International Journal of Sustainable Development (9 papers in press)
Closing the loop for resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production: a critical review of the circular economy
by Mark Anthony
Abstract: The circular economy proposition is not a novel concept. However, it has recently stimulated sustainable consumption and production ideas on remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling of materials. A thorough literature review suggests that the circular economys regenerative systems are intended to minimise industrial waste, emissions, and energy leakages through the creation of long-lasting designs that improve resource efficiencies. In this light, this research critically analyses the circular economys closed loop systems. The findings suggest that this sustainable development model could unleash a new wave of operational improvements and enhanced productivity levels through waste management and the responsible use and reuse of materials in business and industry. In conclusion, this research implies that closed loop and product service systems could result in significant efficiencies in sustainable consumption and production of resources.
Keywords: circular economy; resource efficiency; corporate sustainability; creating shared value; corporate social responsibility; strategic CSR; stakeholder engagement; social responsibility; recycling resources; reusing resources; restoring resources; reducing resources.
Gender mainstreaming of the impacts of 2012 flood-induced migration on household livelihoods in Nigeria
by Chukwuedozie Ajaero, Arinze Mozie
Abstract: This study examined the impact of the 2012 flood disasters on the livelihoods of migrant male-headed (MHH) and female-headed households (FHH) in five rural Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Southeastern Nigeria. These LGAs were selected because they are situated on the banks of rivers, are vulnerable to floods, and are among the most badly devastated areas during the 2012 floods. Data were obtained using mixed methods comprising questionnaire surveys and key informant interviews. From each LGA, 60 households totaling 300 households were sampled. Descriptive statistics, asset index technique, and logistic regression were used for data analysis. The aggregate index for the MHHs decreased from 0.4600 before to 0.1000 after the floods, and from 0.5068 before to 0.0108 after the floods for the FHHs. Age, occupation, income and education were the most significant predictors of livelihood security for the MHHs while income was the major predictor of livelihhood security for the FHHs.
Keywords: female-headed households; 2012 floods; livelihoods; migration; Nigeria; male- headed households.
Origin and implementation of a new public policy for on-site sanitation in France: towards a more responsible global value chain of wastewater?
by Olivier Fouché, José-Frédéric Deroubaix, Behzad Nasri, Tristan Lemaire
Abstract: A reform in 2006 created the public service for on-site sanitation (OSS), called SPANC in French, based on a transfer of competence from the state to municipalities. The aim of this service inside a given territory is to initiate and follow-up the on-site wastewater treatment devices. Implementation of the new public policy has been monitored for six years. On each survey field, semi-directive interviews were performed with the actors: users, elected representatives, the staff in charge of the service, and officials at the national level. According to the local context, the users have behaviours combining loyalty and defection. The study of the users' behaviours faced with strategies applied by different SPANCs explains the contradictions that led to conflicts. Finally, the SPANC turned to be poorly legitimised owing to lack of consistency at the source, in scientific knowledge. In this condition, the global value chain of OSS will hardly be responsible.
Keywords: stakeholders; soil functions; environmental impact; public service; territory; interview; questionnaire; sustainable development; global value chain; public policy implementation; on-site sanitation; SPANC; purification market; European water framework directive; wastewater; France.
Price-cap regulation of private water services for small towns in Burkina Faso based on solar energy
by Christelle Pezon
Abstract: The Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 sets the ambitious goal of achieving universal access to safe water by 2030. This article explores the conditions for achieving this goal in Burkinabè small towns under public-private partnerships (PPP). It results from an action-research project that adopted a price-based methodology, and involved a researcher, the author, and high level sector stakeholders, in a one-year participatory process, for defining a water policy that would be equitable for users and financially sustainable for private operators engaged in ten-year affermage contracts. The conditions to universalise in an equitable way the access to safely managed water services in Burkina are to switch to solar energy and to enforce a consistent price-cap regulation.
Keywords: water supply; financial sustainability; equity; water tariff; Agenda 2030 for development; public-private partnerships; regulation; small towns; Burkina Faso; solar energy.
Redirecting hotel management towards greater efficiency in water consumption: a case study
by Inés Ruiz-Rosa, F.J. García-Rodríguez, J.C. Santamarta-Cerezal
Abstract: This paper analyses the case of the Hotel Botánico, an establishment located in the north of the island of Tenerife, a mature destination. This hotel has implemented a series of measures, related to its business strategy, aimed at increasing water consumption savings. As a result, it has been proven that, in five years, this hotel has managed to recover 86% of its investment just through the resulting saving on water consumption, as well as achieving indirect impacts by improving its business reputation. This allows us to conclude, in the absence of further studies, that for hotels located in tourist destinations in stages of maturity and decline, the implementation of efficient water use measures ultimately enhances the competitiveness of the hotel company, both directly (cost reduction) and indirectly (improving loyalty).
Keywords: water efficiency; water management; hotels; tourism.
SMEs' suppliers' practices and contractors' expectations on CSR management tools: the gap
by Karen Delchet-Cochet, Juliette Azhar-Arnal
Abstract: Stakeholder relationships, especially between multinational companies (MNCs) and their numerous suppliers [small and medium enterprises (SMEs)] are closely intertwined in a supply chain perspective (Gereffi and Lee, 2016). It is a major challenge to properly disseminate more sustainable practices, products and services respecting local and global ecosystems. But MNCs and SMEs are not only 'lost in sustainable tools', but also are different in their expectations and practices. Paradoxically, though MNCs and SMEs are encouraged/and are often willing to adopt CSR tools (ISO26000, AA1000 AS, etc.) to reach economic, social and environmental sustainable goals specifically based on a stakeholder approach, they tend to impose inappropriate tools to SMEs and a 'no dialogue' relationship. The aim of this paper is to compare CSR tools developed and used by SMEs on the one hand and developed and used by large contractors for their suppliers on the other hand. The question of alignment between SMEs' practices and MNCs' expectations is important to ensure a sustainable performance among the supply chain and manage this relationship between suppliers and contractors.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; social and environmental standards; sustainable procurement; suppliers-contractors relationships; small and medium enterprises; SMEs.
Institutions, economic growth and natural resources in Sub-Saharan African countries
by Dorothé Yong Ngondjeb, Jean Hugues Nlom
Abstract: The present study explores a sub-mechanism by which growth is implicitly slowed down: efficiency of institutions due to the illicit outflow of capital. This paper uses previously defined models of rent-seeking behaviour in resource-abundant economies to explain the observed effects. The empirical analysis explores direct linkages between institutions, economic growth and natural resource rents in a panel dataset of 32 Sub-Saharan African countries between 1980 and 2010. The study tests the hypothesis that countries more dependent on natural resources exhibit higher levels of illicit capital outflows. The result indicates that an increase in natural resource rents by one percentage point increases the capital flight-to-GDP ratio by approximately 12.9%. This relationship still holds even when control variables are introduced. These results can be attributed both to the effect of natural resource endowments on the political and economic climate, and to the aforementioned mechanism through which resources slow growth over time.
Keywords: institutions; capital flight; natural resource rents; economic growth; Sub-Saharan Africa.
Can the motor vehicle manufacturing industry be sustainable? Exploring the relationships between profitability, the green economy and environmental sustainability in South Africa
by Prue Portia Jacqueline Mutumi, Danny Simatele
Abstract: This paper discusses the applicability of environmental sustainability initiatives within the motor vehicle manufacturing industry in South Africa. Sustainability principles remain contested because of divergent interpretations although several studies have suggested the concept refers to using resources to meet intergenerational societal needs, whilst ensuring ecological conservation. The South African manufacturing industry which houses vehicle manufacturing has been identified as a suitable industry for pursuing sustainability principles, largely because vehicle industries yield resources and power that can facilitate mainstreaming a green agenda under the 'green growth path' the country has adopted. Using secondary and primary data collected through an extensive literature review and a pilot study, this paper discusses how the automotive industry can align itself with environmental sustainability principles within regulatory structures on a national, regional and global scale. This has been analysed vis-à-vis current debate on the relationship between the 'green economy' and sustainable development, emphasising on environmental sustainability.
Keywords: sustainability; green economy; motor vehicle manufacturing; environmental management systems; EMS; South Africa.
Protecting biodiversity by developing bio-jobs: a multi-branch analysis with an illustration using French data
by Jean De Beir, Céline Emond, Yannick L'Horty, Laetitia Tuffery
Abstract: We refer to jobs that promote biodiversity as bio-jobs. These jobs are located in a small number of sectors generally linked to natural resources: naturalist research, forestry, public works, water and waste management, etc. In this article, we examine two economic policies favouring the development of these bio-jobs. The government can support demand in sectors with bio-jobs through public procurement or can develop them through targeted exemptions. The most effective and relevant combination of these instruments is investigated via an original framework. We show that the government's action is driven by the nature of the sectors and especially by the level of any existing private demand. Then, the level of the wages plays a major role in the government's budget decision. Finally, we apply these recommendations to French data.
Keywords: biodiversity conservation; bio-jobs; public policy; multi-branch analysis; French data.