Journal of Cleaner Production

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0959-6526


Adaptive fuzzy frequency hopping system
  • Conference Paper

February 1993


184 Reads

P.J. Pacini


An adaptive fuzzy system generates the frequency hopping sequence for a spread spectrum communications system. The authors describe a fuzzy rule-based pseudorandom number generator. Adaptive fuzzy rules map distributions of old output frequencies to show new output frequencies. These rules, with some initial conditions and the sampling pattern that gives the previous outputs' distribution, fix the output sequence. Each sequence has an unknown length if it repeats at all. Such sequences are hard for an eavesdropper to predict if he does not know either the rules, the initial conditions, or the sample pattern. This fuzzy system can generate a sequence uniform over any number of frequencies. The fuzzy system was tested with 100 and 1025 frequencies and compared to a shift register with linear feedback. The fuzzy system had lower chi-squared values and thus gave a more uniform or more random spread than did the shift register. The fuzzy system was easier to change and harder to intercept

Energy transition towards economic and environmental sustainability: feasible paths and policy implications (DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.10.015)

March 2010


530 Reads

This paper focuses on growth feasibility in an era of increasing scarcity of fossil fuels. A stylised dynamic model illustrates the implications of investing in smooth technological progress in the field of renewable energy. Positive rates of GDP growth sustained by fossil fuels entail, on the one hand, more income available for R&D in renewable energy sources, and on the other, an acceleration of the exhaustible resource depletion time. Our model explores such a trade-off and highlights the danger of high growth rates. Policies should target low growth rates, stimulate investment in alternative energy sources and discourage consumption growth.

Life-cycle assessment of 11 kV electrical overhead lines and underground cables

September 2010


1,048 Reads

The life-cycle impacts of five different 11 kV electrical power cables (three overhead lines and two underground cables) were analysed. These were compared by their embodied impacts in production and total lifetime operational impacts. The life-cycle results revealed there to be three key issues, the impacts of climate change, fossil fuel depletion, and particulate matter formation (PMF). The former two were of particular significance. The embodied impacts, which are those associated with the materials, were generally determined to be insignificant. The exception was for underground cables at low operating loads. Under these conditions PMF was more significant as a result of the high embodied impacts of the cables. Further analysis revealed that these impacts could be mitigated with an end of life material recovery program. At present the underground cables are not recovered, but if they were the recycling benefits would give rise to a notable improvement in PMF. For the other impact categories operational conductor losses were the dominant cause of impacts. In summary it was concluded that to minimise the life-cycle impacts of 11 kV cables the system with the lowest conductor resistance should be selected.

Energy use and environmental impacts of forest operations in Sweden (vol 13, pg 33, 2005)

January 2005


263 Reads

An inventory of energy use in forest operations in Sweden 1996 and 1997 comprises all operations including seedling production, silviculture, logging and secondary haulage to forest industries. Energy use in Swedish forestry was about 150–200 MJ/m3 of timber, depending on the locality in Sweden. This inventory demonstrates much higher energy use for secondary haulage than was anticipated by earlier studies. In contrast to this, energy use in logging shows a slight decrease compared to the state of operations a decade earlier, possibly reflecting improvements in technology and management. Although secondary haulage operations account for the largest share of the energy used, logging and silviculture generate the highest levels of certain exhaust emissions. Emissions were either fuel-related (CO2, SOx) or engine-related (hydrocarbons, NOx). Use of renewable fuels and improvements in engine design and the better adjustment of engines to forestry operations could decrease these kinds of emissions.The emission of gases that contribute to climate change is very small compared to national emissions. Nevertheless, there is scope for a further decrease of this contribution. Timber is an interesting raw material for alternative fuels, thus enabling a better market prospect for such timber that does not meet the specifications of traditional forest industry.

Cleaner production and profitability: Analysis of 134 industrial pollution prevention (P2) project reports

May 2005


1,085 Reads

Pollution prevention (P2) can be taken as the father of modern approaches to the pro-active management of industrial eco-efficiency. Despite the radical changes and methodological developments following its introduction, over the past 30 years, P2 still remains a useful conceptual and procedural tool for improving the environmental performance of production systems. The essential characteristic of the P2 approach is the ‘reduction at source’ principle, derived from the idea that the generation of pollutants can be reduced or eliminated by increasing efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water and other resources. From this point of view, it is also a means of raising operational efficiency and profitability. The numerous success cases as well as the less satisfactory results documented in the scientific and technical literature provided the starting point for a detailed analysis of how and to what extent industrial P2 projects have been developed and realised, particularly in terms of profitability. To this end, the information in 134 P2 project reports taken from various bibliographic sources was collected and processed. The high frequency of P2 projects' objectives that focused on cost efficiency demonstrates that the environmental management of production processes has changed from a compliance point of view into a strategic issue for company long-range competitiveness. On the other hand, the scarce use of systematic techniques and tools suggests that adoption of the P2 approach by companies is still in the early stage, mainly based on pilot projects, empirical and is not completely integrated into the management process.

ISO 14001 diffusion after the success of the ISO 9001 model

November 2008


309 Reads

The interest shown by organizations and other entities linked by the implementation of environmental management systems (EMS), especially the family of ISO 14000 standards and the EMAS regulation in Europe, has grown spectacularly all over the world in recent years, even though a certain saturation has been detected in some countries. That leads us to ask, is EMS implementation already saturated? This article will analyze the case of the successful ISO 14000 standard, based on previous experience with the most widely used standardised management systems in the entire world: quality management systems (QMS). Will EMS follow in the footsteps of QMS?The analysis carried out, using a logistic curve that fits quite well to explain the nature of this growth, distinguishes three general patterns to explain the diffusion of these norms, namely, expansionistic, mature and retrocessive.

Fig. 1. Certification diffusion between the sectors of each industry.  
Table 1 Certification penetration within industries 
Fig. 2. Regression line between ISO 14001 and ISO 9000 sector penetration indices (PI).
Table 3 Certification penetration within sectors of each industry 
Table 4 Size and profitability comparisons for sectors of each industry 


The state of ISO 14001 certification in Greece
  • Article
  • Full-text available

December 2007


733 Reads

Consideration is given to the evaluation of the present state of ISO 14001 implementation, as determined by the penetration of certifications and of certification agencies within industries in Greece. After identifying nearly all certified enterprises by the end of year 2004, a large cluster of 153 enterprises (circa 80.5% of all certifications), for which published information was available, are analysed. The data used concern both individual enterprises and demographic averages for respective industrial activities (determined by industry and sector). Analysis reveals ISO 14001 to be mainly accepted in manufacture, with both services and commerce to seriously lag behind. Analysis by sector, a more detailed activity indicator, shows marked ISO 14001 penetration differences between sectors, suggesting the influence of activity-related practices as a major certification driver. Evidence is also provided for the existence of a sector-related certification culture associating ISO 14001 certification decisions with ISO 9000 sector penetration levels. In addition, relatively larger enterprises, but not necessarily more profitable, seem to seek ISO 14001 certification in most sectors. Finally, analyses of all main certification agencies identified in Greece demonstrate that, with one exception, the choice of agency is mostly independent of industrial activity as well as certified enterprise size and profitability.

Environmental Impact Evaluation using a Cooperative Model for Implementing EMS (ISO 14001) in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

September 2008


311 Reads

Certification of an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) is currently an important requirement for those enterprises wishing to sell their products in the context of a global market. The system's structure is based on environmental impact evaluation (EIE). However, if an erroneous or inadequate methodology is applied, the entire process may be jeopardized. Many methodologies have been developed for making of EIEs, some of them are fairly complex and unsuitable for EMS implementation in an organizational context, principally when small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are involved.The proposed methodology for EIE is part of a model for implementing EMS. The methodological approach used was a qualitative exploratory research method based upon sources of evidence such as document analyses, semi-structured interviews and participant observations.By adopting a cooperative implementation model based on the theory of system engineering, difficulties relating to implementation of the sub-system were overcome thus encouraging SMEs to implement EMS.

Fig. 1. An overview of the research methodology. 
Fig. 2. A conceptual model of underlying mechanisms in the maintenance of ISO 14001 certification (M-ISO model). 
Underlying mechanisms in the maintenance of ISO 14001 environmental management system

December 2008


1,659 Reads

In this paper we aim to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the maintenance of ISO 14001. Initially, we looked into the Hillary's [Hillary R. Evaluation of study reports on the barriers, opportunities and drivers for small and medium sized enterprises – the adoption of environmental management systems. Report for DTI Envirodoctorate 5th October, 1999. London: NEMA; 1999] evaluation study on barriers, opportunities and drivers for small and medium enterprises that adopted environmental management systems and we developed a comprehensive list of barriers identified in the literature. We have used this set of barriers to investigate the underlying mechanisms in the maintenance of ISO 14001 environmental management system through an in-depth longitudinal case study in manufacturing organisations. We have determined five underlying processes (transforming and value adding; administrating and improving; understanding and accepting; communicating and learning; availability of resources) and five key actors (external environment; environmental management team; ISO 14001 EMS; organisation; resources and skills), which interactions are captured in M-ISO model. Finally, based on our study we offer directions for future research.

ISO 14001. Certification in Brazil: Motivations and benefits

January 2008


659 Reads

Why do firms seek the ISO 14001 certification? This study presents a survey with 63 Brazilian companies from the chemical, mechanical and electronic industries. A Structural Equations Model (SEM) analyzed the relations between motivations and benefits related to the certification. An exploratory factor analysis identified four sources of motivation: reaction to pressures from the external stakeholders; proaction in expectation of future business concerns; legal concerns; and internal influences. Four dimensions characterized the benefits of an ISO 14001 certification: operational changes; financial impacts; relationship with business stakeholders (customers, competitors, suppliers); and relationship with societal stakeholders (government, society and NGOs). The motivations appear in two levels. Internal and legal motivations are the first level (antecedents), while reactive and proactive motivations are second level (consequents). Internal motivations explain reactive and proactive motivations and production benefits. Legal motivations explain proactive motivations, financial benefits, and benefits in relationships with societal stakeholders.

Towards implementation of ISO 14001 environmental management systems in selected industries in China

June 2005


1,409 Reads

China has undergone rapid changes since adoption of the reform and opening policy in 1978. Meanwhile, China has paid a great cost; e.g. severe environmental deterioration making it one of the most endangered urban and rural environments in the world. In improving the environment, China has taken a number of possible measures including promotion of ISO 14001. To investigate the implementation status of ISO 14001 and its impact on enterprises in China, a structured questionnaire survey has been conducted. The result indicates that the major motivation for the system was to seek entrance to the international market. The other benefits are: standardization of environmental management procedures for internal operations; saving resources and reducing wastage for corporate management; improving corporate image (CI) for marketing effects; enhancing environmental awareness of suppliers for supplier relations. Using relative importance analysis, the study identifies the critical factors affecting implementation of the standards. The top five out of 27 factors are: (1) environmental consciousness of top leaders; (2) environmental consciousness of middle management; (3) well-defined responsibility for environmental management; (4) legal system; and (5) legal enforcement. Based on the analysis and discussion, the study concludes that the Chinese government should take the lead in improving the legal framework, providing financial support and training to promote ISO 14001 to the Chinese enterprises.

Evaluation of critical success factors of implementation of ISO 14001 using analytic hierarchy process (AHP): a case study from Malaysia

September 2008


649 Reads

The factors and sub-factors critical to the successful implementation of ISO 14001-based environmental management system (EMS) and benefits that can be reaped from the implementation were explored in this study. An empirical study using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was carried out to find the relative weights and priorities of these critical success factors and benefits. The study was carried out in Malaysia among companies in the electrical and electronics sector. The results of the study indicate that the critical success factors in the order of importance are as follows: management approach, organizational change, technical aspects, and external and social aspects. The results of the study also indicate the benefits that can be obtained by the implementation of ISO 14001: improvement in the company's image and reputation, improvement in company's processes and profits, improvement in customer loyalty and trust, and improvement in staff morale and employer–employee relations.

Developing a methodology for analysis of benefits and shortcomings of ISO 14001 registration: Lessons from experience of a large machinery manufacturer

August 2001


246 Reads

The decision-making process of implementing an Environmental Management System according to the ISO 14001 registration is a critical task for a number of reasons. The first is that most of the benefit and cost attributes are intangible by their nature and are difficult to measure. Second, the strategic decision has a relevant “political” dimension, since it requires a multidisciplinary support and convergence from different functions/departments within a company. Third, the analysis of the pros and cons is highly firm- and situation-specific and thus requires a versatile and flexible approach. This paper illustrates the formulation of a decision support methodology for multi-attribute analysis of ISO 14001 implementation which involves developing a framework of benefits and costs and structuring them hierarchically for the successive use of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). After presenting the theoretical foundations of the AHP and the research model that has been built for ISO 14001 implementation, an application of the methodology that has been carried out at one large food machinery manufacturer is illustrated.

Critical factors for implementing ISO 14001 standard in United States industrial companies

November 2003


323 Reads

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study carried out on a sample of certified industrial companies that operate in the United States, with the aim of identifying some of the critical factors for successful implementation of the ISO 14001 registration process. The paper reveals that it takes most of the companies between 8 to 19 months to obtain ISO 14001 certification. In addition, the ISO 14001 elements requiring the greatest effort are: identifying environmental aspects, environmental management system (EMS) documentation, training, EMS audits, operational control, environmental management program, objectives and targets, and document control. The survey also reveals that high certification cost and lack of other available resources are the greatest obstacles for implementing the ISO 14001 standard.

ISO 14001 certification and financial performance: Selection-effect versus treatment-effect

January 2011


848 Reads

The paper explores the bi-directional relationship between ISO 14001 certification and financial performance with the aim of shedding light on whether better performance is due to the beneficial effects of ISO 14001 or due to selection-effects where better performance precedes accreditation. The study uses a five year longitudinal analysis to compare the financial performance of firms in Spain before and after certification. The results of a multivariate panel data analysis find that firms with better than average performance have a greater propensity to pursue accreditation but there is no evidence that improvements in performance follow certification. This suggests that the inference that environmental variables cause improved financial performance may be unwise in research studies that can only measure association.

Table 3
Table 6
Common environmental indicators in international performance indicator frameworks Output/process indicators Energy use (specified to kind of energy, e.g.
General methods for assessing continual improvement
The soul of the machine: Continual improvement in ISO 14001

March 2008


1,484 Reads

Continual improvement is a key component of ISO 14001, but in contrast to most other specifications in the standard, it is difficult to assess. Based on interviews with 19 certified companies in the chemical, food, and environmental services sectors, this article explores the dynamics of continual improvement. While most auditing practices focus on the operational level of improvement, the system level is more important in realizing continual improvement. Taking continual improvement as an explicit principle, defining long-term objectives, and widening the scope of environmental policy objectives can be used as indicators for system level improvement. Front-runners in continual improvement tend to use more management indicators and think more favourably on benchmarking. They are relatively stronger motivated by internal policy ambitions, and parent company aims than by pressures from outside. Further elaboration of performance frameworks for continual improvement is needed, taking into account the way performance indicators can stimulate internal motivational, and policy processes.

Fig. 1. The role of EMS in higher education in the steps towards a more sustainable society. Source: Sammalisto and Arvidsson [5]. 
Fig. 4. Circumstances reported as interfering with personal ambitions for environmental work. Source: The authors.
Fig. 5. Perceived contribution to sustainable development. Source: The authors.
Training and Communication in the Implementation of Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001): A Case Study at the University of Gävle, Sweden

February 2008


3,324 Reads

Training and communication are essential elements in the implementation of environmental management systems (EMS). This study is based on two main questions: (i) What methods for training and communication will support the implementation of EMS at a university? and, (ii) How did faculty and staff perceive the training and communication activities? The study includes a literature review, a case study of methods for training and communication, and results of a semi quantitative survey of the perception of training and communication. All activities took place at the University of Gävle (Sweden). The University of Gävle was certified according to ISO 14001 in 2004. Practical experiences from the implementation of EMS in industry were used as reference.The literature review indicates that training is a key factor during implementation of EMS, and that training may change attitude and behaviour among managers and employees. Similar conclusions can be drawn from this study. The case study, and practical experiences from industry, indicate that similar methods of EMS training and communication can be shared by industry and universities. However, “academic freedom” and “critical thinking” may result in the need for more interactive training methods at a university than in industry. The results of the survey indicate that the training and communication have increased awareness of environmental issues. A deeper understanding of the personal role in the EMS was also observed. It can be concluded that the EMS training and communication team has a demanding task to introduce the concept of indirect environmental aspects at a university. Lecturers and researchers should be convinced that the greening of a college involves more than, for example, reducing the consumption of paper. The main role of EMS at a university should be to focus on indirect environmental aspects, for example, to introduce environmental and sustainability issues in courses and research.

The ISO 14031 standard to guide the urban sustainability measurement process: an Italian experience

August 2008


224 Reads

The international debate on sustainable development policies focuses its intervention programmes on the urban context and, according to the principles of participation and subsidiarity, emphasizes the needs to define suitable indicators in order to represent complex problems in a simple way. However, in literature, common positions that acknowledge effective indicators are not yet available: if the utility in adopting reference descriptions and common indicators selection criteria is well established, the claim to define effective lists of indicators for all urban contexts is effective nowadays.In the experience lead by the Municipality of Padua, the standard ISO 14031, that describes the requirements relevant to the environmental performance assessment, was used as reference. In particular, in Padua, within the Local Agenda 21 urban process, the definition of context and performance indicators has followed up in different ways as long as it has pursued different goals: the context indicators, defined by a top-down process, describe the contingent circumstances in which the Forum operates, whereas performance indicators, defined by a participative process, measure the progress of the Local Action Plan, defined by the Forum, and its effectiveness in the future.The conclusions of the research allow to formulate a reference conceptual model that highlights the typical informative requirements of a Local Agenda 21 urban process, and at the same time, solve them proposing the sustainability evaluation as a continuous process. Thanks to both the context and performance indicators, the proposed process is able to analyse the complexity of the urban problems as well as to support decision-making facilitating the sharing of targets.

Allocation in ISO 14041—A critical review

June 2001


791 Reads

The adequacy and feasibility of methods recommended for allocation by the current international standard on life cycle inventory analysis (LCI) are reviewed. The review is based on the view that an LCI should provide information on the environmental consequences of manipulating technological systems. On this basis, subdivision and allocation based on physical, causal relationships are adequate methods to deal with allocation problems for certain multifunction processes where the production volume of exported functions are unaffected. Further research is needed to develop methods that can deal with a broader range of processes. System expansion is an adequate method when exported functions are affected if data can be obtained for the competing production of the exported function, and if the data uncertainties are not too large. In LCI practice, system expansion is often based on inaccurate data on the effects on the exported functions as well as on the indirect effects of changes in the exported functions. Further research is needed to establish what data should be used at system expansion. Other approaches to the allocation problems are adequate only where the effects on the LCI results are small. The ISO procedure should be revised to take into account the type of information provided by the different methods.

Rural electrification under liberal reforms: The case of Peru. Journal of Cleaner Production, 15(2), 143-152

December 2007


296 Reads

Liberal reform programmes in developing countries were not designed with the need to extend electricity supplies to rural areas. This paper focuses on the Peruvian experience, examining the impact of electricity reform policies on the characteristics of rural electrification. In rural areas, electrification levels have traditionally been the lowest in the country – making them less or non-profitable for private firms. Only in 2002 did the government introduce a specific Rural Electrification Law, which was intended to promote electrification within the context of a liberalised market. This paper draws upon an analysis of both this piece of legislation and stakeholder interviews, indicating that there exists a need to look further into the evolving relationship between the private and public sectors and how it affects the rural poor. This study forms part of the RESURL international research project on renewable energy for sustainable rural livelihoods in developing countries, funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DfID).

The evolution of Dutch environmental policy: The changing ecological arena from 1970–2000 and beyond

June 2000


146 Reads

Dutch environmental policies over the past thirty years have expanded through three distinct phases. These policies gradually opened up to engage stakeholders in establishing legislation, formulating implementation plans, and finally jointly defining ecological objectives. Environmental policies became increasingly effective by ensuring the taking on of environmental responsibilities by a growing number of stakeholders. Four unresolved issues present a formidable agenda for environmental policy attention in the next decade: managing CO2 emissions, controlling future infrastructure development, minimising resources use, and reducing the burden on biodiversity. These issues relate to the necessary management of stocks of energy, other non-renewable resources, space, and biodiversity, respectively. Up to now, the issue of the preservation of stocks has not received much policy attention. They are expected to become the new policy issues complementing the traditional emission reduction policies which mainly aim at safeguarding the quality of air, water and soil. It is argued that super-optimizing policies engaging jointly economic, social, and ecological interests, are needed to resolve the issues at stake.

General wisdom concerning the factors affecting the adoption of cleaner technologies: a survey 1990-2007

January 2008


782 Reads

Cleaner technologies (CT) have recently received much attention in diverse media and policy agendas. This comes out of the clear role they play in environmental protection and sustainability and the large potential to contribute to economic growth and competitiveness. The realization of both potentials depends on the level diffusion and exploitation achieved, today very low. This article presents a selective survey of papers that today represent the general wisdom concerning the factors affecting adoption as a primary condition to diffusion and exploitation of CT. The paper helps to clarify the challenges facing diffusion modelers and policy makers when dealing with policy design, assessing the levels of diffusion achieved as well as the factors affecting diffusion of a particular technology. The paper ends outlining further research need in the field.

Normalisation figures for environmental life-cycle assessment: The Netherlands (1997/1998), Western Europe (1995) and the world (1990 and 1995)

November 2003


408 Reads






Normalisation provides a measure of the relative contribution from a product system to one or more environmental problems. Total yearly emissions for a reference year in a reference region are normally used to calculate normalisation figures. This paper provides up-to-date normalisation figures for the Netherlands in 1997/1998, Western Europe in 1995 and the world in 1990 and 1995. Impact categories considered were depletion of abiotic resources, land competition, global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acidification, eutrophication, photochemical ozone formation, radiation and toxicity. In all cases, a limited set of emissions or extractions are dominant contributors to the normalisation scores. Although much effort was spent on collecting emissions data and characterisation factors, particularly normalisation scores for radiation and toxicity remain considerably uncertain.

Assessment of the impact of the DESIRE project on the uptake of waste minimization in small scale industries in India (1993–1997)

April 2004


90 Reads

Project Demonstrations In Small Industries for Reducing waste (DESIRE) was implemented between 1993 and 1995 to foster the uptake of waste minimization among small scale industries in India. The project adopted the PRISMA project design and included: waste minimization assessments in 12 demonstration companies (from three industry sectors); development of a waste minimization assessment methodology customized to the needs and opportunities of small scale industries; assessment of company level constraints and enabling measures; formulation of policy recommendations; and dissemination activities.The follow-up assessment confirmed in all five demonstration companies that still operate under comparable conditions at the start of the DESIRE project, the continued utilization of the capacity built in the DESIRE project. There is also compelling evidence that some companies that participated in follow-up dissemination activities were able to implement waste minimization without an expensive external waste minimization assessment. The policy impact of the DESIRE project is mixed. The project results did however inspire change and catalyze new initiatives and follow-up waste minimization and cleaner production projects.

Cleaner production and eco-efficiency initiatives in Western Australia 1996–2004

December 2007


223 Reads

This paper summarises developments in the promotion and implementation of cleaner production (CP) and eco-efficiency (EE) in Western Australia (WA), in four stages: groundwork (1996–1999), experimentation (1999–2002), roll out (2002–2004) and reorientation (2004 onward). The remoteness of WA and the dominance of the minerals, energy and agribusiness industries, contributed to the late interest in CP and relatively slow start. Pioneers in government, industry and academia started to come together in 1998–1999. Subsequent clarification of concepts and design of programs resulted in a two-pronged strategy to create both a supply and demand for CP services. This enabled a rapid increase in interest in CP, which started to level in 2004. Although this is partially due to external circumstances, it also appears that the limits of current CP and EE theory and practice have been reached. These limits appear to be at least two fold. First, current policies and program designs appear not yet able to achieve a step-increase in the number of businesses involved in CP. Insights from innovation and social marketing theory and practice are now being incorporated in the design and delivery of the next generation of CP programs. Second, it appears that mainstream CP tools are insufficiently catered to the technological and organisational complexity of many industries. Greater engineering and management depth in CP tools might be required to mainstream CP in routine process design, continuous improvement and change management practices.

Emergy evaluation of the sustainability of Chinese steel production during 1998–2004

July 2009


158 Reads

This paper deals with the application of eMergy analysis to the sustainability of Chinese steel production in 1998–2004. Emissions' impacts were quantified using eMergy synthesis and other methods (dilution method, disability adjusted life years (DALY) method and ecological cumulative exergy consumption (ECEC) method). The results show that its sustainability is very low and declining in this period, emissions obviously reduce the sustainability although their impacts are generally decreasing, and the main reasons lie in its low nonrenewable resources and energies' efficiencies. Finally, the related suggestions were put forward for improving its comprehensive performance.

Fig 2. Company contribution to CP activities
Cross cultural conditions & strategies for Cleaner Technology Transfer
Cleaner Technology Transfer Communication Strategy
Regulatory Instruments for local environmental enforcement
Clean technology transfer: a case study from the South African metal finishing industry, 2000–2005

January 2008


355 Reads

The article describes the uptake of cleaner technology to the metal finishing sector in South Africa. Cultural determinants in uptake process are emphasized and strategies to foster uptake are presented: regulatory instruments, communication, training, cleaner technology assessments and subsidy. Results from the period 2000–2005 comprise: more than 12 full-scale demonstration plants were built with best available cleaner technology (BAT) with a pay back time of 1.8 years; design and testing of a cleaner production apprentice education programme; set-up of 3 industrial associations, which have merged into a commercial sustainable nationwide association. A regional environmental authority has developed capabilities for stimulating cleaner technology diffusion and sharpened its regulatory instruments meeting international level.

‘On tomorrow's grounds’, Flemish agriculture in 2030: a case of participatory translation of sustainability principles into a vision for the future

July 2008


55 Reads

In Flanders (Belgium) there is an obvious lack of clear long-term vision on sustainable development, for society as a whole as well as for the individual sectors of (economic) activity. In this paper we present the first results of a process of vision development for Flemish agriculture, called ‘On tomorrow's grounds’. The initiative, taken by Stedula (the Flemish Policy Research Centre for Sustainable Agriculture), shows that discovering core values, stating a concise mission, establishing guiding core principles and working with vivid descriptions of envisaged future systems seem indispensable elements to develop a vision that inspires and mobilizes people and that, eventually, stands a chance of being anchored in the sector's or organisation's culture. The principal method of working of the project was a multi-stakeholder process (MSP) focussed on dialogue. During five extensive stakeholder meetings, representatives of farmers, service industries, food distribution, education, government, research, consumers and NGO's participated in a constructive dialogue on values and mission, principles and two vivid descriptions of envisioned future farms. The concept of the project was welcomed and supported by the Flemish Minister-President and by the Belgian federal state secretary for sustainable development.

Local agenda 21; Articulating the meaning of sustainable development at the level of the individual enterprise

August 2003


121 Reads

While there are examples of good practice the engagement of business in Local Agenda 21 has been restricted. This is certainly true in the UK experience. ‘Missing’ the supply side of the economy in this way is clearly unsatisfactory. This problem has been addressed by the Centre for Sustainable Development from a particular perspective, which follows the multi stakeholder principles of sustainable development (SD). This paper analyses a project to make a simple clear communication tool, without jargon, to communicate the meaning of SD in different dimensions to small and medium sized businesses. The project produced a business workbook directly useful to business and that can be utilised by local authorities in the business interaction parts of their Local Agenda 21 programmes. The paper examines further what is involved in a particular aspect of the process of SD, in the regional context, and seeks to underpin the understanding that SD is a process. As part of this issues relevant to culture change are examined. A consideration of the stakeholder relationships and dynamics is central.

Preparing future engineers for challenges of the 21st century: Sustainable engineering

May 2010


272 Reads

The field of engineering is changing rapidly as the growing global population puts added demands on the earth's resources: engineering decisions must now account for limitations in materials and energy as well as the need to reduce discharges of wastes. This means educators must revise courses and curricula so engineering graduates are prepared for the new challenges as practicing engineers. The Center for Sustainable Engineering has been established to help faculty members accommodate such changes through workshops and new educational materials, including a free access website with peer-reviewed materials.

2nd Generation biofuels a sure bet? A life cycle assessment of how things could go wrong

February 2011


179 Reads

Biofuels are heavily debated as to their potential to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. Life cycle thinking gave rise to formal evaluations of the energy balance of such fuels, which led to the vigorously conducted “corn to ethanol” debates. Just as consensus was building on such evaluations came the “carbon debt” insights, a result of applying consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) backed by advanced economic modeling. Increasingly, hopes have shifted to the 2nd generation biofuels, viewed as a “technological home run”. Could this also backfire? We investigate a simple South African case in which there might not be improvements in environmental performance: a sugar mill sells its bagasse, currently used at low efficiency to provide process heat, to an advanced biofuels producer, and buys an equivalent amount of coal without investing in efficiency improvements. Seven scenarios are generated, ranging from the status quo, where no bagasse is diverted, to 100% bagasse diversion, with one scenario including an energy efficiency improvement in the sugar mill. A consequential LCA is applied to the seven scenarios, covering global warming potential (GWP), non-renewable energy use, aquatic eutrophication and terrestrial acidification. A basic financial analysis of the proposed scenarios shows that they are realistic, with potentially lucrative returns. Results show that diverting bagasse without efficiency improvements from its current use to an ethanol bio-refinery would indeed backfire for all environmental impacts studied. The base case outperforms all the other scenarios, with the 100% bagasse diversion scenario emerging the worst. Investments into energy efficiency are therefore a precondition for diverting cellulosic residues into biofuel production.

Fig. 1. Lowell Center for Sustainable Production indicator framework. 
Table 6 
Table 7 (continued)
Indicators of sustainable production: Framework and methodology. Journal of Cleaner Production, 9, 519-549

December 2001


6,131 Reads

This paper presents a new tool for promoting business sustainability — indicators of sustainable production. It first introduces the concept of sustainable production as defined by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Indicators of sustainable production are discussed next, including their dimensions and desirable qualities. Based on the Lowell Center Indicator Framework, the authors suggest a new methodology of core and supplemental indicators for raising companies' awareness and measuring their progress toward sustainable production systems. Twenty-two core indicators are proposed and a detailed guidance for their application is included. An eight-step model provides a context for indicator implementation. The paper concludes with a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology as well as recommendations for testing the indicators.

Impact caps: why population, affluence and technology strategies should be abandoned

April 2010


973 Reads

This paper classifies strategies to reduce environmental impact according to the terms of the I = PAT formula. Policies limiting resource depletion and pollution (Impact) – by heavily taxing resources or rationing them on a country basis – are thus called ‘direct’ or ‘left-side’ strategies. Other policies to achieve the environmental goal of lowering Impact strive to limit Population and Affluence, or to use Technology to lower the ratio of resource inputs to goods-and-services outputs. Next it is shown that lowering any of these ‘right-side’ factors causes or at least enables the other two to rise or ‘rebound’. This has two consequences: 1) Since I = PAT does not express these interdependencies on the right side, it is more accurately written I = f(P,A,T); and 2) Success in lowering any of the right-side factors does not necessarily lower Impact. Rationing or Pigouvian taxation of resources or pollution, on the other hand, necessarily lower impact and are therefore preferable to population, consumption and technological environmental strategies. Finally, lifestyle and technology changes towards more sufficiency and efficiency would follow the caps as consumers and producers work to retain the greatest amount of welfare within the limits given.

Quantifying the environmental support for dilution and abatement of process emissions: The case of electricity production

August 2002


274 Reads

Strategies to deal with thermal and chemical emissions from electricity production processes are compared. Accounting for the environmental services required to dilute emissions is suggested as an unavoidable step towards correct evaluation of sustainability of processes. Calculations are performed in several case studies by means of the emergy accounting methodology. An emergy-based yield indicator decreases by 40–70% coupled to a parallel increase of a loading indicator, when the environmental services required for the dilution of pollutants are correctly accounted for. As a consequence of including environmental services, a lower sustainability is calculated for each investigated process when compared to evaluations that do not include them. Accounting for environmental services also provides a way to evaluate the carrying capacity of the environment in relation to human dominated processes. The requirement for environmental services to effectively recycle by-products at different space–time scales translates into the need for a suitable support area for the process under study. Two support areas are suggested, one using local constraints, and a second using global constraints. The former is suggested as a near term, regional carrying capacity, while the latter is a long term, global carrying capacity.

The reference installation approach for the techno-economic assessment of emission abatement options and the determination of BAT according to the IPPC-directive

May 2004


99 Reads

Within the framework of the realisation of the IPPC-Directive, the techniques and the possible abatement options have to be characterised on a process level with regard to environmental benefits, technical practicability and especially economic feasibility. Therefore, the reference installation approach, which has been developed within the preparation framework of the new “multi-pollutant and multi-effects” protocol of the UN/ECE and which follows the CORINAIR nomenclature, is being proposed as an approach for the comprehensive assessment of technological and economic properties of relevant base processes and emission reduction options/techniques. This paper puts up for discussion the use of this concept within the proposed cross-media assessment approach for the determination of BAT (Best Available Techniques).

The CO2 abatement cost curve for the Thailand cement industry

November 2010


730 Reads

The cement industry is one of the largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters in the Thai industry. The cement sector accounted for about 20,633 kilotonnes (ktonnes) CO2 emissions in 2005 in Thailand. A bottom-up CO2 abatement cost curve (ACC) is constructed in this study for the Thai cement industry to determine the potentials and costs of CO2 abatement, taking into account the costs and CO2 abatement of different technologies. The period of 2010–2025 is chosen as the scenario period. We analyzed 41 CO2 abatement technologies and measures for the cement industry. Using the bottom-up CO2 ACC model, the cost-effective annual CO2 abatement potential for the Thai cement industry during the 15 year scenario period (2010–2025) is equal to 3095 ktonnes CO2/year. This is about 15% of the Thai cement industry’s total CO2 emissions in 2005. The total technical annual CO2 abatement potential is 3143 ktonnes CO2/year, which is about 15.2% of the Thai cement industry’s total CO2 emissions in 2005. We also conducted a sensitivity analysis for the discount rate parameter.

Promotion of cleaner production for industrial pollution abatement in Gujarat (India)

August 2003


307 Reads

A large number of small and medium scale industries are engaged in the manufacture of a variety of chemical and allied products in Gujarat (India). Considering resource constraints, increasing public awareness, and judicial interventions, common facilities are created for industrial waste management. Simultaneously, the Government of Gujarat initiated development of a plan for the promotion of cleaner production in the state, and developing human resources for the assessment of the potential of cleaner production in industries. Several proactive measures are also taken up on the overall environmental management by involving industries associations of the industrial estates/ agglomerates. Local Cleaner Production Centres are encouraged at the industrial estate levels. Some impediments as well as issues are identified, which need to be addressed to help cleaner production related activities pick up in a big way and sustain. It is expected that the observations made in this study are equally applicable to other developing countries.

The steel industry, abiotic resource depletion and life cycle assessment: A real or perceived issue?

January 2011


748 Reads

Time and again, there has been a hue and a cry that the world is running out of natural resources and the most prominent among those is the famous study entitled ‘The Limits to Growth’ by the ‘Club of Rome’. Since then the fear of scarcity of abiotic resources has been challenging human societies around the globe, particularly the research community. In this paper we will examine the case of the steel industry to argue how and why mineral resources depletion is an issue that needs to be addressed through life cycle assessment in more detail. This paper shows that a more comprehensive understanding about the current production trends of iron ore and steel, which also requires several vital metals such as copper, manganese, nickel and so on, can provide useful insights in assessing the potential future threat of shortages due to depletion of abiotic mineral resources.

Copper slag: Optimization of productivity and consumption for cleaner production in dry abrasive blasting

December 2007


1,545 Reads

Copper slag, a by-product from copper smelting industry, is widely used as an abrasive material to remove rust, old coating and other contamination in dry abrasive blasting which is an expensive process and results in significant amounts of particulate emissions and spent abrasive. This paper presents models developed to improve productivity and consumption of copper slag as functions of blast pressure, abrasive feed rate, and surface contamination. These models will help industries in selecting optimum process conditions for maximum efficiency and to achieve cleaner production by consuming less materials and energy resources. In addition, the models will greatly assist in evaluation of the life cycle costs for use of copper slag in dry abrasive blasting.

Design sensitivity of reactive absorption units for improved dynamic performance and cleaner production: The NOx removal process

December 2005


185 Reads

The dynamic characteristics of reactive absorption processes are of great importance for the smooth operation of the unit and the overall performance of the implemented control system under the influence of process disturbances and the presence of tight environmental and safety constraints. In the present study, the effect of the major design parameters and column configurations on the dynamic behaviour of the environmentally sensitive NOx removal processes, through the use of rigorous rate-based dynamic models, is investigated. Static and dynamic disturbance rejection properties are evaluated for the screening and assessment of alternative design decisions.

The transfer and application of Product Service Systems: from academia to UK manufacturing firms

December 2006


547 Reads

The servicisation of many advanced economies is thought by many commentators to provide opportunities to move society away from unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. The concept of the Product Service System (PSS) has been conceptualised in academic circles to assist in the attainment of such desirable futures. This paper reports the findings of research conducted as part of the SOLiD project which considered the transfer and application of the PSS concept from academia to industry in the United Kingdom. It draws upon theories from evolutionary economics to provide a rationale for the transfer of the PSS concept and the role of this in achieving desirable technological change. The paper also identifies an appropriate methodology to transfer the PSS concept from UK academic circles to industry and the factors which impact upon, and importantly lead to, the successful completion of this process. The combination of theoretical insight with case study research is used to develop a framework that could help UK based intermediaries to complete the transfer of the PSS concept. This is seen as an integral part of public policies aimed at stimulating sustainable patterns of production and consumption.

Linking academic and local knowledge: community-based research and service learning for sustainable rural development in Hungary

August 2009


177 Reads

Discussions about the potential role of academic and research institutions in regional sustainability initiatives (RSIs) inevitably raise the issue of the role of science in society in general. In democratic societies, it can be argued that science–society relationships should be based on establishing and institutionalizing mutual dialogues, making public concerns not only visible but the public as equal partner. In order to fulfil the social responsibilities of academic institutions involved in RSIs through establishing dialogues with diverse stakeholders, a possible methodology is conducting participatory action research (PAR) combined with the educational model of service learning. The PAR project reported here aims at facilitating a bottom-up, micro-region level sustainability planning and development process in one of the most socio-economically disadvantaged rural areas of north-east Hungary. Some of the main results of this university–community partnership were its contribution to sustainability, including the activation of local capabilities and networking across various local stakeholder groups through various small-scale projects and the co-production of a socially grounded and landscape-based rural development plan for the micro-region.

Building more sustainable solutions in production–consumption systems: the case of food for people with reduced access

December 2007


135 Reads

In new product development, the ability to integrate different dimensions of sustainability at a value chain level is still a complex, problematic goal. As product-service approaches are increasingly enabling the introduction of more sustainable paths, this paper describes the authors' experience thus far when building insights into conditions for the implementation of integrated solutions in a process of co-development and testing in real life conditions, which are driven by a social need focusing on food for people with reduced access. Throughout this process, which brought together producers, consumers and other stakeholders to design and test industrialised, sustainable solutions, empirical evidence demonstrates feasibility and usefulness of the approach and insight into the conditions for implementing interactive, comprehensive multi-stakeholder processes in real life situations. In addition, results show that the delivery of innovative solutions enabled to offer social added value, economic profits and environmental improvements under specific experimental conditions.

Estimation of probabilities and likely consequences of a chain of accidents (domino effect) in Manali Industrial Complex

December 2001


124 Reads

Chains of accidents (the domino effect) have been occurring with ever increasing frequency in chemical process industries. This is reflected in several accidents ‘J Loss Prevent Process Ind 12 (1999a) 361’; the world's worst industrial accident of the 1990s — the Vishakhpatnam disaster — also involved the domino effect ‘J Loss Prevent Process Ind 12 (1999a) 361; and Process Safety Prog 18 (1999b) 135’. Such chains of accidents have a greater propensity to cause damage than stand-alone accidents ‘Process Safety Prog 17(2) (1998a) 107; and J Loss Prevent Process Ind 12 (1999a) 361’.

Deaths and injuries from car accidents: an intractable problem?

December 2007


85 Reads

This paper presents an analysis of the implications of motorisation in emerging economies for deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents. It is shown that emerging economies have high rates of death and injury alongside low vehicle ownership rates. If vehicle ownership rates increase, so too could be the rate of deaths and injuries. Taking a broad view of automobility culture to include cars, infrastructure, legal systems, medical services, and populist views of motoring, it is argued that reducing the human cost of motorisation (and making motorised mobility more sustainable) cannot be achieved only by technical fixes to the car. Rather, approaches that are sensitised to the particularities of place, and resonant with distinct cultures of automobility, represent the most likely means to achieve more sustainable mobility.

Making the Seafood Industry More Sustainable: Creating Production Chain Transparency and Accountability

December 2007


1,107 Reads

The sustainable seafood area has seen experiments with market-based approaches in the US and Europe since the mid-1990s. These include consumer campaigns and Marine Stewardship Council certification. Such consumption strategies have made much progress but need to focus more on how production and consumption intersect. Because producers, their impacts and implementation of sustainable fishing practices are currently unidentifiable, it is difficult to tell whether industry is changing. This article argues that seafood producers can be made more accountable for their production impacts through taking a production chain view, making producers more transparent and creating production chain pressures.

Variable and fixed costs at Mackenzie Paper Division, 2000 (Cdn$)
Summary of energy costs
Environmental costs at a Canadian paper mill: a case study of Environmental Management Accounting (EMA)

December 2006


783 Reads

An Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) framework is applied to the 2000 year-end financial report for the Mackenzie Paper Division paper mill owned and operated by Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. A conventional reading of the obvious environmental costs from this financial report is Cdn$2,196,838. This figure is derived from an analysis of effluent treatment costs and other line item environmental costs. There is no “environmental account” category that breaks out either costs or the mass balance of inputs and outputs. For the most part, environmental costs are rolled up into overhead accounts such as administration, infrastructure and materials accounts.Application of the EMA framework is based on assigning environmental costs to one of four categories for which a tentative breakdown is as follows: (1) waste and emission treatment costs ($3,348,902); (2) prevention and environmental management costs ($270,109); (3) material purchase value of non-product output costs ($946,799); and (4) processing costs of non-product output ($2 92,943). There is also a category called Environmental Revenues, of which none were reported. Conservative estimates thus place the total environmental costs at $4,858,753.What is significant about this result is that the environmental costs under EMA are at least twice as much as would normally be reported. This supports the view that environmental costs are much higher than generally considered and makes it clear that many important environmental costs as well as benefits are “hidden” in other accounts. More studies of a similar design are required to confirm the validity of the EMA methodology reported here.

Environmental management accounting for cleaner production: The case of a Philippine rice mill

March 2009


1,134 Reads

The paper examines environmental management accounting as a tool that supports environmental investment decision-making in the context of the emerging markets for carbonised rice husk and the clean development mechanism. Based on a case study at Oliver Enterprises, a rice milling business in the Philippines, the paper analyses carbonisation and cogeneration as two processing alternatives to reduce environmental and social impacts related to the conventional way of rice husk disposal and to improve the overall performance of the rice mill. Implications for corporations and for policy decision-making are examined.

Environmental management accounting as a reflexive modernization strategy in cleaner production

December 2006


337 Reads

Understanding the material purchase value of wastes and emissions and related processing costs is the essential contribution of an Environmental Management Accounting methodology proposed by a United Nations expert working group organised through the Division for Sustainable Development (UNDSD). Tracing costs and benefits according to this UNDSD methodology, considered as a “reflexive” modernization strategy in this article, sheds new light on cleaner production initiatives for corporate sustainability. Information on the first category of costs, waste and emission treatment, is generally the most accurate. Information on the second category, prevention and environmental management costs, is more difficult to determine because this category overlaps with, or is confused with, the first category of costs. Data for the two novel and innovative cost categories of the material purchase value of waste and emissions and related processing costs are even harder to obtain. Frequently, the costs are either hidden in overhead accounts or are not recorded because they are not required in conventional accounting systems. The outcome is that companies, even though they may profess otherwise, have very little knowledge about their full environmental costs, cost saving opportunities, or how best to achieve cleaner production initiatives to promote corporate sustainability. A more systematic application of the UNDSD EMA methodology would provide a better record of costs and act as a catalyst in promoting cleaner production processes. This application inevitably requires “reflexive institutions” including “reflexive corporations”, that is, corporations with the capacity to examine the side effects of their operations as modernization rebounds upon them.

Pilot project on sustainability management accounting with the Styrian automobile cluster

December 2006


87 Reads

The paper is based on a project with the Styrian automobile cluster in Austria and selected member companies. In six companies, the environmental management costs, as well as further costs for health and safety, risk management and other social issues were assessed. Less tangible items and external effects are addressed. Starting with the efforts to assess the financial effects of the sustainability performance indicators provided by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for sustainability reporting, the UN DSD (United Nations Division for Sustainable Development) method for environmental management accounting (EMA) was enlarged by several other cost categories. This paper describes these and the experiences from the pilot projects.

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