Sustainability

Published by MDPI
Online ISSN: 2071-1050
Publications
Article
Norwegian oil and gas fields are relatively new and of high quality, which has led, during recent decades, to very high profitability both financially and in terms of energy production. One useful measure for profitability is Energy Return on Investment, EROI. Our analysis shows that EROI for Norwegian petroleum production ranged from 44:1 in the early 1990s to a maximum of 59:1 in 1996, to about 40:1 in the latter half of the last decade. To compare globally, only very few, if any, resources show such favorable EROI values as those found in the Norwegian oil and gas sector. However, the declining trend in recent years is most likely due to ageing of the fields whereas varying drilling intensity might have a smaller impact on the net energy gain of the fields. We expect the EROI of Norwegian oil and gas production to deteriorate further as the fields become older. More energy-intensive production techniques will gain in importance.
 
Article
Over the last several decades, it has become increasingly accepted that the term xenobiotic relates to environmental impact, since environmental xenobiotics are understood to be substances foreign to a biological system, which did not exist in nature before their synthesis by humans. In this context, xenobiotics are persistent pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as plastics and pesticides. Dangerous and unstable situations can result from the presence of environmental xenobiotics since their harmful effects on humans and ecosystems are often unpredictable. For instance, the immune system is extremely vulnerable and sensitive to modulation by environmental xenobitics. Various experimental assays could be performed to ascertain the immunotoxic potential of environmental xenobiotics, taking into account genetic factors, the route of xenobiotic penetration, and the amount and duration of exposure, as well as the wave shape of the xenobiotic. In this paper, we propose an approach for the analysis of xenobiotic metabolism using mathematical models and corresponding methods. This study focuses on a pattern depicting mathematically modeled processes of resonant absorption of a xenobiotic harmonic oscillation by an organism modulated as an absorbing oscillator structure. We represent the xenobiotic concentration degree through a spatial concentration vector, and we model and simulate the oscillating regime of environmental xenobiotic absorption. It is anticipated that the results could be used to facilitate the assessment of the processes of environmental xenobiotic absorption, distribution, biotransformation and removal within the framework of compartmental analysis, by establishing appropriate mathematical models and simulations.
 
Article
Discounted-utilitarian welfare, the commonest social objective studied by economists, is the basis for the theory of green accounting in terms of social utility. Sustainability is a different type of social objective. Consequently, green accounting as derived in many empirical models is not appropriate for studying sustainability. Maximin is a consistent foundation for the analysis of sustainability, both weak and strong, that provides conceptually correct accounting prices. These prices are not yet practicable for real economies, however, and must await further advances. Sustainable development is a generalization of the notion of sustainability and can be analyzed using a generalization of maximin.
 
Article
This text presents an analytical concept which is aimed at analysis of the construction of environmental responsibility—ecological action space. The concept makes it possible to analyze what environmental activities householders perform, who takes on the environmental responsibility, and how they motivate and justify everyday practices in relation to other actors. The concept builds on structuration theory, and is useful in studies of sustainable development in everyday life, and in investigations about how actors perceive their role in creating and solving environmental problems, and what actions they take in light of this. The concept should be used for empirical rather than normative studies. Relevant questions for a study about ecological action space are: What activities are considered environmentally friendly? How do the actors conceive of their opportunities to act in environmentally friendly ways and what constraints do they express? These questions are relevant not just for outspoken activists. When promoting increased participation, it is valuable to discuss when, where and how people are expected to get involved.
 
Article
The countries Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti are facing the worst food crisis of the 21st century as a result of devastating droughts. The crisis is causing starvation and leading to a lack of access to clean water and sanitation for over 12 million people. Not only are the direct drought effects endured now by the population, but they have weakened response capacity and created diminished prospects of ever achieving future water and food security. Over the coming decades, temperatures in this region will continue to rise and rainfall patterns will change. This will create major problems for food production and availability. Thus, building resilience in communities is indispensable as we adapt our farming systems to the challenges of climate change. This will require practical solutions that can build on processes involving adaptation to climate change. The lessons learned from the UN-led project in Uganda, demonstrate the value of small scale innovative interventions, carried out using democratic approaches to help support adaptation to climate change whilst progressing to achieve food security and chart a new Path to eliminate hunger. These lessons should be our guiding vision as we address the current droughts plaguing the Horn of East Africa and elsewhere.
 
An analytic framework for the management of closed-loop supply chain. 
Comparison of customer related transaction costs of different disposal options for apparel at end-of-life (amended from [37]).
Article
Supply chain management and closed-loop supply chain management (CLSCM) have developed into established concepts in recent years. The related material cycles and product returns form an important part of all related processes with high potential for reducing environmental burden. The paper proposes a framework for (environmentally triggered) closed-loop supply chain management, spanning three different levels: the societal or governance, the chain and the actor level. Within each level, a set of activities or processes can be identified. Taken together, the levels allow a comprehensive analysis of a closed-loop supply chain system. This is illustrated building on two case studies in the textile and apparel industry, where closed-loop supply chains have been designed to take specific apparel products back. The case studies are analyzed against all three levels and allow exemplification of related challenges and interrelations among the three levels. The three levels contribute to the further comprehension of the multiple issues having to be taken into account for successfully implementing closed-loop supply chains.
 
Winter wheat cultivars/breeding lines which were bred for conventional tilled fallow systems and tested for performance in a late-planted no-till fallow system. 
Cont. Pr > F 
Article
In Washington, over fifty percent of the wheat produced under rainfed conditions receives less than 300 mm of annual precipitation. Hence, a winter wheat-summer fallow cropping system has been adopted to obtain adequate moisture for winter wheat production. Current tilled fallow systems are exposed to significant soil degradation from wind and water erosion. As a result, late-planted no-till fallow systems are being evaluated to mitigate erosion concerns. The objective of this study was to evaluate current cultivars under late-planted no-till fallow systems to identify whether current breeding schemes in tilled fallow systems could select productive cultivars in late-planted no-till fallow systems. Thirty cultivars were planted in a split-plot design with fallow type as the main plot and genotype as the sub-plot. Fallow types evaluated were a tilled fallow system and a late planted no-till fallow system. Data were collected on heading date, plant height, grain volume weight, grain yield, and grain protein content. Analysis of variance was conducted on data across locations. Results were significant for all traits except for grain protein content. The late-planted no-till fallow system headed 16 days later was 5 cm shorter, yielded 36% less, and had a grain volume weight 3% less than the tilled fallow system. The lower yield and grain volume weight potential is hypothesized to be due to the 16 day delay in heading date leading to warmer temperatures during grain fill and a shorter duration. In order to breed wheat to be highly productive under a late-planted no-till fallow system, directly selecting in this system for early spring growth and earlier heading dates will be essential.
 
Drought tolerance (DT) Varieties/Hybrids Approved and Seed distribution.
Yields of DT rice in China, India and Thailand.
Cont.
Article
In Asia and Africa the poor tend to live in marginal environments where droughts and floods are frequent. Global warming is expected to increase the frequency of these weather-induced perturbations of crop production. Drought tolerance (DT) has been one of the most difficult traits to improve in genetic crop improvement programs worldwide. Biotechnology provides breeders with a number of new tools that may help to develop more drought tolerant varieties such as marker assisted selection (MAS), molecular breeding (MB), and transgenic plants. This paper assesses some preliminary evidence on the potential impact of biotechnology using data from surveys of the initial DT cultivars developed through one of the main programs in Asia that has been funding Water-Limited Environments program in China, India, and Thailand. Yield increases of DT rice varieties are 5 to 10 percent better than conventional varieties or currently grown commercial varieties than it has been in years. So far we only have experiment station evidence that DT varieties yielded better than conventional or improved varieties during moderate drought years (the one drought year during our study period in South India gave inconclusive results) and in severe drought both the DT and the conventional varieties were either not planted or, if planted, did not yield. We find that the governments could help overcome some of the constraints to the spread of DT cultivars by increasing government funding of DT research programs that take advantage of new biotech techniques and new knowledge from genomics. Secondly, public scientists can make breeding lines with DT traits and molecular markers more easily available to the private seed firms so that they can incorporate DT traits into their commercial hybrids particularly for poor areas. Third, governments can subsidize private sector production of DT seed or provide more government money for state extension services to produce DT varieties.
 
Choice by location. 
Quantity of bread sold with different price scenarios for GM corn bread. 
Total sales during the control experiment and the intervention.  
Comparing political preference with consumer choice.  
Emotional responses to the market stand in the different locations. 
Article
Independent of the left-right model of ideological structure, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and agriculture are resented across the political spectrum in Switzerland. In the absence of any real experience with genetically modified (GM) food but faced with continuous exposure to warning messages in the media, conditioned feelings related to such a politically sensitive product may have a significant influence on revealed consumer choice. In our large-scale field study, we examined this assumption by selling three types of bread labeled as ‘made with organic corn’, ‘made with genetically modified corn’ and ‘made with conventional corn’ respectively in five locations across Switzerland using different price scenarios and selling groups. Customers who decided to buy bread also received an envelope containing a questionnaire about their prior political attitude expressed through their voting decision in a national referendum on a five-year ban on GMOs in 2005. The results demonstrate that consumer purchase decisions are determined by contextual factors not captured by general political attitudes. Surprisingly, the mere presence of GM food did have a positive impact on overall sales. The assumption that consumers would feel turned off by the mere presence of GM food for political reasons can therefore be safely discarded.
 
Cont. 
Article
Modern biotechnology, including the application of transgenic techniques to produce Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), can play a significant role in increasing agricultural production in a sustainable way, but its products need to be tailored for the developing world. In sub-Saharan Africa, the capacity to develop GMOs and ensure they meet stringent regulatory requirements is somewhat limited. Most African governments contribute little to science and technology either financially or through strong policies. This leaves the determination of research and development priorities in the hands of international funding agencies. Whereas funding from the United States is generally supportive of GM technology, the opposite is true of funding from European sources. African countries are thus pulled in two different directions. One alternative to this dilemma might be for countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region to develop stronger South-South collaborations, but these need to be supported with adequate funding. African governments as well as external funding agencies are urged to consider the important role that biotechnology, including GM technology, can play in contributing to sustainable development in Africa, and to provide adequate support to the development of capacity to research, develop and commercialize GMOs in the region.
 
Cotton Production Zones in Mali and Burkina Faso are found primarily above the 600 mm isohyet line where rainfall averages 600 mm per year. Source: Foreign Agricultural Service, 2005.
Test results of Burkina Faso field trials and on-farm trials for pest control efficacy.
Energy use in Burkina Faso cotton production cotton.
Cotton income comparisons between Bollgard II and conventional cotton over three years of field trials, two years of on-farm monitoring, and producer surveys in 2009. Note: the comparisons illustrated are taken from different studies under varying levels of pest pressure and agronomic conditions. Within each year, however, management practices and agronomic conditions were controlled to isolate the effect of the Bt gene on cotton yield and income. Numbers included in Figure 5 represent the percent difference between Bollgard II and conventional cotton. Sources: Vitale et al . [63]; Vitale et al . [64]. 
Cost comparison of conventional versus Bollgard II cotton based on the 2009 field trials.
Article
Africa has been hesitant to adopt agricultural biotechnology, lagging behind global trends over the past decade. One exception is Burkina Faso, a West African country that commercially released 125,000 ha of Bt cotton in 2009. Bt cotton may serve as a working example of how African countries can enhance sustainability using modern, science-driven technology to increase production levels while reducing input use and energy consumption. This paper reports the potential impact that Bt cotton can have on sustainability in Burkina Faso’s cotton sector based by summarizing empirical evidence from previously published studies. Based on the summary of published data collected from six years of field trials and producer surveys, Bt cotton increased cotton yields by an average of 21.3% and raised income by $106.14 per ha. Using an energy balance model, the introduction of Bt cotton would also result in a 6.6% saving in energy use. The significant increase in productivity and economic returns could be the catalyst for Burkina Faso, and other African countries, to emerge from the decade or so of stagnation and regain their competitive stance in world cotton markets while providing environmental and social benefits.
 
Article
The argan tree is a slow growing tree exclusively endemic in the dry lowlands of Southwest Morocco. The argan forest constitutes a long time ignored specific biotope that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998. The argan forest is particularly fragile to climate change. Forecasts show annual precipitation levels and prolonged drought periods that could severely threaten the future of the argan forest. In some places, the argan forest is already damaged, resulting in the retreat of the argan tree and the subsequent desert encroachment. An acceleration of this trend would have devastating consequences. In response, some twenty years ago, an ambitious, unique in Northern-Africa, and government-supported program was initiated in Morocco to rescue the argan tree via the sustainable development of the argan forest. Because in the late 1980s, sustainable development in developing countries was often considered as a utopia, the argan forest case represents a sign of progress, as it is also an interesting and unique experience in Africa. This review analyses the process followed, the measures taken, the pitfalls encountered, and the results obtained during the last two decades. It also points out the measures that still need to be taken before declaring the argan forest rescue mission is accomplished.
 
The UK Government‘s ―Framework for Behaviour Change‖ [18 ] (p. 26). 
Article
This paper explores the politics around the role of agency in the UK climate change debate. Government interventions on the demand side of consumption have increasingly involved attempts to obtain greater traction with the values, attitudes and beliefs of citizens in relation to climate change and also in terms of influencing consumer behaviour at an individual level. With figures showing that approximately 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions are attributable to household and transport behaviour, policy initiatives have progressively focused on the facilitation of “sustainable behaviours”. Evidence suggests however, that mobilisation of pro-environmental attitudes in addressing the perceived “value-action gap” has so far had limited success. Research in this field suggests that there is a more significant and nuanced “gap” between context and behaviour; a relationship that perhaps provides a more adroit reflection of reasons why people do not necessarily react in the way that policy-makers anticipate. Tracing the development of the UK Government’s behaviour change agenda over the last decade, we posit that a core reason for the limitations of this programme relates to an excessively narrow focus on the individual. This has served to obscure some of the wider political and economic aspects of the debate in favour of a more simplified discussion. The second part of the paper reports findings from a series of focus groups exploring some of the wider political views that people hold around household energy habits, purchase and use of domestic appliances, and transport behaviour-and discusses these insights in relation to the literature on the agenda’s apparent limitations. The paper concludes by considering whether the aims of the Big Society approach (recently established by the UK’s Coalition Government) hold the potential to engage more directly with some of these issues or whether they merely constitute a “repackaging” of the individualism agenda.
 
Article
Because organic systems present complex environmental stress, plant breeders may either target very focused regions for different varieties, or create heterogeneous populations which can then evolve specific adaptation through on-farm cultivation and selection. This often leads to participatory plant breeding (PPB) strategies which take advantage of the specific knowledge of farmers. Participatory selection requires increased commitment and engagement on the part of the farmers and researchers. Projects may begin as researcher initiatives with farmer participation or farmer initiatives with researcher participation and over time evolve into true collaborations. These projects are difficult to plan in advance because by nature they change to respond to the priorities and interests of the collaborators. Projects need to provide relevant information and analysis in a time-frame that is meaningful for farmers, while remaining scientifically rigorous and innovative. This paper presents two specific studies: the first was a researcher-designed experiment that assessed the potential adaptation of landraces to organic systems through on-farm cultivation and farmer selection. The second is a farmer-led plant breeding project to select bread wheat for organic systems in France. Over the course of these two projects, many discussions among farmers, researchers and farmers associations led to the development of methods that fit the objectives of those involved. This type of project is no longer researcher-led or farmer-led but instead an equal collaboration. Results from the two research projects and the strategy developed for an ongoing collaborative plant breeding project are discussed.
 
Article
The development of genetically engineered (GE) crops has focused predominantly on enhancing conventional pest control approaches. Scientific assessments show that these GE crops generally deliver significant economic and some environmental benefits over their conventional crop alternatives. However, emerging evidence indicates that current GE crops will not foster sustainable cropping systems unless the negative environmental and social feedback effects are properly addressed. Moreover, GE crop innovations that promote more sustainable agricultural systems will receive underinvestment by seed and chemical companies that must understandably focus on private returns for major crops. Opportunities to promote crops that convey multi-faceted benefits for the environment and the poor are foundational to a sustainable food system and should not be neglected because they also represent global public goods. In this paper, we develop a set of criteria that can guide the development of GE crops consistent with contemporary sustainable agriculture theory and practice. Based on those principles, we offer policy options and recommendations for reforming public and private R&D and commercialization processes to further the potential contributions of GE crops to sustainable agriculture. Two strategies that would help achieve this goal would be to restore the centrality of the public sector in agricultural R&D and to open the technology development process to more democratic participation by farmers and other stakeholders.
 
Simplified overview of the main cultivation areas of selected crops in Tanzania.
Types, amounts and availability of residues from selected crops in Tanzania based on average annual crop production data from 2000-2009.
Average annual energy potential of selected agricultural crop residues in Tanzania.
Selected indicators that influence environmental sustainability in the context of energy generation with process residues in Tanzania.
Article
This paper attempts to assess whether renewable energy self-sufficiency can be achieved in the crop production and processing sector in Tanzania and if this could be accomplished in an environmentally sustainable manner. In order to answer these questions the theoretical energy potential of process residues from commercially produced agricultural crops in Tanzania is evaluated. Furthermore, a set of sustainability indicators with focus on environmental criteria is applied to identify risks and opportunities of using these residues for energy generation. In particular, the positive and negative effects on the land-use-system (soil fertility, water use and quality, biodiversity, etc .) are evaluated. The results show that energy generation with certain agricultural process residues could not only improve and secure the energy supply but could also improve the sustainability of current land-use practices.
 
Article
Linked general equilibrium economic and ecological models are connected through agricultural runoff and the fisheries. They are applied to a North Carolina estuary in which agricultural runoff alters phytoplankton densities and the resulting hypoxia leads to diminished fisheries. The effects of hypoxia on multiple species across space are analyzed and the joint economic and ecosystem wide response to a policy of reduced runoff is quantified. The approach provides an assessment of changes in ecological welfare (in terms of species populations) and economic welfare (in terms of equivalent variations) following reductions in runoff.
 
Article
Agriculture in Africa is not sustainable because average yields have been stagnating for decades due to underinvestment, especially in the development of agricultural markets, crop improvement and the sustainable management of agricultural systems. Low public sector funding for agricultural research and lack of incentives for the private sector to operate in areas where there is no market largely explain the yield gap in many food-importing developing countries. Yet, there are effective ways in which the public and the private sector could work together and jointly improve agricultural sustainability in poor countries. The public sector provides a favorable institutional environment for the development of agricultural markets and investment in rural infrastructure, facilitates local business development and funds research with local relevance. The private sector, in return, brings its considerable expertise in product development and deployment. This article illustrates how new forms of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for agricultural development can work in challenging environments. It discusses three promising examples of PPPs in which the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is actively involved, and shows that an experimental approach can sometimes be more effective than social planning in efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture.
 
Example showing utilization of a mixture of legume and non-legume cover crops for green fertilization . (A) Autumn wheat: no till direct sowing onto a cover crop mixture of radish with berseem ( Trifolium alexandrinum ), simultaneously with a frontal crushing of the two cover crops. Note that on top of providing N for wheat growth, the use of crushing simultaneously to sowing, avoids the utilization of herbicides that are often used in direct seeding culture systems to remove the cover crop. (B) Close-up view of the cover crop mixture composed of radish (r) and berseem (b). (C) Close-up view of the radish root system used as a cover crop. (D) View of the wheat culture in winter after direct sowing and simultaneous crushing of the cover crops. (E) Close-up view of the wheat culture showing the presence of residual crushed cover crop that provides organic N to the soil, thus avoiding the requirement for additional mineral N fertilization. 
Main reactions involved in nitrogen assimilation in higher plants. NO 3 − = nitrate; NO 2 − = nitrite; NH 4+ = ammonium, N 2 = atmospheric dinitogen. The main enzymes 
Example of identification and validation of a candidate gene involved in the control of NUE and yield in maize. On the left is shown a chromosomal colocation of QTLs for different yield traits (KW = kernel weight and GY = grain yield) and for glutamine synthetase (GS) activity at the level of the Gln1-3 locus (encoding a cytosolic GS involved in ammonia assimilation; see paragraph 4 and Figure 2). N + means with high N fertilization, N - with low N fertilization. Such a result shows that the Gln1-3 gene is a 
Proposed strategy for improving N use efficiency in crops. This strategy is built around two main agronomic and genetic studies conducted in parallel. Each of these two main studies is divided into a subset of approaches strongly interacting with each other within and across them. It will be necessary to integrate current knowledge in agronomy, molecular physiology, eco-physiology and genetics to guide, develop and integrate novel methods and concepts for improving NUE in crops. This knowledge development and integration can be performed through the use of quantitative genetics for QTL and candidate gene detection (KD.1), through the exploitation of all the ‘omics’ databases using a systems biology approach (KD.2) and through the use of agronomic databases gathering all the information concerning plant performance under various environmental scenarios (KD3). The basis of this knowledge is represented by: (1) the numerous whole plant physiology studies performed over the last two decades on both model and crop species (KF.1) ; (2) the studies aimed at identifying the influence of N fertilization on crop growth and development and its physiology either under organic (KF2) or organic N nutrition (KF3) ; (3) through the exploitation of genetic variability of a given species using different modern and ancient genotypes, landraces, lines, hybrids originating from different parts of the world. The primary goal of the genetic studies is to provide breeders with markers genes or loci aimed at selecting varieties more efficient at utilizing N, identified through the use of quantitative genetics (KD.1), mutagenesis (G.1) and genetic engineering (G.2) for further commercialization by breeding companies (O.1). The aim of the agronomic studies is to provide tools for breeders and agronomists to create and evaluate new varieties in cropping systems under low and adequate N input in conventional or organic farming systems. To achieve this it will be necessary to identify key agronomic traits that can be use to predict plant performance under low or high N input and according to various environmental conditions (A.1). Plant performance could also be predicted and monitored through the use of monitoring tools or sensors (A.2 = metabolic, enzymatic and molecular markers for NUE; see [109] for details) and through the development of plant and crop modeling approaches integrating agronomic, physiological and molecular data (G+A) [213]. These monitoring tools and models will also help the farmers to rationalize N fertilization when integrated into decision support systems (A.3). In addition the knowledge gained from these complementary studies will be useful to the scientific community to improve our understanding of N assimilation by plants both at the whole plant and canopy levels (O.2). The boxes shaded in dark grey indicate where significant progress has been made in the area. Those in pale grey indicate that work is still currently being actively performed. Those in white indicate the research area for which results and data are scarce or missing. 
Cont.
Article
In this review, we present the recent developments and future prospects of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops using various complementary approaches. These include conventional breeding and molecular genetics, in addition to alternative farming techniques based on no-till continuous cover cropping cultures and/or organic nitrogen (N) nutrition. Whatever the mode of N fertilization, an increased knowledge of the mechanisms controlling plant N economy is essential for improving NUE and for reducing excessive input of fertilizers, while maintaining an acceptable yield and sufficient profit margin for the farmers. Using plants grown under agronomic conditions, with different tillage conditions, in pure or associated cultures, at low and high N mineral fertilizer input, or using organic fertilization, it is now possible to develop further whole plant agronomic and physiological studies. These can be combined with gene, protein and metabolite profiling to build up a comprehensive picture depicting the different steps of N uptake, assimilation and recycling to produce either biomass in vegetative organs or proteins in storage organs. We provide a critical overview as to how our understanding of the agro-ecophysiological, physiological and molecular controls of N assimilation in crops, under varying environmental conditions, has been improved. We have used combined approaches, based on agronomic studies, whole plant physiology, quantitative genetics, forward and reverse genetics and the emerging systems biology. Long-term sustainability may require a gradual transition from synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotation, including continuous cover cropping systems, where these may be possible in certain areas of the world, depending on climatic conditions. Current knowledge and prospects for future agronomic development and application for breeding crops adapted to lower mineral fertilizer input and to alternative farming techniques are explored, whilst taking into account the constraints of both the current world economic situation and the environment.
 
Article
As acceptance of the concept of agricultural sustainability has grown, it has become increasingly recognized that notions of sustainability and how to promote it will necessarily vary depending on the commodity in question. It thus becomes important to investigate how movements towards sustainability are emerging for different commodities. The objective of our paper is to present the results of an analysis of Washington wheat producers that investigates the degree to which interest in sustainability exists amongst those farmers and whether structural factors and farmer personal characteristics are more or less significant than social network factors in explaining farmers’ views of possible sustainable methods. Our findings indicate that a measure indicating use of local social networks to gain information is associated with a higher degree of interest in new production methods aimed at improving agricultural sustainability.
 
Expected population growth in comparison t resource availability. Situation of the so-called ‘peak society’ highlights the urgency of breeding crops for low-input systems and improved resource management, as population and food demands are expected to increase while global resources decline [1-4]. 
Yield comparison of commercial and local varieties produced under high and low-input conditions. This illustrates how system management and production practices influence yields of different crops. It is important to note that the influence of production practices, in terms of yield differs among crop varieties, indicating the significance of breeding programs that focus on differences in production practices and system limitations. Commercial varieties tested were ‘Shege’, ‘Anjali’, and ‘Abbondonza’ for barley, rice, wheat, respectively, while local varieties tested ‘Himbil’, ‘Brown Gora’, and ‘Colognal Veneta’ [26,30,33]. 
Article
World population is projected to reach its maximum (~10 billion people) by the year 2050. This 45% increase of the current world population (approaching seven billion people) will boost the demand for food and raw materials. However, we live in a historical moment when supply of phosphate, water, and oil are at their peaks. Modern agriculture is fundamentally based on varieties bred for high performance under high input systems (fertilizers, water, oil, pesticides), which generally do not perform well under low-input situations. We propose a shift of research goals and plant breeding objectives from high-performance agriculture at high-energy input to those with an improved rationalization between yield and energy input. Crop breeding programs that are more focused on nutrient economy and local environmental fitness will help reduce energy demands for crop production while still providing adequate amounts of high quality food as global resources decline and population is projected to increase.
 
Article
This paper presents the description of land use change in the suburbs near Suvarnabhumi International Airport, with a focus on land use patterns before and during airport development. According to geographic information system (GIS), land use patterns are categorized into three main groups, namely intensive urban development land, areas developed under environmental conditions, and natural land. Steps of land use changes, land use planning and related factors concerning number of population, dwelling units and factories were analyzed. In the short term, urban development dramatically increases by 39.97% whereas the areas developed under environmental conditions decreased by 37.52%, with significant correlation ( P < 0.05). The natural land which is typically grassland and watercourses changed insignificantly ( P > 0.05). Urbanization of the areas where the airport is located increased between 10.07% and 15.57%. The changes of land use comply with the Integrated Town and Country Planning. The areas where urbanization is small are under the area designated as the green area. Urban expansion is mainly a result of increase in residential areas which is closely related to number of population. Such changes indicate a need for more effective urban development planning and management to conserve environmental quality.
 
Map of community-university research approaches. 
Potential community impact projects (CIPs) by theme.
The governance structure of Think&EatGreen@School depicted with a tree metaphor.
Article
This paper describes the theoretical and conceptual framework and the research and practice model of Think&EatGreen@School, a community-based action research project aiming to foster food citizenship in the City of Vancouver and to develop a model of sustainable institutional food systems in public schools. The authors argue that educational and policy interventions at the school and school board level can drive the goals of food system sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty. The complex relationship between food systems, climate change and environmental degradation require that international initiatives promoting sustainability be vigorously complemented by local multi-stakeholder efforts to preserve or restore the capacity to produce food in a durable manner. As a step towards making the City of Vancouver green, we are currently involved in attempts to transform the food system of the local schools by mobilizing the energy of a transdisciplinary research team of twelve university researchers, over 300 undergraduate and graduate students, and twenty community-based researchers and organizations working on food, public health, environmental and sustainability education.
 
Article
Sustainability is on the international agenda, and is a driver for industry in international competition. Sustainability encompasses the three pillars: environment, society and economy. To prevent shifting of burden, the whole life cycle needs to be taken into account. For the environmental dimension of sustainability, life cycle assessment (LCA) has been practiced for a while and is a standardized method. A life cycle approach for the social and economic pillars of sustainability needs to be further developed. This paper investigates the application of life cycle costing (LCC) as part of a wider sustainability assessment where also social life cycle assessment (SLCA) and LCA are combined. LCA-type LCC is applied on a case study of remanufactured alternators. Remanufacturing of automobile parts is a fast growing important business with large potential for cost and resource savings. Three design alternatives for the alternator and three locations for the remanufacturing plant are evaluated. The remanufacturer perspective and the user perspective are investigated. The results for the LCA-type LCC show that the largest cost for the remanufacturer is the new parts replacing old warn parts. However, the user cost, and therein especially, cost for fuel used for the alternator’s power production dominates and should be the focus for further improvement. In conducting the case study, it was revealed that the connection between the LCA-type LCC results and the economic dimension of sustainability needs to be further investigated and defined. For this purpose, areas of protection for life cycle sustainability assessment and LCA-type LCC in particular need further development.
 
Article
The energy cost of drilling a natural gas well has never been publicly addressed in terms of the actual fuels and energy required to generate the physical materials consumed in construction. Part of the reason for this is that drilling practices are typically regarded as proprietary; hence the required information is difficult to obtain. We propose that conventional tight gas wells that have marginal production characteristics provide a baseline for energy return on energy invested (EROI) analyses. To develop an understanding of baseline energy requirements for natural gas extraction, we examined production from a mature shallow gas field composed of vertical wells in Pennsylvania and materials used in the drilling and completion of individual wells. The data were derived from state maintained databases and reports, personal experience as a production geologist, personal interviews with industry representatives, and literature sources. We examined only the “upstream” energy cost of providing gas and provide a minimal estimate of energy cost because of uncertainty about some inputs. Of the materials examined, steel and diesel fuel accounted for more than two-thirds of the energy cost for well construction. Average energy cost per foot for a tight gas well in Indiana County is 0.59 GJ per foot. Available production data for this natural gas play was used to calculate energy return on energy invested ratios (EROI) between 67:1 and 120:1, which depends mostly on the amount of materials consumed, drilling time, and highly variable production. Accounting for such inputs as chemicals used in well treatment, materials used to construct drill bits and drill pipe, post-gathering pipeline construction, and well completion maintenance would decrease EROI by an unknown amount. This study provides energy constraints at the single-well scale for the energy requirements for drilling in geologically simple systems. The energy and monetary costs of wells from Indiana County, Pennsylvania are useful for constructing an EROI model of United States natural gas production, which suggests a peak in the EROI of gas production, has already occurred twice in the past century.
 
According to Torrance, as stress increases bonding forces increase until a theoretical apex is reached. A decline in the strength of integrating bonds then occurs even though the intensity of stress continues to rise. 
Article
Oil has played a crucial role in the United States’ continued but increasingly tenuous economic prosperity. The continued availability of cheap, high energy return on investment (EROI) oil, however, is increasingly in doubt. If cheap oil is increasingly constrained, how might that impact the American psychological sense of personal and national well-being? We employ general systems theory and certain key paradigms from psychology and sociology to predict the possible societal response to global peak oil and the declining EROI of whatever oil is produced. Based on these frameworks, the following three defense mechanisms seem likely to be employed by individuals and groups within society if and when confronted with stresses associated with declining oil availability. These are: denial of one’s passive helpless state, desire to establish a scapegoat, and arousal of affiliative needs and increased subgrouping. A group’s “survival” is a function of its unified sense of direction and the stability of necessary interdependencies and linkages. We suggest that the ability of the U.S. society, taken as a whole, to adapt to the stresses derived from the declining EROI of oil will increase during periods of moderate stress, and then decline after reaching its maximum ability to cope with stress. The integrity of interdependencies and linkages—power, communication, affect, and goals—must be preserved for continued social unity. Americans will need to acknowledge the reality of biophysical constraints if they are to adapt to the coming energy crisis.
 
Article
The Peruvian anchovy fishery is the largest worldwide in terms of catches. The fishery started during the mid 1950s, and since then it has been highly dependent on natural stock fluctuations, due to the sensitivity of anchovy stocks to ocean-climate variability. The main driver of anchovy stock variability is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and three extreme ENSO warm events were recorded in 1972–1973, 1983–1984 and 1997–1998. This study investigates the evolution of coping strategies developed by the anchovy fisheries to deal with climate variability and extreme ENSO events. Results showed eight coping strategies to reduce impacts on the fishery. These included: decentralized installation of anchovy processing factories; simultaneous ownership of fishing fleet and processing factories; use of low-cost unloading facilities; opportunistic utilization of invading fish populations; low cost intensive monitoring; rapid flexible management; reduction of fishmeal price uncertainty through controlled production based on market demand; and decoupling of fishmeal prices from those of other protein-rich feed substitutes like soybean. This research shows that there are concrete lessons to be learned from successful adaptations to cope with climate change-related extreme climatic events that impact the supply of natural resources. The lessons can contribute to improved policies for coping with climate change in the commercial fishery sector.
 
Article
The work presents the approaches and software developed for multi-objective optimization of nuclear power structures: the modules for energy planning package MESSAGE intended for modeling purposes of developing nuclear power systems and multi-objective evaluation of its effectiveness and an integrated approach based on the method of system dynamics and parameter space investigation, allowing the problem of optimizing a nuclear power system structure in multi-objective formulation to be solved. Some results of implementation of these tools for multi-objective optimization of nuclear power structures are shown.
 
Harvest density, start weights and growth increments (size and number of days) for production of small (*), medium ( γ ), and large (final) catfish in ponds, rainbow trout in raceway, and sablefish in net pens. Note that sablefish production takes longer than one year to the large sized fish. 
Article
North American dining customers like to have a singular large piece of protein in the center of the plate. When fish is the protein of choice, the portion size from many species is limited by the overall size of the fish. Therefore, for these species, the means to achieve a singular larger portion of “center of the plate” protein is to grow a larger animal. However, fish become less efficient in converting feed to protein as they age. A second option would be to provide two smaller fillets originating from younger, more efficient fish. Here, the sustainability ramifications of these two protein provisioning strategies (single large or two small fillets) are considered for three species of fish produced in aquaculture. Growth data for channel catfish ( Ictalurus punctatus ) produced in ponds, rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) in raceways, and sablefish ( Anoplopoma fimbria ) in marine net pens, were modeled to assess the total biomass and overall food conversion ratio for the production of small, medium or large fish. The production of small fish added an additional 50% or more biomass per year for trout, catfish, and sablefish compared to the production of large fish. Feed conversion ratios were also improved by nearly 10% for the smaller compared to larger fish of each species. Thus, even though all of these species tend to be considered aquaculture species of low environmental impact (and hence “green” or sustainable options), the product form requested by retailers and served by chefs can further increase the sustainability of these species.
 
Article
Future scenarios provide challenging, plausible and relevant stories about how the future could unfold. Urban Futures (UF) research has identified a substantial set (>450) of seemingly disparate scenarios published over the period 1997–2011 and within this research, a sub-set of >160 scenarios has been identified (and categorized) based on their narratives according to the structure first proposed by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) in 1997; three world types (Business as Usual, Barbarization, and Great Transitions) and six scenarios, two for each world type (Policy Reform—PR, Market Forces—MF, Breakdown—B, Fortress World—FW, Eco-Communalism—EC and New Sustainability Paradigm—NSP). It is suggested that four of these scenario archetypes (MF, PR, NSP and FW) are sufficiently distinct to facilitate active stakeholder engagement in futures thinking. Moreover they are accompanied by a well-established, internally consistent set of narratives that provide a deeper understanding of the key fundamental drivers (e.g., STEEP—Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political) that could bring about realistic world changes through a push or a pull effect. This is testament to the original concept of the GSG scenarios and their development and refinement over a 16 year period.
 
Article
This paper describes the construction of an ecological services index (ESI). An ESI is meant to summarize and track over time the magnitude of beneficial services arising from the natural environment. A central task of this paper is to define rigorously ecosystem services so that services can be counted in an economically and ecologically defensible manner—a requirement if ecological contributions to welfare are to be incorporated into the national accounts. This paper advocates a particular economic structure and relates it to index theory and makes concrete recommendations for the measurement of such an index.
 
Article
The aim of this research is to investigate plant production sustainability, the economical requirements, risks, and identify threshold levels to switching on, or off precision weed management techniques in Hungarian growing and sales conditions; taking into consideration that the implementation of precision technology can be justified also by its role in the reduction of environmental load, which would create a harmony between individual usefulness and social utility. A simulation model has been developed to investigate the return of extra investments, along with the risk of this return in relation to the soil type, weed coverage, and the sales price.
 
Article
A new flexible, rapid and affordable risk assessment procedure was developed and verified for dams based on case studies in Scotland (UK) and the region of Baden (Germany). A database of six different sustainable flood retention basin (SFRB) types with varying flood control potential has been developed. In Scotland, there are a relatively high number of current and former large drinking water reservoirs which could contribute to flood management control. In comparison, purpose-built and relatively small SFRB, which are predominantly used for flood control, dominate the landscape in Baden. Moreover, 13 out of 149 SFRB have recently been upgraded, and 11 new SFRB have been built since 2006. Both the estimated hazard and risk are small in comparison to those found in the flood infrastructure in Scotland. The study assesses a rapid screening tool developed to estimate the Dam Condition and the corresponding Dam Failure Hazard and Dam Failure Risk. Most SFRB in Baden have a relatively poor Dam Condition, high Dam Failure Hazard but low Dam Failure Risk compared to those in Scotland. Findings show that Baden is more advanced in flood defence management as well as adaptation to climate change.
 
Article
This study applied a broad continuum of risk analysis methods including mean-variance and coefficient of variation (CV) statistical criteria, second-degree stochastic dominance (SSD), stochastic dominance with respect to a function (SDRF), and stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) for comparing income-risk efficiency sustainability of conventional and reduced tillage systems. Fourteen years (1990–2003) of economic budget data derived from 35 treatments on 36 experimental plots under corn ( Zea mays L.) and soybean ( Glycine max L.) at the Iowa State University Northeast Research Station near Nashua, IA, USA were used. In addition to the other analyses, a visually-based Stoplight or “probability of target value” procedure was employed for displaying gross margin and net return probability distribution information. Mean-variance and CV analysis of the economic measures alone provided somewhat contradictive and inconclusive sustainability rankings, i.e ., corn/soybean gross margin and net return showed that different tillage system alternatives were the highest ranked depending on the criterion and type of crop. Stochastic dominance analysis results were similar for SSD and SDRF in that both the conventional and reduced tillage system alternatives were highly ranked depending on the type of crop and tillage system. For the SERF analysis, results were dependent on the type of crop and level of risk aversion. The conventional tillage system was preferred for both corn and soybean for the Stoplight analysis. The results of this study are unique in that they highlight the potential of both traditional stochastic dominance and SERF methods for distinguishing economically sustainable choices between different tillage systems across a range of risk aversion. This study also indicates that the SERF risk analysis method appears to be a useful and easily understood tool to assist farm managers, experimental researchers, and potentially policy makers and advisers on problems involving agricultural risk and sustainability.
 
Socioeconomic impact in the United States if sodium intake was reduced according to the three selected studies. 
Calculation of the socioeconomic impacts of broad implementation of meat protein extract (MPE) in processed meat and reducing population-wide salt intake in the United States by 5.2%. 
Validation of estimates of QALY and healthcare costs by comparing the reference results with results based on other studies (validation). Comparisons in brackets refer to the reference. 
Article
Excessive salt intake causes a number of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and hypertension. This is a burden on the individual as well as on society, because these diseases are fatal and costly to treat and live with. Much of the salt comes from processed meat such as sausages, ham, and bacon and has, so far, been hard to avoid because of consumer taste preference as well as the technological benefits. Meat protein extract (MPE) is a broth of hydrolyzed protein which can reduce the salt in processed meat by more than one third without compromising on taste and functionality. This study estimates the socioeconomic impacts of implementing MPE widely across the United States (US) by relating the national salt intake reduction potential of MPE (5%) to a broad range of health, societal, and individual factors derived from the literature. Results show that benefits for society are substantial and MPE could be part of the solution for the problem of excessive salt intake. MPE could deliver 25% of the U.S. ‘National Salt Reduction Initiative’ goals, avoid approximately 1 million hypertension cases and save around USD 1.6 billion in annual direct healthcare costs. Verification indicates that these estimates are conservative.
 
Article
A more objective method for measuring the energy needs of businesses, System Energy Assessment (SEA), identifies the natural boundaries of businesses as self-managing net-energy systems, of controlled and self-managing parts. The method is demonstrated using a model Wind Farm case study, and applied to defining a true physical measure of its energy productivity for society (EROI-S), the global ratio of energy produced to energy cost. The traceable needs of business technology are combined with assignable energy needs for all other operating services. That serves to correct a large natural gap in energy use information. Current methods count traceable energy receipts for technology use. Self-managing services employed by businesses outsource their own energy needs to operate, and leave no records to trace. Those uncounted energy demands are often 80% of the total embodied energy of business end products. The scale of this "dark energy" was discovered from differing global accounts, and corrected so the average energy cost per dollar for businesses would equal the world average energy use per dollar of GDP. Presently the energy needs of paid services that outsource their own energy needs are counted for lack of information to be "0". Our default assumption is to treat them as "average". The result is to assign total energy use and impacts to the demand for energy services, for a "Scope 4" GHG assessment level. Counting only the energy uses of technology understates the energy needs of business services, as if services were more energy efficient than technology. The result confirms a similar finding by Hall et. al. in 1981 [9]. We use exhaustive search for what a business needs to operate as a whole, locating a natural physical boundary for its working parts, to define businesses as physical rather than statistical subjects of science. :measurement, natural systems
 
Article
This paper reports on a sustainability outreach study based on an assessment of human and social capital. The aim was to capture the national sustainability outreach of twenty years of Environmental Sciences education, centered at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. The study contained two lines of research, one being a human capital assessment with a survey among graduates from the years 1992 to 2005 (n = 542) and the other being a social capital analysis based on interviews with institutions that represent the Swiss social systems of economy, politics/public administration and civil society (20 institutions). Our analyses reveal several functional forms of both human capital (specialists, pioneers, leaders) and social capital (qualification profile, internalization, networks, standardization, professionalization) that trigger and channel sustainability outreach.
 
Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Federal Offshore region including lease condensate Source: Minerals Management Service (MMS), Energy Information Administration, Office of Oil and Gas (2010). (mmbbls equals million barrels per year). 
Article
The purpose of this paper is to calculate the energy return on financial investment (EROFI) of oil and gas production in the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in 2009 and for the estimated oil reserves of the Macondo Prospect (Mississippi Canyon Block 252). We also calculated a preliminary Energy Return on Investment (EROI) based on published energy intensity ratios including a sensitivity analysis using a range of energy intensity ratios (7 MJ/$, 12 MJ/$, and 18 MJ/$). The EROFI for ultra-deepwater oil and gas at the well-head, ranged from 0.019 to 0.022 barrels (BOE), or roughly 0.85 gallons, per dollar. Our estimates of EROI for 2009 ultra-deepwater oil and natural gas at the well-head ranged from 7–22:1. The independently-derived EROFI of the Macondo Prospect oil reserves ranged from 0.012 to 0.0071 barrels per dollar ( i.e. , $84 to $140 to produce a barrel) and EROI ranged from 4–16:1, related to the energy intensity ratio used to quantify costs. We believe that the lower end of these EROI ranges ( i.e. , 4 to 7:1) is more accurate since these values were derived using energy intensities averaged across the entire domestic oil and gas industry. Time series of the financial and preliminary EROI estimates found in this study suggest that the extraction costs of ultra-deepwater energy reserves in the GoM come at increasing energetic and economic cost to society.
 
EROI for discoveries for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry. The inset is the same data plotted on a different scale.  
Changes in Direct Energy using Alternative Analysis.
Changes in Capital Expenditures for Alternative Analysis.
Changes in Alternative Analysis 1972-2007.
Article
Oil and gas are the main sources of energy in the United States. Part of their appeal is the high Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI) when procuring them. We assessed data from the United States Bureau of the Census of Mineral Industries, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Oil and Gas Journal for the years 1919–2007 and from oil analyst Jean Laherrere to derive EROI for both finding and producing oil and gas. We found two general patterns in the relation of energy gains compared to energy costs: a gradual secular decrease in EROI and an inverse relation to drilling effort. EROI for finding oil and gas decreased exponentially from 1200:1 in 1919 to 5:1 in 2007. The EROI for production of the oil and gas industry was about 20:1 from 1919 to 1972, declined to about 8:1 in 1982 when peak drilling occurred, recovered to about 17:1 from 1986–2002 and declined sharply to about 11:1 in the mid to late 2000s. The slowly declining secular trend has been partly masked by changing effort: the lower the intensity of drilling, the higher the EROI compared to the secular trend. Fuel consumption within the oil and gas industry grew continuously from 1919 through the early 1980s, declined in the mid-1990s, and has increased recently, not surprisingly linked to the increased cost of finding and extracting oil.
 
Contribution of methane , nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide to the carbon footprint of beef cattle (cradle to farm gate) produced in six geographically-defined systems in southern Australia. JO-S: Japanese ox grass-fed steers (Scone); EU-P: EU cattle (Parkes); IGF: Inland weaners, grass fattened and feedlot finished (Walgett, Gunnedah, Quirindi); NGF: North coast weaners, grass fattened and feedlot finished (Casino, Glen Innes, Rangers Valley); Y-G: Yearling (Gundagai); Y-B: Yearling (Bathurst).
Contribution of livestock emissions , fertilizer used on pasture , leguminous pastures , other farm inputs , supplementary feeds used on-farm , livestock transport , and feedlot finishing to the carbon footprint of beef cattle (cradle to farm gate) produced in six geographically-defined systems in southern Australia. JO-S: Japanese ox grass-fed steers (Scone); EU-P: EU cattle (Parkes); IGF: Inland weaners, grass fattened and feedlot finished (Walgett, Gunnedah, Quirindi); NGF: North coast weaners, grass fattened and feedlot finished (Casino, Glen Innes, Rangers Valley); Y-G: Yearling (Gundagai); Y-B: Yearling (Bathurst).
Summary of the 6 geographically-defined beef cattle production systems in New South Wales, Australia a .
Article
Stand-alone environmental indicators based on life cycle assessment (LCA), such as the carbon footprint and water footprint, are becoming increasingly popular as a means of directing sustainable production and consumption. However, individually, these metrics violate the principle of LCA known as comprehensiveness and do not necessarily provide an indication of overall environmental impact. In this study, the carbon footprints for six diverse beef cattle production systems in southern Australia were calculated and found to range from 10.1 to 12.7 kg CO<sub>2</sub>e kg<sup>−1</sup> live weight (cradle to farm gate). This compared to water footprints, which ranged from 3.3 to 221 L H<sub>2</sub>Oe kg<sup>−1</sup> live weight. For these systems, the life cycle impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use were subsequently modelled using endpoint indicators and aggregated to enable comparison. In all cases, impacts from GHG emissions were most important, representing 93 to 99% of the combined scores. As such, the industry’s existing priority of GHG emissions reduction is affirmed. In an attempt to balance the demands of comprehensiveness and simplicity, to achieve reliable public reporting of the environmental impacts of a large number of products across the economy, a multi-indicator approach based on combined midpoint and endpoint life cycle impact assessment modelling is proposed. For agri-food products, impacts from land use should also be included as tradeoffs between GHG emissions, water use and land use are common.
 
Article
The transition to a sustainable energy system faces more challenges than a simple replacement of fossil energy sources by renewable ones. Since current structures do not favor sustainable energy generation and use, it is indispensable to change the existing infrastructure. A fundamental change of the energy system also requires re-organizing spatial structures and their respective institutions and governance structures. Especially in Austria, urban sprawl and unsustainable settlement structures are regarded as one of the main developments leading to increased energy demand. One of the aims within the project E-Trans 2050 was to identify socio-economic constellations that are central to the further transformation of the energy system and to focus on actors and their socio-technical framework conditions. Based on a sustainable future vision for the year 2050 a backcasting workshop was conducted to identify necessary steps for the envisaged transition to a more sustainable energy system. The results shed light on the necessary changes for a transformation towards sustainability in the specific Austrian situation. Critical issues are region-specific production of energy and its use, settlement and regional structures and values and role models, which all have a determining influence on energy demand. Combining the knowledge of extensive energy use with available energy resources in spatial planning decisions is a main challenge towards a long term sustainable energy system.
 
Automotive shredder residue composition. 
Parabolic trajectory.  
Parabolic separator concept.  
Article
The number of vehicles on the road has been increasing at an enormous rate over the last decade. By 2015, the number of vehicles that reach the end of their life will be close to a million per year in Australia. Most metallic parts of the vehicle can be recycled but the plastic components and components of other materials are normally shredded and disposed in landfills. As more vehicles are using composite materials, the percentage of materials sent to landfill is alarming. This paper reviews existing polymer recycling techniques for End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) and proposes a more efficient electrostatic based projectile separation method. The test rig is at the preliminary stage of development and initial outcomes are promising.
 
Diagrammatic presentation of livelihood resilience 
Exploitation of shrimp at various life stages (based on synergy of scientific knowledge and fisher's indigenous knowledge derived through FGDs with key informants, Moheskhali, 2006, 2010). Legend: ESBN-estuarine set beg net, MSBN-Marine set bag net.
Meal statistics (N=30 and 22 for coastal and floodplain fishers respectively).
Seasonality of income for different groups of fishers (1US$=Taka 65 in 2006).
Article
Due to its deltaic geographical position and precarious socioeconomic and demographic conditions, Bangladesh is recognized worldwide for its exposure to recurring environmental hazards. Based on a 21-month long field study in two fishing villages that are characterized by distinct ecological settings and ethnic groups, this article examines the arrays of cross-scale environmental, social and institutional stressors that singly or cumulatively impact fishers’ livelihood well-being and generational poverty. Analysis of the vulnerabilities makes it clear that the degree to which poor fishers suffer from environmental stressors and calamities is determined not only by the frequency of abnormal events, but also by their internal capabilities of self-protection, resilience against those stressors, position in the social network and asset and resource ownership. Coastal and floodplain fishers identified cyclone and long-standing floods as strong drivers of poverty as their bundles of ‘safety net’ capital are usually disrupted or lost. For a majority of the fishers, income/day/family declines to as low as US$ 0.7–0.9. Fishers lack appropriate sets of endowments and entitlements that would allow them immediate buffer against livelihood stressors. Vulnerability here is intricately related to one’s socio-economic status; poor and ‘socially vulnerable’ ethnic fishers are concurrently ‘biologically vulnerable’ too. The corollary of multi-faceted stressors is that, poverty persists as an ever-increasing haunting presence that thousands of floodplain and coastal fishers of Bangladesh are forced to cope with. It is evident that nature-induced stressors exert ‘ratchet effects’ on fishers with low endowments who critically risk nutritional deprivation and social standing. Lucidly, most of the fishers are trapped in a form of ‘ livelihood war’.
 
Cont. 
Mean leaf number, tallest leaf height (cm) and fresh weight (g) for lettuce (Lactuca sativa) cultivars (week 10) grown in three soilless media (LC8, Sunshine Natural and Organic, SunGro Metro-Mix). Tukey's 5% HSD mean separations within each trait; means followed by different letters denote significant differences. 
Article
Modern greenhouse production has been ~100% reliant on fossil fuels for all inputs (glazing, heating, fertilization, lighting, post-harvest). Recent innovations may reduce fossil fuel dependence but their effectiveness may not be thoroughly tested. To promote education in sustainable production, undergraduate students in Greenhouse Management class (Hort 3002W; University of Minnesota) tested the effectiveness of two organic or ‘sustainable’ soilless media (Sunshine Natural and Organic Growing Mix, Sungro Metro-Mix Special Blend) with a control (Sunshine LC8 Professional) for crop production (height, leaf/flower number, yield) and sensory evaluations (appearance, texture, taste, purchase) of cucumbers (‘Big Burpless Hybrid’, ‘Sweet Burpless Hybrid’), basil (‘Opal Purple’, ‘Redleaf’), parsley (‘Green River’, ‘Extra Curled Dwarf’, ‘Hamburg’), and lettuce (Flying Saucer ‘Green’, ‘Red’). Significant differences between sustainable vs. control soils occurred for plant growth, depending on vegetative or reproductive traits, crops, and cultivars. These differences occasionally disappeared for sensory evaluation of edible components. In most crops, however, cultivars were highly significant factors. Undergraduate research can be used to provide directionality for future vegetable and herb plant breeding to focus on creating cultivars with increased yield and high consumer acceptance when grown in sustainable greenhouse soilless mixes.
 
Article
The complexity of explaining highly scientific information and juggling a plethora of social values is leading agencies and communities such as those in the Palouse Basin to explore the use of participatory modeling processes using system dynamics. Participatory system dynamics as a methodology creates a transparent nexus of science, policy options, social concerns and local knowledge that enhances discussion of issues surrounding the use of natural resources. The process of developing a systems model uses the tenets of scientific theory, hypothesis testing and clear statements of assumptions. A unique aspect of the Palouse basin project is the use of system dynamics to describe ground water dynamics in a sole source confined aquifer system. There are, as of yet, no standards for analyzing participatory modeling projects, therefore, we use case study analysis to describe the process, insights and qualitative measurements of success.
 
Adverse environmental and social impacts in a supply chain. Adapted from: I&DeA National procurement strategy: Sustainability for Local Government 2003 [8], www.local.gov.uk. 
Benefits of a sustainable supply chain.
The procurement cycle. Adapted from: I&DeA National procurement strategy: Sustainability for Local Government 2003 [8], www.local.gov.uk. 
Article
Waste costs the National Health Service (NHS) £71.2 million in 2007/2008; recycling all papers, newspapers and cardboard produced by the NHS in England and Wales could save up to 42,000 tonnes of CO<sub>2.</sub> As the largest employer in the UK, the NHS is in a prime position to both lead the way towards a sustainable future, but also act as a test bed for organizational change and provide evidence of what works at an individual level to change attitudes and behavior. However these require changes in mindset, including values, attitudes, norms and behaviors which are required along with clear definitions of the problems faced in terms of economics, society and culture. Initial investigations of the literature indicate that behavior change theory may provide a feasible means of achieving constructive changes in clinical waste management; such approaches require further investigation. This paper describes a feasibility study designed to examine issues that might affect the introduction of a behavior change strategy and improve waste management in a healthcare setting. Guided by the evidence gained from our systematic review, 20 interviews were carried out with senior managers, clinicians and support staff involved in the management of healthcare waste from a broad range of agencies in South West England. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Thematic content analysis was conducted in order to identify key issues and actions. Data extraction, coding and analysis were cross checked independently by the four members of the research team. Initial findings suggest tensions, between Government and local policies, between packaging and storage space at ward level and, and between the operational requirements of infection control and maintaining appropriate and ethical patient care. These tensions increase pressures on staff already trying to maintain high quality care in a resource restricted and changing environment.
 
Area available (km 2 ) for GM vegetables in Italy and Spain as a function of 
Deliberate releases in field trials of GM tomato and eggplant under Directives 90/220/EEC and 2001/18/EC.
Cont.
Average vegetable production area per farm in different farm size categories in Italy and Spain, and estimated net area available for GM vegetables under a buffer of 50 m from the parcel border.
Article
In this paper we assess the benefits and costs of introducing biologically contained genetically modified (GM) crops, with an application to the potential introduction of GM tomatoes and eggplants in Italy and Spain. Such crops possess both the standard beneficial GM traits, and they prevent introgression of transgenes from GM crops to their conventional or wild relatives, thereby adding to the safety of their cultivation. As a result, coexistence regulations for these crops are less stringent than for crops without biological containment. The potential adoption of biologically contained GM tomatoes and eggplants is assessed in a cost-benefit framework for Italy and Spain. We conclude that biological containment has considerable potential benefits if policy makers are willing to loosen the restrictions on the introduction of these varieties.
 
Yields (top left panel), gross margins (top right), seed costs (middle left), pesticide costs (middle right) and management and labor costs (bottom) for cotton. 
Cont. 
Yields (left panel) and seed costs (right panel) for maize. 
Article
This paper reviews the evidence on the socio-economic impacts of GM crops and analyzes whether there are patterns across space and time. To this end, we investigate the effect of GM crops on farm-level costs and benefits using global data from more than one decade of field trials and surveys. More specifically, we analyze the effects of GM-crops on crop yields, seed costs, pesticide costs, and management and labor costs and finally gross margins. Based on collected data from studies on Bt cotton and Bt maize, statistical analyses are conducted to estimate the effect of GM crop adoption on these parameters. Our results show that, compared to conventional crops, GM crops can lead to yield increases and can lead to reductions in the costs of pesticide application, whereas seed costs are usually substantially higher. Thus, the results presented here do support the contention that the adoption of GM crops leads on average to a higher economic performance, which is also underlined by the high adoption rates for GM crops in a number of countries. However, the kind and magnitude of benefits from GM crops are very heterogeneous between countries and regions, particularly due to differences in pest pressure and pest management practices. Countries with poor pest management practices benefited most from a reduction in yield losses, whereas other countries benefited from cost reductions. However, our study also reveals limitations for meta-analyses on farm-level costs and benefits of GM crops. In particular, published data are skewed towards some countries and the employed individual studies rely on different assumptions, purposes and methodologies (e.g., surveys and field trials). Furthermore, a summary of several (often) short-term individual studies may not necessarily capture long-term effects of GM crop adoption.
 
Comparison of MODEX and 2007 Per Capita Income for US States.
Spatial Autocorrelation Tests for LNMODEX.
Cont.
Article
This study investigates whether the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) relationship is supported for a measure of biodiversity risk and economic development across the United States (US). Using state-level data for all 48 contiguous states, biodiversity risk is measured using a Modified Index (MODEX). This index is an adaptation of a comprehensive National Biodiversity Risk Assessment Index. The MODEX differs from other measures in that it is takes into account the impact of human activities and conservation measures. The econometric approach includes corrections for spatial autocorrelation effects, which are present in the data. Modeling estimation results do not support the EKC hypothesis for biodiversity risk in the US. This finding is robust over ordinary least squares, spatial error, and spatial lag models, where the latter is shown to be the preferred model. Results from the spatial lag regression show that a 1% increase in human population density is associated with about a 0.19% increase in biodiversity risk. Spatial dependence in this case study explains 30% of the variation, as risk in one state spills over into adjoining states. From a policy perspective, this latter result supports the need for coordinated efforts at state and federal levels to address the problem of biodiversity loss.
 
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Edmundas Kazimieras Zavadskas
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Marc A. Rosen
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Judit Oláh
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Jozsef Popp
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Vincenzo Torretta
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