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Sustainability, Volume 1, Issue 4 (December 2009), Pages 789-1463

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Open AccessArticle Place-Making through Water Sensitive Urban Design
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 789-814; doi:10.3390/su1040789
Received: 28 August 2009 / Accepted: 25 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract The paper aims to develop a practice and evaluation model for public open spaces in residential areas that considers water sensitive urban design techniques contributing to place-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Marketing Sustainable Consumption within Stores: A Case Study of the UK’s Leading Food Retailers
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 815-826; doi:10.3390/su1040815
Received: 1 September 2009 / Accepted: 27 September 2009 / Published: 12 October 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable consumption is a core policy objective within the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy and there is a growing awareness that retailers have a vital role to play in promoting more sustainable patterns of consumption. This paper explores how the UK’s top ten
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Sustainable consumption is a core policy objective within the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy and there is a growing awareness that retailers have a vital role to play in promoting more sustainable patterns of consumption. This paper explores how the UK’s top ten food retailers are communicating sustainable consumption agendas to their customers within stores in the towns of Cheltenham and Gloucester. The findings reveal that while these retailers are providing customers with some information on sustainable consumption the dominant thrust of marketing communication within stores is designed to encourage consumption. The paper concludes with some reflections on how sustainable consumption fits into the large food retailers’ business models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Evolution of Sustainability in American Forest Resource Management Planning in the Context of the American Forest Management Textbook
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 838-854; doi:10.3390/su1040838
Received: 14 September 2009 / Accepted: 14 October 2009 / Published: 22 October 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
American forest resource management and planning goes back to the European roots of American Forestry. Timber management plans, documents based on forest regulation for timber production, were the foundation of American forestry. These types of management plans predominated until World War II. Multiple
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American forest resource management and planning goes back to the European roots of American Forestry. Timber management plans, documents based on forest regulation for timber production, were the foundation of American forestry. These types of management plans predominated until World War II. Multiple use forestry developed after World War II and issues like recreation, wildlife, water quality, and wilderness became more important. In the 1970’s harvest scheduling became part of the planning process, allowing for optimization of multiple goals. By 2001 social, environmental, and economic goals were integrated into the timber production process. American forestry experienced distinct historical periods of resource planning, ranging from classic sustained yield timber production, to multiple use-sustained yield, to sustainable human-forest systems. This article traces the historical changes in forest management planning philosophy using the forest management textbooks of the time. These textbooks provide insight into the thought process of the forestry profession as changes in the concept of sustainability occurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Formation and Control of Self-Sealing High Permeability Groundwater Mounds in Impermeable Sediment: Implications for SUDS and Sustainable Pressure Mound Management
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 855-923; doi:10.3390/su1040855
Received: 27 July 2009 / Accepted: 14 October 2009 / Published: 26 October 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A groundwater mound (or pressure mound) is defined as a volume of fluid dominated by viscous flow contained within a sediment volume where the dominant fluid flow is by Knudsen Diffusion. High permeability self-sealing groundwater mounds can be created as part of a
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A groundwater mound (or pressure mound) is defined as a volume of fluid dominated by viscous flow contained within a sediment volume where the dominant fluid flow is by Knudsen Diffusion. High permeability self-sealing groundwater mounds can be created as part of a sustainable urban drainage scheme (SUDS) using infiltration devices. This study considers how they form, and models their expansion and growth as a function of infiltration device recharge. The mounds grow through lateral macropore propagation within a Dupuit envelope. Excess pressure relief is through propagating vertical surge shafts. These surge shafts can, when they intersect the ground surface result, in high volume overland flow. The study considers that the creation of self-sealing groundwater mounds in matrix supported (clayey) sediments (intrinsic permeability = 10–8 to 10–30 m3 m–2 s–1 Pa–1) is a low cost, sustainable method which can be used to dispose of large volumes of storm runoff (<20→2,000 m3/24 hr storm/infiltration device) and raise groundwater levels. However, the inappropriate location of pressure mounds can result in repeated seepage and ephemeral spring formation associated with substantial volumes of uncontrolled overland flow. The flow rate and flood volume associated with each overland flow event may be substantially larger than the associated recharge to the pressure mound. In some instances, the volume discharged as overland flow in a few hours may exceed the total storm water recharge to the groundwater mound over the previous three weeks. Macropore modeling is used within the context of a pressure mound poro-elastic fluid expulsion model in order to analyze this phenomena and determine (i) how this phenomena can be used to extract large volumes of stored filtered storm water (at high flow rates) from within a self-sealing high permeability pressure mound and (ii) how self-sealing pressure mounds (created using storm water infiltration) can be used to provide a sustainable low cost source of treated water for agricultural, drinking, and other water abstraction purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Enabling Sustainability: Hierarchical Need-Based Framework for Promoting Sustainable Data Infrastructure in Developing Countries
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 946-959; doi:10.3390/su1040946
Received: 8 September 2009 / Accepted: 29 October 2009 / Published: 2 November 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper presents thoughts on Sustainable Data Infrastructure (SDI) development, and its user requirements bases. It brings Maslow's motivational theory to the fore, and proposes it as a rationalization mechanism for entities (mostly governmental) that aim at realizing SDI. Maslow's theory, though well-known,
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The paper presents thoughts on Sustainable Data Infrastructure (SDI) development, and its user requirements bases. It brings Maslow's motivational theory to the fore, and proposes it as a rationalization mechanism for entities (mostly governmental) that aim at realizing SDI. Maslow's theory, though well-known, is somewhat new in geospatial circles; this is where the novelty of the paper resides. SDI has been shown to enable and aid development in diverse ways. However, stimulating developing countries to appreciate the utility of SDI, implement, and use SDI in achieving sustainable development has proven to be an imposing challenge. One of the key reasons for this could be the absence of a widely accepted psychological theory to drive needs assessment and intervention design for the purpose of SDI development. As a result, it is reasonable to explore Maslow’s theory of human motivation as a psychological theory for promoting SDI in developing countries. In this article, we review and adapt Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a framework for the assessment of the needs of developing nations. The paper concludes with the implications of this framework for policy with the view to stimulating the implementation of SDI in developing nations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Resource Allocation for Sustainable Urban Transit from a Transport Diversity Perspective
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 960-977; doi:10.3390/su1040960
Received: 31 August 2009 / Accepted: 28 October 2009 / Published: 2 November 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different transport stakeholders have different needs for transport infrastructure and services. Meeting the needs of all stakeholders implies a trade-off of benefits and costs between supply and demand and creates transport diversity issues. However, the literature has largely ignored these issues. Transport diversity
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Different transport stakeholders have different needs for transport infrastructure and services. Meeting the needs of all stakeholders implies a trade-off of benefits and costs between supply and demand and creates transport diversity issues. However, the literature has largely ignored these issues. Transport diversity can assess the level to which important needs are satisfied equitably, and monitor whether transportation systems are moving towards sustainability by confirming the targets and basic level of quality of life. Based on the concept of transport diversity, this study utilizes fuzzy multi-objective programming to solve non-linear multi-objective problems involving urban public transit systems to determine the impact of resource allocation on needs satisfaction in relation to stakeholder behaviors. The proposed approach avoids problems of inefficient and inequitable resource allocation. A real-life case is presented to demonstrate the feasibility of applying the proposed methodology. Furthermore, empirical outcomes show that recent investments allocated to public transit systems considered equitable stakeholder satisfaction for both mass rapid transit (MRT) and bus, and also promoted transport diversity in the Taipei metropolitan area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Membrane Processes Based on Complexation Reactions of Pollutants as Sustainable Wastewater Treatments
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 978-993; doi:10.3390/su1040978
Received: 12 October 2009 / Accepted: 30 October 2009 / Published: 4 November 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water is today considered to be a vital and limited resource due to industrial development and population growth. Developing appropriate water treatment techniques, to ensure a sustainable management, represents a key point in the worldwide strategies. By removing both organic and inorganic species
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Water is today considered to be a vital and limited resource due to industrial development and population growth. Developing appropriate water treatment techniques, to ensure a sustainable management, represents a key point in the worldwide strategies. By removing both organic and inorganic species using techniques based on coupling membrane processes and appropriate complexing agents to bind pollutants are very important alternatives to classical separation processes in water treatment. Supported Liquid Membrane (SLM) and Complexation Ultrafiltration (CP-UF) based processes meet the sustainability criteria because they require low amounts of energy compared to pressure driven membrane processes, low amounts of complexing agents and they allow recovery of water and some pollutants (e.g., metals). A more interesting process, on the application point of view, is the Stagnant Sandwich Liquid Membrane (SSwLM), introduced as SLM implementation. It has been studied in the separation of the drug gemfibrozil (GEM) and of copper(II) as organic and inorganic pollutants in water. Obtained results showed in both cases the higher efficiency of SSwLM with respect to the SLM system configuration. Indeed higher stability (335.5 vs. 23.5 hours for GEM; 182.7 vs. 49.2 for copper(II)) and higher fluxes (0.662 vs. 0.302 mmol·h-1·m-2 for GEM; 43.3 vs. 31.0 for copper(II)) were obtained by using the SSwLM. Concerning the CP-UF process, its feasibility was studied in the separation of metals from waters (e.g., from soil washing), giving particular attention to process sustainability such as water and polymer recycle, free metal and water recovery. The selectivity of the CP-UF process was also validated in the separate removal of copper(II) and nickel(II) both contained in synthetic and real aqueous effluents. Thus, complexation reactions involved in the SSwLM and the CP-UF processes play a key role to meet the sustainability criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Field Size on the Environment and Energy Crop Production Efficiency for a Sustainable Indigenous Bioenergy Supply Chain in the Republic of Ireland
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 994-1011; doi:10.3390/su1040994
Received: 31 August 2009 / Accepted: 30 October 2009 / Published: 4 November 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates, using the GIS platform, the potential impacts of meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous sources of feedstock on the habitats and carbon stores that exist within Ireland’s field boundaries. A survey of the Republic of Irelands field was conducted
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This paper investigates, using the GIS platform, the potential impacts of meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous sources of feedstock on the habitats and carbon stores that exist within Ireland’s field boundaries. A survey of the Republic of Irelands field was conducted in order to estimate and map the size and geographic distribution of the Republic of Ireland’s field boundaries. The planting and harvesting costs associated with possible bioenergy crop production systems were determined using the relationship between the seasonal operating efficiency and the average field size. The results indicate that Ireland will need a large proportion of its current agricultural area (at least 16.5%) in order to its meet national bioenergy targets by 2020. The demand cannot be met by the current area that both has suitable soil type for growing the bioenergy crops and is large enough for the required operating efficiency. The results of this study indicate that implementing and meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous feedstock will likely impact the country’s field boundary resources negatively, as crop producers seek to improve production efficiency through field consolidation and field boundary removal. It was found that such boundary removal results in a loss of up to 6 tC/km2 and 0.7 ha/km of previously permanent habitat where average field size is small. The impact of field consolidation on these resources reduces substantially as larger fields become consolidated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Does Biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas Represent a Sustainable Alternative Energy Source?
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1035-1041; doi:10.3390/su1041035
Received: 13 October 2009 / Accepted: 6 November 2009 / Published: 16 November 2009
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Various government agencies around the world have proposed vegetable oils and their conversion to biodiesel as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Due to its adaptability to marginal soils and environments, the cultivation of Jatropha curcas is frequently mentioned as the best option
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Various government agencies around the world have proposed vegetable oils and their conversion to biodiesel as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Due to its adaptability to marginal soils and environments, the cultivation of Jatropha curcas is frequently mentioned as the best option for producing biodiesel. In the present work the current situation of proven and potential reserves of fossil fuel, and the production and consumption model for the same are analyzed, in order to later review the sustainability of the production process which begins with the cultivation of J. curcas, and culminates with the consumption of biodiesel. A review of the following topics is proposed in order to improve the sustainability of the process: areas destined for cultivation, use of external (chemical) inputs in cultivation, processes for converting the vegetable oil to biodiesel, and, above all, the location for ultimate consumption of the biofuel. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability in Agricultural Mechanization: Assessment of a Combined Photovoltaic and Electric Multipurpose System for Farmers
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1042-1068; doi:10.3390/su1041042
Received: 9 September 2009 / Accepted: 6 November 2009 / Published: 17 November 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study is dedicated to the assessment of the possibility of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as a source of power in modern agriculture. We examined the use of a completely sustainable agricultural mechanization system based on a renewable energy system and
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This study is dedicated to the assessment of the possibility of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as a source of power in modern agriculture. We examined the use of a completely sustainable agricultural mechanization system based on a renewable energy system and a battery powered, multi-purpose agricultural vehicle. This assessment is based on the RAMseS project, financed by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Program, which has led to the actual manufacturing of the system, at present being tested in Lebanon. In the present study, we assess the environmental and economic performance of the RAMseS system. We evaluate the external costs by means of a specific model that takes into account the life-cycle cost (LCC), economical indexes, and life-cycle emissions for the vehicle during its life span. The results are compared with those of a standard vehicle based on the internal combustion engine (ICEV). The results show that the RAMseS system can avoid the emission of about 23 ton of CO2equ per year. The life cycle cost (LCC) assessment using MATLAB software shows that the LCC for the RAMseS vehicle and the ICEV are the same for a fuel unit price (pf) of 1.45 €/L. Finally, we show that almost 52 % of the RAMseS LCC is due to the batteries of the electric vehicle. A 50% decrease in batteries unit cost would cause the LCC of two system to be the same at a fuel cost of 0.8 €/L. The final result is that the RAMseS system remains—at present— marginally more expensive than an equivalent system based on conventional fuels and internal combustion engines. Nevertheless, with the gradual depletion of fossil fuels, all electric agricultural mechanized system provide an alternative solution that is dependent only on renewable energy and recyclable resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Incorporating User Performance Criteria into Building Sustainability Rating Tools (BSRTs) for Buildings in Operation
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1069-1086; doi:10.3390/su1041069
Received: 12 October 2009 / Accepted: 15 November 2009 / Published: 17 November 2009
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (533 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current Building Sustainability Rating Tools (BSRTs) are concerned mainly with the technical features of new designs. The author argues for the inclusion of user performance criteria in BSRTs for buildings in operation. The case is based on insights gained from surveys of users
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Current Building Sustainability Rating Tools (BSRTs) are concerned mainly with the technical features of new designs. The author argues for the inclusion of user performance criteria in BSRTs for buildings in operation. The case is based on insights gained from surveys of users of sustainable buildings worldwide, and a review of the pioneering NABERS protocol. The paper advocates the establishment of a set of user performance criteria for existing buildings, as a key ingredient in making progress towards a truly sustainable building stock as buildings that perform poorly from the users‘ point of view are unlikely to ever be sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle A Model for Sustainable Humanitarian Engineering Projects
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1087-1105; doi:10.3390/su1041087
Received: 10 September 2009 / Accepted: 18 November 2008 / Published: 20 November 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The engineering profession should embrace a new mission statement—to contribute to the building of a more sustainable, stable, and equitable world. Recently, engineering students and professionals in the United States have shown strong interest in directly addressing the needs of developing communities worldwide.
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The engineering profession should embrace a new mission statement—to contribute to the building of a more sustainable, stable, and equitable world. Recently, engineering students and professionals in the United States have shown strong interest in directly addressing the needs of developing communities worldwide. That interest has taken the form of short-and medium-term international trips through Engineers Without Borders—USA and similar organizations. There are also several instances where this kind of outreach work has been integrated into engineering education at various US institutions such as the University of Colorado at Boulder. This paper addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with balancing two goals in engineering for humanitarian development projects: (i) effective sustainable community development, and (ii) meaningful education of engineers. Guiding principles necessary to meet those two goals are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Ancient Water Supply Facilities in Jerusalem
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1106-1119; doi:10.3390/su1041106
Received: 13 October 2009 / Accepted: 4 November 2009 / Published: 25 November 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an overview on the sustainability of ancient water supply systems in Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period (4500–3200 B.C.) until the present time. Archaeological evidences and landscape settings were applied utilizing all available and accessible literature relevant to ancient water resources
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This paper presents an overview on the sustainability of ancient water supply systems in Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period (4500–3200 B.C.) until the present time. Archaeological evidences and landscape settings were applied utilizing all available and accessible literature relevant to ancient water resources management in Jerusalem. Irrigated agriculture was practiced for many centuries in this region, hence sustainable water supply facilities were erected, including well developed aqueducts, water harvesting pools and irrigation channels for water storage and landscaping purposes. To cope with seismic events, soil subsidence and water leakage, ancient water engineers and architects applied innovative construction methods for the erection of water pools, channels and aqueduct systems. Ancient water supply systems in Jerusalem are valuable treasures of past civilizations and crucial urban environmental facilities and their protection is consistent with sustainable development principles. Effective environmental assessment as a decision-making process for sustainable development can be applied to preserve threatened ancient water facilities from major development proposals and urban infrastructure projects in Jerusalem. Full article
Open AccessArticle EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement: Potential Impacts on Rural Livelihoods and Gender (with Focus on Bio-fuels Feedstock Expansion)
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1120-1143; doi:10.3390/su1041120
Received: 9 October 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 26 November 2009
PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The trade-sustainable impact assessment of the European Union-Mercosur trade agreement found that the economic impact of the trade liberalisation scenario could be positive in the agricultural sectors of Mercosur countries. However, it also found that the social and environmental impacts would be mixed
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The trade-sustainable impact assessment of the European Union-Mercosur trade agreement found that the economic impact of the trade liberalisation scenario could be positive in the agricultural sectors of Mercosur countries. However, it also found that the social and environmental impacts would be mixed and potentially detrimental. This paper addresses the likely effects on the livelihoods of vulnerable rural populations. It argues that the potential impacts can be analysed within a diversified livelihood strategies framework, which is expanded to include institutional and policy factors. It concludes that the negative expected impact responds to the highly uneven access to capital assets. On the other hand, the effects are not generalised to all Mercosur countries, nor to all regions in each of the member countries. Enhancing or mitigating measures refer to the importance of sequencing and regulation to improve disadvantaged groups‘ abilities to participate in trade-led agricultural intensification or industrialisation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Thermodynamic Ideas on Ecological Economics: An Interdisciplinary Critique
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1195-1225; doi:10.3390/su1041195
Received: 10 October 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 1 December 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of thermodynamics on the emerging transdisciplinary field of 'ecological economics‘ is critically reviewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is viewed through the lens provided by the 'bioeconomist' Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906–1994) and his advocacy of 'the Entropy Law' as a determinant of
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The influence of thermodynamics on the emerging transdisciplinary field of 'ecological economics‘ is critically reviewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is viewed through the lens provided by the 'bioeconomist' Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906–1994) and his advocacy of 'the Entropy Law' as a determinant of economic scarcity. It is argued that exergy is a more easily understood thermodynamic property than is entropy to represent irreversibilities in complex systems, and that the behaviour of energy and matter are not equally mirrored by thermodynamic laws. Thermodynamic insights as typically employed in ecological economics are simply analogues or metaphors of reality. They should therefore be empirically tested against the real world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle New Challenge for Classics: Neutral Zinc Complexes Stabilised by 2,2’-Bipyridine and 1,10-Phenanthroline and Their Application in the Ring-Opening Polymerisation of Lactide
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1226-1239; doi:10.3390/su1041226
Received: 30 October 2009 / Accepted: 3 December 2009 / Published: 8 December 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (677 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The zinc acetato and triflato complexes of 2,2’-bipyridine and 1,10-phenanthroline were prepared and completely characterised. The whole series (including the already described dichlorido complexes and the ligands themselves) were screened for their catalytic activity in the solvent free ring-opening polymerisation of D,L-lactide. The
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The zinc acetato and triflato complexes of 2,2’-bipyridine and 1,10-phenanthroline were prepared and completely characterised. The whole series (including the already described dichlorido complexes and the ligands themselves) were screened for their catalytic activity in the solvent free ring-opening polymerisation of D,L-lactide. The acetato and triflato complexes were found to be active initiators and polylactides could be obtained in almost quantitative yields or with high molecular weights, up to 145,000 g/mol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Approaches within the Chemical Sciences)
Open AccessArticle Water Management in a State-Centered Environment: Water Governance Analysis of Uzbekistan
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1240-1265; doi:10.3390/su1041240
Received: 12 October 2009 / Accepted: 25 November 2009 / Published: 8 December 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the early 1990s the countries of Central Asia started their transformation to a market economy. Uzbekistan is in the throes of change and facing a huge restructuring task and a need to improve governance. Decades of central bureaucratic allocation of natural resources
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In the early 1990s the countries of Central Asia started their transformation to a market economy. Uzbekistan is in the throes of change and facing a huge restructuring task and a need to improve governance. Decades of central bureaucratic allocation of natural resources left national bureaucrats with little capacity to formulate their own sustainable policies. Lack of inclusive, long term oriented policies and mechanisms in management of common pool resources brought catastrophic results in the past. The study reveals that implanting a top-down quota policy has positive effects on a larger public. However it may become a threat to the long term environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management)
Open AccessArticle Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1266-1287; doi:10.3390/su1041266
Received: 28 October 2009 / Accepted: 4 December 2009 / Published: 8 December 2009
Cited by 62 | PDF Full-text (933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions
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The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions in seed lines and a declining prevalence of seed saving. To better characterize the current structure of the industry, ownership changes from 1996 to 2008 are represented visually with information graphics. Since the commercialization of transgenic crops in the mid-1990s, the sale of seeds has become dominated globally by Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. In addition, the largest firms are increasingly networked through agreements to cross-license transgenic seed traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Emerging and Innovative Techniques for Arsenic Removal Applied to a Small Water Supply System
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1288-1304; doi:10.3390/su1041288
Received: 4 November 2009 / Accepted: 7 December 2009 / Published: 11 December 2009
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impact of arsenic on human health has led its drinking water MCL to be drastically reduced from 50 to 10 ppb. Consequently, arsenic levels in many water supply sources have become critical. This has resulted in technical and operational impacts on many
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The impact of arsenic on human health has led its drinking water MCL to be drastically reduced from 50 to 10 ppb. Consequently, arsenic levels in many water supply sources have become critical. This has resulted in technical and operational impacts on many drinking water treatment plants that have required onerous upgrading to meet the new standard. This becomes a very sensitive issue in the context of water scarcity and climate change, given the expected increasing demand on groundwater sources. This work presents a case study that describes the development of low-cost techniques for efficient arsenic control in drinking water. The results obtained at the Manteigas WTP (Portugal) demonstrate the successful implementation of an effective and flexible process of reactive filtration using iron oxide. At real-scale, very high removal efficiencies of over 95% were obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management)
Open AccessArticle Economy and Sustainability—How Economic Integration Stimulates Stringent Environmental Regulations
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1305-1322; doi:10.3390/su1041305
Received: 10 October 2009 / Accepted: 10 December 2009 / Published: 15 December 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interaction between economic integration and environmental policy has become an important issue in the last few years. Despite the considerable scholarly attention this topic attracted, actual government responses in terms of environmental policy outputs remain largely untouched by both theoretical and empirical
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The interaction between economic integration and environmental policy has become an important issue in the last few years. Despite the considerable scholarly attention this topic attracted, actual government responses in terms of environmental policy outputs remain largely untouched by both theoretical and empirical work. To fill this gap, we suggest a theory-based disaggregation of the compound variable economic integration for deriving more precise expectations on its differential impact on environmental policy arrangements. In doing so, we show that economic integration may indeed trigger the promulgation of more demanding environmental regulations. To illustrate our arguments empirically, we analyze the development of Turkish clean air policy between 1975 and 2005. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: An Impossible Future?)
Open AccessArticle Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1323-1330; doi:10.3390/su1041323
Received: 5 November 2009 / Accepted: 8 December 2009 / Published: 15 December 2009
PDF Full-text (310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or
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Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine its underlying conception of Nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astrobiology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Using an Integrated Participatory Modeling Approach to Assess Water Management Options and Support Community Conversations on Maui
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1331-1348; doi:10.3390/su1041331
Received: 20 October 2009 / Accepted: 11 December 2009 / Published: 15 December 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to provide an integrated analysis of water distribution on Maui and the cross-sectoral impacts of policies and regulations aimed at rejuvenating and sustaining the deep-rooted culture on the island. Since the water diversion system was implemented in
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The purpose of this study is to provide an integrated analysis of water distribution on Maui and the cross-sectoral impacts of policies and regulations aimed at rejuvenating and sustaining the deep-rooted culture on the island. Since the water diversion system was implemented in 1876 on the island of Maui, there has been contention among local interest groups over the right way to manage and allocate this precious resource. There is also concern over the availability of the precious resource in the long term, as the demand for water is expected to exceed the potential supply of water on Maui by 2020. This paper analyzes various long run scenarios of policy options presently being discussed on Maui. By collaborating with local experts, business leaders, and community members, to develop a tool that facilitates policy formulation and evaluation, informed decisions can then be made by the local community to ensure sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management)
Open AccessArticle Incentives for Improving Energy Efficiency When Renovating Large-Scale Housing Estates: A Case Study of the Swedish Million Homes Programme
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1349-1365; doi:10.3390/su1041349
Received: 4 November 2009 / Accepted: 9 December 2009 / Published: 16 December 2009
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sweden has adopted ambitious energy savings objectives for buildings, but at the current rate of energy efficiency investments the objectives are unlikely to be reached. In this article we report the early findings of how real estate owners reason and act in energy
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Sweden has adopted ambitious energy savings objectives for buildings, but at the current rate of energy efficiency investments the objectives are unlikely to be reached. In this article we report the early findings of how real estate owners reason and act in energy efficiency investment decisions. Based on the results from interviews with the real estate companies, the companies have been divided into four ideal types that illuminate the differences in energy efficiency ambition and strategies; the Strict Profit Maximizing Company, the Little Extra Company, the Policy Led Ambitious Company and the Administration Led Ambitious Company. The different strategies will determine how the companies respond to incentives to invest in energy efficiency, and affect the overall result in the energy efficiency work. The ideal types hence are important to have in mind when designing policies to increase energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Negotiating Uncertainty: Jamaican Small Farmers’ Adaptation and Coping Strategies, Before and After Hurricanes—A Case Study of Hurricane Dean
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1366-1387; doi:10.3390/su1041366
Received: 29 October 2009 / Accepted: 10 December 2009 / Published: 16 December 2009
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, Jamaica has been seriously affected by a number of extreme meteorological events. The one discussed here, Hurricane Dean, passed along the south coast of the island in August 2007, damaging crops and disrupting livelihood activities for many small-scale farmers. This
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In recent years, Jamaica has been seriously affected by a number of extreme meteorological events. The one discussed here, Hurricane Dean, passed along the south coast of the island in August 2007, damaging crops and disrupting livelihood activities for many small-scale farmers. This study is based on detailed ethnographic research in the southern coastal region of St. Elizabeth parish during the passage of Hurricane Dean, and explores the ways in which small farmers negotiate the stressors associated with hurricane events. The study employed a mix methods approach based on a survey of 282 farming households. The paper documents coping strategies employed by farmers in the immediate period of Hurricane Dean to reduce damage to their farming systems, and highlights the positive correlation between farmers’ perceptions of hurricanes and degree of damage to local farming systems. In addition, through an analysis of socio-economic and environmental data, the paper provides an understanding of the determinants of adaptive capacity and strategy among farmers in the area. The study indicated that despite high levels of vulnerability, farmers have achieved successful coping and adaptation at the farm level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability: Living within One’s Own Ecological Means
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1412-1430; doi:10.3390/su1041412
Received: 26 October 2009 / Accepted: 16 December 2009 / Published: 21 December 2009
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper provides a critical review of sustainability, including its definitions, dimensions, measurements, and practices, as well as approaches to achieve sustainability. It raises questions about conventional definitions and argues for taking into account the geographic dimension of sustainability for better understanding of
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This paper provides a critical review of sustainability, including its definitions, dimensions, measurements, and practices, as well as approaches to achieve sustainability. It raises questions about conventional definitions and argues for taking into account the geographic dimension of sustainability for better understanding of the regional differences in sustainability and transition to sustainability. The paper proposes that sustainability should be defined as "living within one’s own ecological means." This definition pays attention to regional disparities in biocapacity and ecological footprint. It realizes that not all people’s present and future needs may be met in all regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessCommunication Wood Polymer Composites Technology Supporting the Recovery and Protection of Tropical Forests: The Amazonian Phoenix Project
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1431-1443; doi:10.3390/su1041431
Received: 12 November 2009 / Accepted: 17 December 2009 / Published: 22 December 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Amazon Rain Forest has attracted worldwide attention due its large scale services to climate and also due to the green house gas emissions arising from deforestation. Contributing to the later and detrimental to the former, timber logging in the region has very
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The Amazon Rain Forest has attracted worldwide attention due its large scale services to climate and also due to the green house gas emissions arising from deforestation. Contributing to the later and detrimental to the former, timber logging in the region has very low efficiency (only 16% in the production chain). Such timber extraction, often referred to as selective logging, has been claimed as a sustainable extractive industry, because the forest is said to restore itself through regenerative growth. But forest regeneration in the Amazon occurs naturally only in a very limited scale, resulting that large scale, low efficiency logging poses a big treat to the functional integrity of the biome, supplying to the market only a fraction of what it could if done differently. So, instead of extracting big centennial logs from the forests, the Amazonian Phoenix project proposes that large expanses of degraded lands be reforested using pioneer plants species from the forest itself. These plants have the capacity to heal gaps in the canopy, being able to grow and produce woody biomass in very extreme conditions. The idea is to mimic the regenerative dynamics of the natural ecosystem in short cycle agrosilvicultural production areas, utilizing a variety of technologies to transform raw fibers from these fast growth native plants into a variety of materials with high aggregated value. This communication presents the research on natural fibers by the Polymeric Composites Group within the Amazonian Phoenix Project. Sustainable technologies employing materials with good and responsible ecological footprints are important and necessary stimulus for a change in the destructive economical activities present in the Amazon frontiers. The relatively well established wood polymer composites technology, for example, is a good candidate solution. Two research and development fields are proposed: the first one considers production systems with simple and cheap machinery, to facilitate technology assimilation by rural communities in the Amazon. The second one aims at developing composite materials with advanced production technology, like profile and sheet extrusion and injection molding. The source of the fibers would be both the short cycle agrosilviculture with softwood species, on already deforested lands, and the hardwood residues from operating sawmills. Preliminary results show that softwood fibers act as potentially important reinforcement for synthetic plastics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Tenuous Use of Exergy as a Measure of Resource Value or Waste Impact
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1444-1463; doi:10.3390/su1041444
Received: 5 November 2009 / Accepted: 19 December 2009 / Published: 23 December 2009
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exergy is a thermodynamic concept that has been widely promoted for assessing and improving sustainability, notably in the characterization of resources and wastes. Despite having many notable benefits, exergy is often misused by authors who tend to apply it as an intrinsic characteristic
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Exergy is a thermodynamic concept that has been widely promoted for assessing and improving sustainability, notably in the characterization of resources and wastes. Despite having many notable benefits, exergy is often misused by authors who tend to apply it as an intrinsic characteristic of an object (i.e., as a static thermodynamic variable). Using both theoretical and empirical evidence the authors present five key limitations that must be overcome before exergy can be applied to characterize objects: (1) the incompatibility between exergy quality and resource quality; (2) the inability of exergy to characterize non work-producing resources via the concentration exergy; (3) the constraints placed on the derivation of exergy; (4) problems with the exergy reference environment; and (5) the multiple perspectives applied to exergy analysis. Until the limitations are addressed, exergy should only be used for its original purpose as a decision making tool for engineering systems analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview An Astrobiological View on Sustainable Life
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 827-837; doi:10.3390/su1040827
Received: 7 September 2009 / Accepted: 16 October 2009 / Published: 19 October 2009
PDF Full-text (660 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH2O) hovering between the reduced (CH4, methane) and (CO2, carbon dioxide) ends, different
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Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH2O) hovering between the reduced (CH4, methane) and (CO2, carbon dioxide) ends, different from the classical definition of life as a complex organization maintaining ordered structure and information. Both definitions consider sustenance of life meant as protection of life against chaos through an input of external energy. The CH2O-life connection is maintained as long as the supply of H and O lasts, which is in turn are provided by the splitting of the water molecule H2O. Water is split by electricity, as well-known from school-level experiments, and by solar radiation and geothermal heat on a global scale. In other words, the Sun’s radiation and the Earth’s heat as well as radioactivity split water to supply H and O for continued existence of life on the Earth. These photochemical, radiochemical and geothermal processes have influences on the evolution and current composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, compared with those of Venus and Mars, and influences on the planetary climatology. This view of life may be applicable to the “search-for-life in space” and to sustainability assessment of astrobiological habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astrobiology and Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Chemically Modified Cyclodextrins: An Attractive Class of Supramolecular Hosts for the Development of Aqueous Biphasic Catalytic Processes
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 924-945; doi:10.3390/su1040924
Received: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 16 October 2009 / Published: 27 October 2009
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (1302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During these last years, cyclodextrins have contributed greatly to the development of catalytic processes in water. These cyclic oligosaccharides composed of 6(α), 7(β) or 8(γ) glucopyranose units improve the mass transfer in aqueous-organic two-phase systems and are useful compounds to design new catalysts.
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During these last years, cyclodextrins have contributed greatly to the development of catalytic processes in water. These cyclic oligosaccharides composed of 6(α), 7(β) or 8(γ) glucopyranose units improve the mass transfer in aqueous-organic two-phase systems and are useful compounds to design new catalysts. Thus, chemically modified cyclodextrins can be used to: (i) increase significantly the rate and selectivity of reactions catalyzed by water-soluble organometallic complexes, (ii) design new water-soluble ligands for aqueous organometallic catalysis, (iii) stabilize catalytically active noble metal nanoparticles in water and (iv) favour the dispersion and activation of the palladium on charcoal in water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Approaches within the Chemical Sciences)
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Open AccessReview Sustainable Development in Northern Africa: The Argan Forest Case
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1012-1022; doi:10.3390/su1041012
Received: 27 August 2009 / Accepted: 6 November 2009 / Published: 9 November 2009
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The argan tree is a slow growing tree exclusively endemic in the dry lowlands of Southwest Morocco. The argan forest constitutes a long time ignored specific biotope that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998. The argan forest is particularly
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The argan tree is a slow growing tree exclusively endemic in the dry lowlands of Southwest Morocco. The argan forest constitutes a long time ignored specific biotope that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998. The argan forest is particularly fragile to climate change. Forecasts show annual precipitation levels and prolonged drought periods that could severely threaten the future of the argan forest. In some places, the argan forest is already damaged, resulting in the retreat of the argan tree and the subsequent desert encroachment. An acceleration of this trend would have devastating consequences. In response, some twenty years ago, an ambitious, unique in Northern-Africa, and government-supported program was initiated in Morocco to rescue the argan tree via the sustainable development of the argan forest. Because in the late 1980s, sustainable development in developing countries was often considered as a utopia, the argan forest case represents a sign of progress, as it is also an interesting and unique experience in Africa. This review analyses the process followed, the measures taken, the pitfalls encountered, and the results obtained during the last two decades. It also points out the measures that still need to be taken before declaring the argan forest rescue mission is accomplished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Towards Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation Services: Barriers and Bridges
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1023-1034; doi:10.3390/su1041023
Received: 27 October 2009 / Accepted: 7 November 2009 / Published: 12 November 2009
PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Mar del Plata International Water Conference provided the first global assessment of the water sector. It was found that in most developing countries the state of water supply and sanitation services were deplorable. Consequently, a call for concerted action to improve coverage
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The Mar del Plata International Water Conference provided the first global assessment of the water sector. It was found that in most developing countries the state of water supply and sanitation services were deplorable. Consequently, a call for concerted action to improve coverage and efficiency of the water supply and sanitation sector was launched. This call resulted in the International Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981–1990). The Decade provided important lessons concerning effective methodologies to improve the state of the WSS sector. The paper discusses why the poor state of the water supply and sanitation conditions still tend to be the greatest development failure during the 20th century. The recipe for success was there, and the money was there. So, why were governments and big donors like the World Bank refusing to apply the lessons from the Decade? The basic conditions for success are spelled out, and some successful cases are used to illustrate these. The conclusion is that change is possible but that civil society organizations have to be empowered to make governments "feel the heat" and spend more money on water and sanitation, and to spend it more wisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Investment in Sustainable Development: A UK Perspective on the Business and Academic Challenges
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1144-1160; doi:10.3390/su1041144
Received: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 27 November 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are many legislative, stakeholder and supply chain pressures on business to be more ‘sustainable’. Universities have recognised the need for graduate knowledge and understanding of sustainable development issues. Many businesses and universities have responded and introduced Sustainable Development models into their operations
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There are many legislative, stakeholder and supply chain pressures on business to be more ‘sustainable’. Universities have recognised the need for graduate knowledge and understanding of sustainable development issues. Many businesses and universities have responded and introduced Sustainable Development models into their operations with much of the current effort directed at climate change. However, as the current worldwide financial crisis slowly improves, the expectations upon how businesses operate and behave are changing. It will require improved transparency and relationships with all stakeholders, which is the essence of sustainable development. The challenges and opportunities for both business and universities are to understand the requirements of sustainable development and the transformation that is required. They should ensure that knowledge is embedded within the culture of the organisation and wider society in order to achieve a sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Hazards and Risks of Engineered Nanoparticles for the Environment and Human Health
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1161-1194; doi:10.3390/su1041161
Received: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 30 November 2009
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (489 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objectives of this article are to: (1) investigate the current state of knowledge of the risks of engineered nanoparticles for the environment and human health, (2) estimate whether this knowledge is sufficient to facilitate their comprehensive and effective risk assessment and (3)
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The objectives of this article are to: (1) investigate the current state of knowledge of the risks of engineered nanoparticles for the environment and human health, (2) estimate whether this knowledge is sufficient to facilitate their comprehensive and effective risk assessment and (3) provide recommendations on future research in the field of risk assessment of nanomaterials. In order to meet the objectives, the relevance of each of the four steps of the risk assessment methodology (i.e., hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization) was evaluated in the context of the current state of knowledge of the risks of nanomaterials, limitations were identified and recommendations were given on how to overcome them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Sustainability between Necessity, Contingency and Impossibility
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1388-1411; doi:10.3390/su1041388
Received: 3 November 2009 / Accepted: 7 December 2009 / Published: 16 December 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable use of natural resources seems necessary to maintain functions and services of eco- and social systems in the long run. Efforts in policy and science for sustainable development have shown the splintering of local, national and global strategies. Sustainability becomes contingent and
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Sustainable use of natural resources seems necessary to maintain functions and services of eco- and social systems in the long run. Efforts in policy and science for sustainable development have shown the splintering of local, national and global strategies. Sustainability becomes contingent and insecure with the actors´ conflicting knowledge, interests and aims, and seems even impossible through the “rebound”-effect. To make short and long term requirements of sustainability coherent requires critical, comparative and theoretical analysis of the problems met. For this purpose important concepts and theories are discussed in this review of recent interdisciplinary literature about resource management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: An Impossible Future?)

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