Development of impact assessment methodologies for environmental sustainability

Bare, Jane
April 2014
Clean Technologies & Environmental Policy;Apr2014, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p681
Academic Journal
Despite years of discussion on the merits of sustainability, there is still no consensus on how to determine if environmental sustainability is achieved or even if progress is made. The Brundtland Commission statement that sustainability 'meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (World Commission on Environment and Development, Our common future, Oxford University Press, New York, )' establishes the long-term focus of sustainability goals. Impact categories, such as land and water use, that can cause large spatial and long-temporal scale impacts are important for sustainability assessments, and may require detailed spatial analysis to capture all the important input parameters. Environmental sustainability impact assessments can use life cycle impact assessment methodologies, but can also be supplemented with impact assessments conducted from a variety of perspectives. Having this flexibility of perspective can allow more detailed site-specific assessments that may represent unsustainable situations. While it is necessary to provide decision support with a comprehensive assessment, aggregation of impact categories has the disadvantage of obscuring the individual vulnerabilities of each impact category, which can be critically important to the overall sustainability picture. An outline of a sustainability assessment case study focused on biomass-based alternatives required under the renewable fuel standard will be provided to demonstrate a more comprehensive view of sustainability.


Related Articles

  • The use of life cycle tools to support decision making for sustainable nanotechnologies. Meyer, David; Upadhyayula, Venkata // Clean Technologies & Environmental Policy;Apr2014, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p757 

    Nanotechnology is a broad-impact technology with applications ranging from materials and electronics to analytical methods and metrology. The many benefits that can be realized through the utilization of nanotechnology are intended to lead to an improved quality of life. However, numerous...

  • Preface to Special Topic: U.S.-China EcoPartnerships: Approaches to Challenges in Energy and Environment. Mahajan, Devinder; Chai Xiaoli; Holuj, Brian; Wu Hongliang; Novelli, Catherine A. // Journal of Renewable & Sustainable Energy;Jul2015, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p1 

    A preface to the July 2015 issue of the Journal of Renewable & Sustainable Energy is presneted.

  • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, CLEAN TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE FROM INDUSTRY. Sokolović, Slobodan M.; Zavargo, Zoltan Z.; Sokolović, Dunja S. // Thermal Science;2012 Supplement, Vol. 16, pS131 

    Clean technology or clean production is the most important factor for the economic growth of a society and it will play the main role not only in the area of cleaner production, but also in sustainable development. The development of clean technology will be the main factor of the company's...

  • #BusinessCase: Why Renewable Energy Will Make or Break Business Success. Kähkönen, Nadia // SB Business Weekly;10/19/2015, p1 

    The article offers information on the priority of world leaders to achieve sustainable development goals and discusses the growth of the renewable energy sector, and investments in renewable energy from big brands such as coffee company Starbucks, and Nike, footwear manufacturing company.

  • Our Unsustainable Present: Why, and What Can We Do About It? Reitan, Paul H.; Reitan, Eric // Electronic Green Journal;Dec98, pN.PAG 

    Provides information on man's impact on the environment. Reason for the unsustainable condition of societies; Role of social learning in sustainable development; Information on the need for the cultivation of world views.

  • The Concept of Sustainable Development Revisited. Avila-Pires, Fernando Dias de; Mior, Luiz Carlos; Aguiar, Vilênia Porto; de Mello Schlemper, Susana Regina // Foundations of Science;Sep2000, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p261 

    The concept of sustainable development is here revised in the light of a brief historical analysis, followed by a semantic analysis of the expressions development and sustainability . The authors criticize the common use of this concept in a loose way or in wide generalizations, to conclude,...

  • From individualism to healthy communities: toward ecological adaptability Lee, Robert G. // Human Ecology Review;Spring/Summer1997, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p17 

    No abstract available.

  • Untitled. Kessler, Elisabeth // AMBIO - A Journal of the Human Environment;Feb2003, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p1 

    Introduces a series of articles on international efforts toward the realization of sustainable development, published in the February 2003 issue of 'Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment.'

  • Spines 2: To and From The Editor. Frolich, Larry // Journal of Sustainability Education;Mar2011, p17 

    An introduction is presented in which the editor discusses various reports within the issue on topics related to sustainability.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics