Sustainability Assessment : Applications and opportunities book cover
1st Edition

Sustainability Assessment
Applications and opportunities

Edited By

Robert Gibson

ISBN 9781138802759
Published August 29, 2016 by Routledge
296 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Current and expanding human activities are moving us towards ever deeper unsustainability. While there is no single, simple means of reversing the invidious biophysical trends and redirecting the distribution of benefits, one necessary step is to approach every new and renewed undertaking as an opportunity to deliver maximum multiple, mutually reinforcing, fairly distributed and lasting gains. Finding the best options for enhancing such gains by comparing alternatives, addressing all the key requirements for progress towards sustainability and avoiding significant adverse effects, is the essential purpose of sustainability assessment.

This book addresses the theory and practice of sustainability assessment applications, drawing from experiences globally in a variety of sectors and presenting lessons learned. Diverse international case studies from professionals and academics demonstrate progress so far in exploring openings, testing approaches to application and establishing best practice. The book illustrates means of specifying generic sustainability criteria for the context of particular applications, reports on the resulting insights, and examines the barriers and opportunities for further advances.

This book is an important resource for students, academics and professionals in the areas of Governance, Environmental Assessment, Planning and Policy Making, Corporate Social Responsibility and Applied Sustainability.

Table of Contents

  1. Foundations: sustainability and the requirements for getting there
  2. Robert B. Gibson

  3. Applications: from generic criteria and processes to applications
  4. Robert B. Gibson

  5. Building and applying a sustainability assessment framework: the Panel review of the Mackenzie Gas Project
  6. Robert B. Gibson

  7. Peanut shells in the bigger picture: sustainability assessment in the agricultural and energy systems of Senegal
  8. Kyrke Gaudreau

  9. Sustainability effects of a Brazilian sugarcane ethanol mill
  10. Carla Grigoletto Duarte and Kyrke Gaudreau

  11. The sustainability assessment of the South West Yarragadee Water Supply Development in Western Australia
  12. Jenny Pope

  13. The Lower Churchill Panel Review: sustainability assessment under legislative constraints in Canada
  14. Meinhard Doelle

  15. Sustainability assessments designed for multiple functions: five cases about water resources, nanotechnologies and communities
  16. Arnim Wiek, Christopher Kuzdas, Rider Foley, Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Nigel Forrest and Braden Kay

  17. Electricity system planning and sustainability assessment in Ontario, Canada
  18. Mark Winfield

  19. Using strategic thinking and critical decision factors to achieve sustainability: three cases in Portugal
  20. Maria Rosário Partidário

  21. Applying a sustainable assessment framework to recovery plans in eastern Tohoku, Japan
  22. Yoichi Kumagai

  23. The mitigation hierarchy and beyond: guiding appropriate biodiversity trade-offs in assessments for sustainability
  24. Susie Brownlie and Jo Treweek

  25. Opportunities

Robert B. Gibson

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Robert B. Gibson is a Professor at the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Canada. He has been involved with environmental policy issues and broader sustainability imperatives as a practitioner, advisor and academic since the mid-1970s. His initial book on sustainability assessment, focused on criteria and processes, was published by Earthscan in 2005.


"Sustainability Assessment takes up the mantle from Gibson’s 2005 book seamlessly. It provides greater clarity over the approaches to be taken, allowing for significant variation to suit the diverse contexts which are clearly illustrated through case studies; and highlights the way forward to a more sustainable future." – Alan Bond, senior lecturer, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK, and Extraordinary Professor, Research Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, South Africa.

"Robert Gibson's criteria-led approach to sustainability assessment and the practical examples from contributing international experts in the field is a must read. More importantly it provides a 'must do' guide to sustainable behaviours and performance." – Angus Morrison-Saunders, Associate Professor in Environmental Assessment at Murdoch University, Australia