International Journal of Sustainable Development (10 papers in press)
Closing the loop for resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production: a critical review of the circular economy
by Mark Camilleri
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.
What are the sustainability principles guiding social life cycle assessment studies?
by Pauline Feschet, Nathalie Iofrida, Anna Irene De Luca, Federica Silveri, Alfio Strano
Abstract: Sustainable Development (SD) and sustainability are considered the main goals of Life Cycle (LC) methodologies. This paper has a double purpose: first, to reflect upon the methodological diversity in Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) approaches by paying attention to the theoretical underpinnings in terms of sustainability and SD concepts; secondly, to investigate possible links between the sustainability principles and the different types of SLCA study. Therefore, a literature review has been conducted to investigate which have been the main sustainability and/or SD definitions that guided the authors in their LC studies and methodological proposals. Results showed that most of the references to sustainability and SD concepts are ascribable to three main schools of thoughts. We deduced a link between these main approaches to SD and the different types of SLCA, resulting in a different management of the research process (theory mobilised, methodology used, results provided).
Keywords: social LCA; life cycle assessment; life cycle sustainability assessment; sustainable development; sustainability.
Human well-being after 2015 Nepal earthquake: micro-evidence from one of the hardest hit rural villages
by Jeet Bahadur Sapkota
Abstract: This study assesses the human well-being in one of the most affected rural villages of Nepal, ten months after the 2015 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. Through a survey of 399 households, we found that the earthquake increased the poverty and out-of-school children by 9% and 7%, respectively. It also killed 17 people and injured 53 people seriously. Results also revealed that both objective as well as subjective human well-being is significantly associated with the degree of destruction, access to physical and social infrastructure, and the sociocultural identity of the respondents. These results have clear policy implications for the disaster risk reduction and sustainable reconstruction of the ruined rural areas.
Keywords: natural disasters; 2015 Nepal earthquake; human well-being; access to infrastructure; household survey; rural; sustainable reconstruction; Ramche; Sindhupalchok.
Livelihood vulnerability index: an application to assess the climate vulnerability status of inland small scale fishing livelihood
by Md Nazmus Sadekin, Jamal Ali, Rabiul Islam
Abstract: Nowadays, vulnerability is considered as a vital concept in the research of global change as well as in the research related to climate change. Climate change has been creating unprecedented impacts on natural and human systems, and is predicted to do more so in future. These impacts are predicted to lead to vulnerability in natural and human systems, such as fishing communities, agricultural communities, riverine livelihoods, etc. The livelihood systems of a fishery-based community, especially the livelihood of small scale fishing communities of inland open water areas, are severely affected by climate changes in different ways, and for this reason in-depth studies on vulnerability are necessary. The prime objective of this study is to develop an index to assess the climate vulnerability status of small scale fishing communities of inland open water areas. Here, the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) method is used to assess the climate vulnerability status of small scale fishing communities of inland open water area.
Keywords: climate change; vulnerability; inland fishing; small scale fisheries; livelihood.
Regional sustainable development indicators for developing countries: case study of provinces in Indonesia
by Bachril Bakri, Ernan Rustiadi, Akhmad Fauzi, Soeryo Adiwibowo
Abstract: A number of sustainable development indicators have been developed on a national and local scale. However, given the large number of existing and ineffective indicators to promote the realisation of sustainable development of the provincial regions in Indonesia. The purpose of this study were to formulate indicators for sustainable development of provincial regions in Indonesia, and to analyse typology and characteristics of sustainable development of provinces in Indonesia. This study develops 21 indicators of sustainable development for the Indonesian provinces. The results can be used to analyse the typology and characteristics of regional development in Indonesia and as a reference for developing countries. The two methods used are Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis. The indicators are obtained by integrating the interests of regional, national and global development with the results of previous research. Also, a six-cluster typology of regional development for Indonesian provinces is obtained based on data from the gains of the 21 local development indicators from 2010-2014. Of the six clusters, Cluster III and Cluster VI are unique. Both of these clusters can be used as examples of real differences in the characteristics of the development of the provinces of Indonesia. The differences show that the provinces with a high development performance in the economic and social dimensions have a low performance (are counter productive) in terms of the environmental dimension. This is shown in Cluster VI, which can be classified as very high in terms of provincial sustainable development performance in the economic and social dimensions of sustainability and very low in terms of performance in the environmental and institutional dimensions. Some policy implications can be drawn from the research results related to the development of sustainable provincial development indicators in developing countries. The policy implications are related to three aspects: the orientation aspect of the indicators, the development orientation aspect, and the political aspects of the institution.
Keywords: sustainability indicators; sustainable regional development; developing country; decentralisation; component analysis; cluster analysis; typology.
Knowledge and understanding of sustainability labels in Brazil
by Kavita Hamza, Denise Dalmarco, Andres Veloso
Abstract: The introduction of sustainability labels on packaging demands large efforts from companies that expect economic or moral rewards when labelling their products. However, consumers still struggle to incorporate sustainability labels into purchasing decisions. Therefore, we focus on investigating the relationship between sustainable behaviour and the level of knowledge and understanding consumers have about different types of label and claim. We visited 408 households in different Brazilian regions. Participants were able to manually inspect four products and point out the sustainability labels they found on packaging and their meanings. Factor analysis followed by a two-stage cluster analysis identified the existence of three clusters. In general, consumers have little knowledge and understanding of labels, but more sustainable consumers have a higher level of knowledge and understanding. Their main mistakes were the incorrect understanding of labels meaning, and confusion between claims and sustainability labels. Based on these results, we present implications for policymakers and companies.
Keywords: sustainability; sustainability labels; consumer behavior; sustainability claims; sustainable packaging.
Waste prevention: a misunderstood concept
by Mickael Dupré
Abstract: Waste prevention has recently become a core topic of waste management. For 30 years, public policies have focused on waste-sorting communication. More recently, communication has targeted citizens to promote waste prevention. Waste sorting is a clear concept among the public, but waste prevention is not as clear. Our study aims to explore the social representation of waste prevention, in order to identify cognitions related to this concept and thus help to understand how citizens deal with it. The results prove that waste prevention is largely understood as waste sorting. We formulated some advice for public policies.
Keywords: waste prevention,communication; public policies; social representations.
Comparisons of inverse modeling approaches for predicting energy consumption, economic growth and CO2 emissions: a case study for low-income countries
by Sami Chaabouni
Abstract: This study examines the causal relationships between CO2 emissions, energy consumption and economic growth in low-income countries for the period 1995-2013. The artificial neural network (ANN) model is applied to predict three variables during 2014-2025. Our empirical results show that there is bidirectional causality between economic growth and CO2 emissions, as well as energy consumption and economic growth, and there is unidirectional causal relationship running from energy consumption to CO2 emissions. In order to reduce emissions and to avoid a negative effect on the economic growth, low-income countries should adopt the dual strategy of increasing investment in energy infrastructure and stepping up energy conservation policies to increase energy efficiency and reduce wastage of energy. A comparison with a dynamic simultaneous-equation model shows that the ANN model performs better for predictions.
Keywords: CO2 emissions; energy consumption; economic growth; low-income countries.
Measuring residential sustainability performance: an indexing approach
by Didem Dizdaroglu
Abstract: In recent years, numerous sustainability indicator frameworks have been developed at a wide range of geographical units. However, most of them raise challenges in terms of measurement owing to data unavailability at smaller scales. This research addresses this gap by introducing a GIS-based sustainability assessment model called Micro-level Urban-ecosystem Sustainability IndeX (MUSIX) to evaluate the environmental impacts of urban areas. MUSIX is designed as a policy-making support tool to highlight key environmental issues at the local level, which concentrates specifically on residential developments. MUSIX measures the sustainability performance of a residential area by generating a set of parcel-scale indicators. The model has been tested in a comparative study. In the light of model findings, the policy actions undertaken by different governmental institutions for sustainable urban development were evaluated. This paper provides a summary of the results and concludes with a discussion of the limitations and future research directions.
Keywords: sustainable development; sustainability assessment; sustainability indicators; GIS-based spatial analysis.