TITLE

Development of impact assessment methodologies for environmental sustainability

AUTHOR(S)
Bare, Jane
PUB. DATE
April 2014
SOURCE
Clean Technologies & Environmental Policy;Apr2014, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p681
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
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.
ACCESSION #
95632701

 

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