tropospheric ozone and black carbon emissions, together with mitigation options. The local nature of many of the impacts, combined with their short atmospheric lifetime and the existence of cost-effective abatement technologies that are already widely deployed in developed countries means reducing these emissions provides a highly climatically-effective mitigation option that is also appropriate to the development strategy of industrializing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
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Other

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Open AccessCommentary Wrapping Our Brains around Sustainability
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 5-13; doi:10.3390/su1010005
Received: 21 January 2009 / Accepted: 4 March 2009 / Published: 6 March 2009
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As many of us begin to embrace the concept of sustainability, we realize that it is not simply something that we ‘do.’ Rather, sustainability is a destination that we aspire to reach with the selection of the sustainable pathways that we choose as
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As many of us begin to embrace the concept of sustainability, we realize that it is not simply something that we ‘do.’ Rather, sustainability is a destination that we aspire to reach with the selection of the sustainable pathways that we choose as we proceed along the journey. We are embarking on a new journey with the creation of Sustainability, an on-line, open access journal. As stated on the journal’s website, Sustainability is an international and cross-disciplinary scholarly journal of environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability of human beings, which provides an advanced forum for studies that are related to sustainability and sustainable development. To genuinely wrap our brains around the impact that our actions have on the sustainability of our planet, we must first understand something of the big picture and have a firm grasp of the terminology. To help further clarify the elusive term ‘sustainability,’ without attempting to provide an exact definition, this paper outlines various, inter-related concepts and basic practices and approaches that are being used in the name of sustainability, including: traditional end-of-pipe control strategies, life cycle, environmental sustainability, urban sustainability, industrial ecology, business sustainability, sustainable supply chain systems, sustainability indicators and metrics, green chemistry and green engineering, design for the environment, sustainable buildings, eco-tourism, and renewable and sustainable energy and fuels. Full article
Open AccessCommentary Sustainability: A Platform for Debate
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 14-18; doi:10.3390/su1010014
Received: 16 February 2009 / Accepted: 10 March 2009 / Published: 11 March 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (30 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability, as a new platform for debating sustainable development, drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives and knowledges, provides an opportunity to ask some searching questions about this concept. This short paper seeks to remind ourselves of some of the questions we might
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Sustainability, as a new platform for debating sustainable development, drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives and knowledges, provides an opportunity to ask some searching questions about this concept. This short paper seeks to remind ourselves of some of the questions we might ask (recognizing that there are also many others). It asks, in particular, about the organisation of work in contemporary societies and the sorts of relations to nature to which this gives rise; the sorts of knowledges which may help us to become more sustainable in our use of natural resources; the most useful modes of knowledge organization, transfer and dissemination for sustainability; and whether ‘sustainability’ is only or primarily about sustaining nature, or whether it must also include trying to create and sustain a certain kind of society. Full article

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