Sustainability : Science, Practice, & Policy

Articles

Vol. 12, No. 1, 2016

Network Priorities for Social Sustainability Research and Education: Memorandum of the Integrated Network on Social Sustainability Research Group
BackgroundThe notion of "sustainability" includes environmental, economic, and social aspects. Social sustain-ability in particular is a quality of society that promotes enduring conditions for human welfare, especially for vulnerable persons or groups.[1]...
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Systems of Access: A Multidisciplinary Strategy for Assessing the Social Dimensions of Sustainability
IntroductionWhen scholars from a variety of disciplines gather to discuss the social dimensions of sustainability they inevitably encounter chall-enges finding relatable concepts, terminology, scope, and methods of assessment. Depending on the vantage...
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Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring

Social Sustainability Dimensions in the Seismic Risk Reduction of Public Schools: A Case Study of Lima, Peru
IntroductionThe effective provision of education is a main feature of a socially sustainable system (Harris et al. 2001). However, educational arrangements--including students, teachers, administrators, authorities, curriculum, equipment, and infrastructure--in...
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Toward a Gender Diverse Workforce in the Renewable Energy Transition
IntroductionContemporary energy systems are in transition from predominantly fossil fuel-based infrastructures to more sustainable renewables-based systems. As this process continues, it is critical to consider that throughout the world women are less...
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Achieving One-Planet Living through Transitions in Social Practice: A Case Study of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
IntroductionDuring the spring of 1992, a small group of environmentally conscious Stanford University undergraduates decided to form an "eco-town." After graduation, they pooled their resources, developed plans for a community that reflected their ideals,...
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The Social Lab Classroom: Wrestling With?-?And Learning From?-?Sustainability Challenges
IntroductionEfforts at increasing our social sustainability (SS) -- at establishing systems, products, and services designed to better the overall health and well-being of all community members for the long-term -- are frequently stymied by the "wicked"...
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Sustainable Dissemination of Earthquake Resistant Construction in the Peruvian Andes
IntroductionResearchers at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and other institutions have been working to improve the structural safety of earthen houses located in seismic areas of Peru for the last four decades (Vargas et al. 2005; Blondet...
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Introduction to the Special Issue on Social Sustainability: Integration, Context, and Governance
Since the late 1980s, the pursuit of sustainability as a practical effort, rather than as a purely scientific or descriptive concept, has recognized the importance of balancing the competing priorities of environmental protection, economic growth, and...
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Managing the Triple Bottom Line for Sustainability: A Case Study of Argentine Agribusinesses
IntroductionBusinesses in many parts of the world are discussing sustainability more than ever, often to understand what the word means within different organizational decision-making contexts. Perhaps the most common definition measures a firm's focus...
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Vol. 11, No. 1, 2015

The Convergence of Economic Development and Energy-Transition Policies in State-Government Plans in the United States
Citation: Hess D. & Mai Q. 2014. The convergence of economic development and energy-transition policies in state-government plans in the United States. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 11(1) Published online Oct 29, 2014. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol11iss1/1404-006.hess.htmlIntroductionFor...
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Children's Environmental Health Indicators as Tools to Measure Progress toward Sustainability
IntroductionThe modern concept of sustainability originated in physical resource use and was conceived to design strategies to ensure that, for example, a harvested catch of fish did not threaten extinction of the overall population (Dixon & Fallon,...
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Sustainable Diffusion of Sustainable Technologies? an Entrepreneur-Led Initiative to Promote Improved Cookstoves in Rural Western Kenya
IntroductionThere have been over the years many efforts to improve the dire conditions that African smallholders face.2 Development aid initiatives have been one form of assistance, driven primarily by nongovernmental bi- and multi-lateral aid programs,...
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How to Achieve Sustainable Procurement for "Peripheral" Products with Significant Environmental Impacts
IntroductionDespite the fact that sustainability itself is rather an abstract goal, there can be no such thing as being "80% sustainable," and the effects of minor procurement add up along the entire supply chain (Haake & Seuring, 2009).Corporate...
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Can Sustainability Plans Make Sustainable Cities? the Ecological Footprint Implications of Renewable Energy within Philadelphia's Greenworks Plan
IntroductionMunicipal sustainability plans typically include laudable environmental goals, but they rarely explain the connection between these goals and a larger conception of sustainability (Dilworth et al. 2011). In this article, we introduce a relatively...
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Eugene Memorandum: The Role of Cities in Advancing Sustainable Consumption
[Image omitted: see PDF]Cities in North America have an important role to play in building prosperity and well-being while promoting lifestyles compatible with the limits of natural systems. The consumption of materials and energy in high-income cities...
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Solving the Problems We Face: The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Sustainability, and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
IntroductionThe trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. ?Paul Valery (1948)During the 1970s, environmental crises were highly visible and easy for the public to understand. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland,...
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Resilience: Some Philosophical Remarks on Ostensively and Stipulatively Defined Concepts
IntroductionThe notion of resilience has gained considerable support within sustainability research over the past couple of decades (Walker & Cooper, 2011; Parker & Hackett, 2012). Introduced into the sustainability context by ecologist Crawford...
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Vol. 11, No. 2, Winter

Closing the Food Loops: Guidelines and Criteria for Improving Nutrient Management
IntroductionThe global population has grown sharply over the last century, placing increasing burdens on the natural resources that provide us with food, energy, and shelter. Roughly one third of food internationally produced for human consumption, equivalent...
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Introduction to the Forum on Sustainability and the Library
Introduction: I have had the great fortune to be involved with the development and growth of Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy since its inception. The journal's decade-long tenure is a testament to the imperative for scholarly cross-disciplinary...
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Archival Adaptation to Climate Change
IntroductionAccording to the National Climate Assessment, the United States will in future years likely experience an increasing number of climate-change related trends that will influence residential patterns, agriculture, natural resources, and future...
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Growing Our Vision Together: Forming a Sustainability Community within the American Library Association
IntroductionA rich and colorful tapestry of innovative and sometimes daring library practices, services, and engagement emerged in response to the unpredictable dynamics of the twenty-first century, not least of which were the explosion of technology,...
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Sufficiency in Social Practice: Searching Potentials for Sufficient Behavior in a Consumerist Culture
Introduction[1]After decades of industrialization and globalization, advanced economies have become significantly more efficient in their use of materials despite mounting environmental pressures (Meadows et al., 2004; Princen, 2005; Rockström et al....
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A Typology for Complex Social-Ecological Systems in Mountain Communities
IntroductionClassification of social-ecological systems is an important first step for identifying and assessing factors that affect resilience and vulnerability of communities and their resources (Alessa et al. 2009; Ostrom, 2009; Ostrom & Cox,...
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Vol. 10, No. 2, 2014

When Sustainability Bites Back: Cautionary Lessons from the Field of Public Health
[Image omitted: see PDF]Given their scope and prospect for harm, contemporary sustainability challenges unquestionably demand urgency. Forthright action is desperately needed, as is innovative experimentation. At the same time, there is value in reflecting...
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Working toward a Sustainable Future
Keyword: Federal policy, international policy, sustainable development, social responsibility, economic conditions, environmental protection, business, industryCitation: Hecht A., Fiksel J., & Moses M. 2014. Working toward a sustainable future. Sustainability:...
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Mainstreaming Fair Trade: The Role of Retailers
IntroductionFair trade is a social movement aimed at improving the livelihood of poor farmers and plantation and factory workers in developing countries. Its strategy is to guarantee producers a minimum price for their products and to certify and label...
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An Evaluation of the Stormwater Footprint Calculator and the Hydrological Footprint Residence for Communicating about Sustainability in Stormwater Management
IntroductionThe construction of new buildings, infrastructure, and public utilities for urbanization alters landscapes and converts natural land cover to impervious areas. These areas, in turn, generate large volumes of stormwater runoff that directly...
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Sustainability as an Emerging Employment-Policy Issue? Perspectives from Finland
IntroductionIn recent years, the scientific community has approached environmental degradation and natural-resource depletion with increased urgency (e.g., Monastersky, 2009; Barnosky et al. 2012). Research suggests that human activities may have already...
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Evaluating Effectiveness of Open Assessments on Alternative Biofuel Sources
IntroductionGrowing energy demand and greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels have increased interest in the production of renewable energy. Biofuels have been the focus of particular attention--especially liquid or gaseous fuels for transport produced...
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Domestication Pathways of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Technologies
Keyword: renewable energy resources, energy consumption, technology attitudes, residential areasCitation: Juntunen J. 2014. Domestication pathways of small-scale renewable energy technologies. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 10(2):28-42....
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Vol. 10, No. 1, 2014

The Next Generation of Research on Sustainable Consumption
[Image omitted: see PDF]In 2006, the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the UK published a commissioned report on how to induce citizens to reduce their electricity consumption (Darby, 2006). The goal of the document was to...
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Social Norms, Happiness, and the Environment: Closing the Circle
Citation: Helliwell J. 2014. Social norms, happiness, and the environment: closing the circle. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 10(1):78-84. Published online Mar 18, 2014. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol10iss1/communityessay.helliwell.htmlIntroductionThis...
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Going beyond Efficiency: Including Altruistic Motives in Behavioral Models for Sustainability Transitions to Address Sufficiency
IntroductionSustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of "needs," in particular the essential...
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Complementary Currencies: What Opportunities for Sustainable Consumption in Times of Crisis and Beyond?
IntroductionThe emergence of local currencies and barter systems in Greece in the late 2000s can be seen as a response to a dire economic situation.1 However, they can also be viewed as part of a wider revival of socially motivated and solidarity-based...
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Institutional Change for Strong Sustainable Consumption: Sustainable Consumption and the Degrowth Economy
IntroductionThe notion of sustainable development comprises two core elements: meeting human needs and respecting the limits imposed by the environment (WCED, 1987). Thus, neither underconsumption nor overconsumption is sustainable. Any sustainable consumption...
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How Much Is Too Much? A Public Opinion Research Perspective
IntroductionPublic sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed.-Abraham Lincoln, in debate with Steven Douglas, 1858Accumulating evidence suggests that the ecological underpinnings of civilization may...
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Conceptualizing Sustainable Consumption: Toward an Integrative Framework
IntroductionConsumption is not only regarded as a key driver of environmental change (The Royal Society, 2012; WWF, 2012) it is also a central domain of social inequalities (de Zoysa, 2011; UNDP, 2011). In response to these challenges, consumption has...
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Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer

Bridging the Science-Policy Gap: Development and Reception of a Joint Research Agenda on Sustainable Food Consumption
Citation: Sedlacko M., Pisano U., Berger G., & Lepuschitz K. 2013. Bridging the science-policy gap: development and reception of a joint research agenda on sustainable food consumption. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 9(2):105-123....
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Sustainable Food Consumption: An Overview of Contemporary Issues and Policies
Citation: Reisch L., Eberle U., & Lorek S. 2013. Sustainable food consumption: an overview of contemporary issues and policies. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 9(2):7-25. Published online Jul 19, 2013. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol9iss2/1207-033.reisch.htmlSustainable...
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Beating Unsustainability with Eating: Four Alternative Food-Consumption Scenarios
Introduction Global driving forces such as climate change and population growth affect the international food system, as do trends such as the growing consumption of meat and the use of grain in biofuel production. Numerous scholars have identified these...
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Sustainability and Meat Consumption: Is Reduction Realistic?
Keyword: food consumption, diets, food preferences, consummatory behavior, public policy, meat Citation: Dagevos H. & Voordouw J. 2013. Sustainability and meat consumption: is reduction realistic?. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy...
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Does Global Meat Consumption Follow an Environmental Kuznets Curve?
Citation: Rivers Cole J. & McCoskey S. 2013. Does global meat consumption follow an environmental Kuznets curve?. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 9(2):26-36. Published online Oct 11, 2013. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol9iss2/1204-016.riverscole.htmlIntroduction...
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Developing and Disseminating a Foodprint Tool to Raise Awareness about Healthy and Environmentally Conscious Food Choices
Introduction Geographical Boundaries of Food Production In recent decades, researchers have proposed several indicators to characterize the environmental impact of cities, countries, and populations. Though already in use in the early 1920s, the concept...
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Meat-Consumption Statistics: Reliability and Discrepancy
Citation: Hallström E. & Börjesson P. 2013. Meat-consumption statistics: reliability and discrepancy. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 9(2):37-47. Published online Jul 11, 2013. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol9iss2/1203-008.hallstrom.htmlIntroduction...
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Integrated Scenarios of Sustainable Food Production and Consumption in Germany
Keyword: food consumption, sustainability, strategy, public policy Citation: Lorenz U. & Veenhoff S. 2013. Integrated scenarios of sustainable food production and consumption in Germany. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 9(2):92-104....
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Sustainable Food Consumption: When Evidence-Based Policy Making Meets Policy-Minded Research-Introduction to the Special Issue
Unsustainability of Current Global Food Consumption Food is a major issue in the politics of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) because of its impact on the environment, the economy, social cohesion, and individual and public health.1 Some...
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Designing Lifestyle-Specific Food Policies Based on Nutritional Requirements and Ecological Footprints
Introduction Food consumption has become an increasingly critical challenge for policy makers and diet more generally is now a target for explicit consumption-related policies. McMichael et al. (2007) argue that in recent years the focal point of interaction...
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Vol. 9, No. 1, Winter

"In the Morning I Just Need a Long, Hot Shower:" a Sociological Exploration of Energy Sensibilities in Norwegian Bathrooms
Introduction Changing current ways of producing, distributing, and using energy is prominent on the sustainability agenda. However, like other resources such as water or air, energy is a highly abstract concept (Shove, 1997). For instance, the basic...
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Local Responses to Regional Mandates: Assessing Municipal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets in British Columbia
Introduction Scholars increasingly emphasize the critical role that municipal governments can play in climate-change mitigation through the adoption and implementation of policies and actions aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions (Bulkeley...
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Measuring Sustainable Development: The Promise and Difficulties of Implementing Inclusive Wealth in the Goulburn-Broken Catchment, Australia
Introduction The assessment of sustainable development is beset by (at least) two key challenges: 1) the philosophical challenge of properly defining what is being measured and 2) the technical challenge of accurately measuring the component parts of...
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How Not What: Teaching Sustainability as Process
Citation: DuPuis E. & Ball T. 2013. How not what: teaching sustainability as process. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 9(1):64-75. Published online Feb 27, 2013. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol9iss1/1108-025.dupuis.htmlThe Challenge...
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The Global Sustainability Transition: It Is More Than Changing Light Bulbs
Introduction Un-sustainability is an inevitable emergent property of the systemic interaction between contemporary global society and the ecosphere.William Rees (2012)Humankind has become a dominant force of nature, shaping the global landscape, exerting...
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Sustainability Social Science at the Applied Science and Engineering Universities
[Image omitted: see PDF]The applied science and engineering universities have long occupied an enigmatic niche in the spectrum of higher education. Many of these institutions trace their lineage to the mechanics' institutes that played a formative role...
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Sustainable Approach to Automobile Society in Japan
Introduction The number of private cars in Japan grew from approximately 2.3 million in 1966 to 58.1 million (including 17.3 million mini-cars) in 2009. This huge increase has led to a car society in which cars have a dramatic impact on socioeconomic...
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Biofuels: A Contested Response to Climate Change
Introduction Unlike Europe, Brazil has produced ethanol (from sugar cane) for many years, starting in the 1930s. In 1975, Brazil implemented the National Alcohol Program in response to worldwide oil- and sugar-market crises and, in 1979, began mass production...
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Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer

A New Model for Enabling Innovation in Appropriate Technology for Sustainable Development
Introduction In the "Internet Age" more than one billion people continue to live in impoverished conditions inferior to those of the Minoan Civilization (circa 2200 to 1450 BC) (Gates, 2000; UNDP, 2001). For example, the Minoans had a community-water...
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Industry Perspectives on Carbon-Offset Programs in Canada and the United States
Introduction: Carbon Offsetting for Climate-Change Mitigation As human-induced climate change has become a major concern, many techniques have been promoted to mitigate its effects by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and increasing carbon sinks. One...
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Response to Creating the Future We Want by Alan D. Hecht, Joseph Fiksel, Scott C. Fulton, Terry F. Yosie, Neil C. Hawkins, Heinz Leuenberger, Jay Golden, & Thomas E. Lovejoy
"Creating the Future We Want" by Alan Hecht et al. presents a policy approach designed to address a range of social, economic, and environmental issues, grouped under the heading of sustainability. The approach is a version of "doing good by doing well"...
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Sustainability of Natural Movement Activity
Introduction In efforts to increase sustainability, various commercial gyms and fitness centers have been redesigned or constructed to lower energy consumption. Such improvements include increased natural light, low-flow toilets, and more efficient lighting...
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Convergent and Divergent Learning in Photovoltaic Pilot Projects and Subsequent Niche Development
Introduction Renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics (PV) can play a major role in the move toward sustainable energy provision and use. At the same time, the relatively new approach of strategic niche management (SNM) offers a policy instrument...
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Creating the Future We Want
Introduction In June 2012, corporate, nongovernmental (NGO), and government leaders will converge in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a conference on sustainable development. Occurring twenty years after the first Rio conference, the "Earth Summit," the 2012...
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Transforming Livelihoods and Lifestyles for the Well-Being of All: A Peoples' Sustainability Treaty on Consumption and Production
[Image omitted: see PDF]One might be surprised that the outcome of the Rio+20 Summit this past summer still had the power to disappoint both civil society stakeholders and engaged policy makers. Despite all the knowledge and experience gathered since...
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Rejoinder: Creating the Future We Want
We thank John Stutz for his review and comments on our article. He raises a number of salient points to which we would like to respond.1. Scientific uncertainties about the impacts of industrial emissions. We agree that the analysis of "safe operating...
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Climate-Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Small Island Developing States: The Case of Rainwater Harvesting in Jamaica
Citation: Waite, M. 2012. Climate-change mitigation and adaptation in small island developing states: the case of rainwater harvesting in Jamaica. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 8(2):81-87. Published online Oct 02, 2012. http://sspp.proquest.com/archives/vol8iss2/communityessay.waite.htmlIntroduction...
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Carbon Calculators as a Tool for a Low-Carbon Everyday Life?
Introduction At least since the Brundtland Commission released its report on sustainable development in 1987, numerous public efforts have been directed toward educating and persuading people to change their everyday-life habits to make them more sustainable....
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Vol. 8, No. 1, Winter

Green Social Cooperatives in Italy: A Practical Way to Cover the Three Pillars of Sustainability?
Introduction: The Environment as a Stimulus for the Reconsideration of Work Social enterprises are entrepreneurial activities with two primary objectives: "identify a stable but inherently unjust equilibrium that causes the exclusion, marginalization,...
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Tradeoffs and Entanglements among Sustainability Dimensions: The Case of Accessibility as a Missing Pillar of Sustainable Mobility Policies in Italy
Introduction Sustainable development clearly requires the integration of the economic, ecological, and social pillars. While scholars and practitioners have mainly approached sustainability from the standpoint of environmental protection and resource...
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Issues of Scale in the Global Accreditation of Sustainable Tourism: Schemes toward Harmonized Re-Embeddedness?
Introduction Consistent with the wider trend of ecostandards, product labelling, and green political consumerism (Boström & Klintman, 2008), sustainable tourism programs have grown exponentially since the early 1990s. The international Mohonk Agreement...
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Organizing for Social Sustainability: Governance through Bureaucratization in Meta-Organizations
Introduction The difficulties nation states face when attempting to use traditional legal means to cope with transnational phenomena such as environmental degradation, international labor conditions, and global trade have created opportunities for new...
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Has Social Sustainability Left the Building? the Recent Conceptualization of "Sustainability" in Danish Buildings
Introduction Developing "sustainable buildings" has become a central goal for national and local policies as part of efforts to reduce energy consumption and to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. While numerous viable technical solutions already exist,...
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Growing the Social: Alternative Agrofood Networks and Social Sustainability in the Urban Ethical Foodscape
Introduction Since the Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) brought to prominence the notion of sustainable development, agrofood practices have been an obvious, if challenging, domain for implementing sustainability. The "semantic plasticity" of the concept...
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The Social Pillar of Sustainable Development: A Literature Review and Framework for Policy Analysis
Introduction While the concept of sustainable development (SD) generally refers to achieving a balance among the environmental, economic, and social pillars of sustainability, the meaning and associated objectives of the social pillar remain vague (Dempsey...
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Making Sense of the Social: Human-Nonhuman Constellations and the Wicked Road to Sustainability
Introduction The notion of sustainable development is usually divided into the economic, environmental, and social pillars, implying that a practice cannot be fully sustainable until all these three dimensions are fulfilled (Littig & Grie?ler, 2005;...
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A Missing Pillar? Challenges in Theorizing and Practicing Social Sustainability: Introduction to the Special Issue
Introduction: The Hope Since publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987, the notion of sustainable developmenthas come to guide the pursuit of environmental reform by both public and private organizations and to facilitate communication among actors...
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On Social Sustainability in a World of Limits Facing Prolonged Austerity
[Image omitted: see PDF]I applaud Magnus Boström and his colleague authors for addressing the still hugely neglected topic of social sustainability in its broad context.We are entering a decade without precedent for human well-being. One-fifth of people...
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Contention, Participation, and Mobilization in Environmental Assessment Follow-Up: The Itabira Experience
Introduction Environmental assessment (EA) was introduced in the United States during the 1960s in response to environmental concerns and a desire for both rational and publicly involved environmental decision making (Weston, 2004). Advocates initially...
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Understanding the Environment and Social Policy
Karin Bradley Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University,Linköping, SE-581 83 Sweden (email: karin.bradley@liu.se)Understanding the Environment and Social Policy deals with the intersection of environmental policy and social...
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