Handbook of Sustainability Assessment


Handbook of Sustainability Assessment

9781783471362 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Angus Morrison-Saunders, Professor of Environmental Management, Centre for People, Place & Planet, and School of Science, Edith Cowan University, Australia; Extraordinary Professor, Research Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, South Africa, and Senior Associate, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge, UK, Jenny Pope, Centre for People, Place and Planet, Edith Cowan University, Australia, Research Unit for Environmental Science and Management, North West University, South Africa and Integral Sustainability, Australia and Alan Bond, School of Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, UK and Research Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, South Africa
Publication Date: October 2015 ISBN: 978 1 78347 136 2 Extent: 480 pp
The Handbook of Sustainability Assessment introduces the theory and practice of sustainability assessment and showcases the state-of-the-art research. The aim is to provide inspiration and guidance to students, academics and practitioners alike and to contribute to the enhancement of sustainability assessment practice worldwide. It emphasises how traditional impact assessment practices can be enhanced to contribute to sustainable outcomes. Featuring original contributions from leading sustainability assessment researchers and practitioners, it forms part of the Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series.

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Sustainability assessment refers to any process that directs decision-making towards sustainability. This groundbreaking Handbook presents state of the art thinking and research on the theory and practice of this broad and rapidly evolving field. Emphasizing how traditional impact assessment practices can be improved to contribute to sustainable outcomes, the overall aim is to enhance the effectiveness of sustainability assessment practice.

Based on original contributions from world-leading researchers and practitioners, the book examines sustainability assessment in five sections: the first explores the conceptual foundations of sustainability assessment from different perspectives; the second section introduces some of the different scales and decision-contexts to which sustainability assessment can be applied; third, sectoral approaches to sustainability assessment are investigated, focusing in particular on energy as a key area of future focus; the fourth section introduces several tools used within sustainability assessment, including ecosystem services, multi-criteria analysis, systems analysis, and objectives-driven approaches; finally, key aspects of sustainability assessment governance are considered, including managing decision complexity and community engagement.

This essential and comprehensive exploration of sustainability, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, will be invaluable to students, academics and practitioners.
Critical Acclaim
‘Following on from their 2013 book, Sustainability Assessment: Pluralism, Practice and Progress, the authors are rapidly establishing themselves as lead authorities on this subject. Their new Handbook of Sustainability Assessment has many strengths. It brings together the latest research from leading experts from many parts of the world. It provides a valuable mix of conceptual work, practical applications and relevant techniques, and reflects on effectiveness in practice. In particular, as summarized by one of the many learned contributors, this Handbook marks a watershed between the end of the early life of applications and research initiatives in sustainability assessment and the beginning of many new possibilities. All these strengths make this book essential reading for both researchers and practitioners.’
– John Glasson, Oxford Brookes University, UK

‘In a single volume the authors have succeeded in capturing the essential background, and cutting-edge thinking around the theory and practice of sustainability assessment. This is a timely and much needed contribution to an emerging field that has seen a proliferation of definitions and frameworks. It provides an indispensable resource for policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and students who are grappling with understanding the broad and complex terrain that this form of assessment covers. It should make an important contribution to directing decision-making towards sustainability.’
– Theo Hacking, University of Cambridge, UK

The variety of approaches to sustainability assessment as well as the contextually adapted approaches offered by modulating scale, decision-making level and discourse are a testimony to the diversity of sustainability assessment practice. Arguably, this book is both an introduction to sustainability assessment, a source of inspiration and a compilation of the state-of-the art. But to many scholars and practitioners, it will also be a goldmine of information regarding future research tracks, enduring challenges and new, innovative research questions regarding sustainability assessment.’
– Jean Hugé, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Contributors: C. Adelle, M. Audouin, A. Bond, M. Burns, R. du Toit, A. Diduck, C.G. Duarte, V. Ferretti, T. Fischer, A.L.C.F. Gallardo, K. Gaudreau, D. Geneletti, R. Gibson, W. Grace, J. Gunn, N. Hanley, J. Hartz-Karp, S. Hayes, A. Jordan, L. Lamorgese, D. le Maitre, T.F. Malheiros, A. Morrison-Saunders, J. Nel, B. Noble, P. O’Farrell, M. Partidario, P. Pereira, S. Petrova, J. Pope, F. Retief, D. Russel, L.E. Sánchez, W. Sheate, J. Sinclair, J. Turnpenny, M. Vespa, A. Weaver, S. Weiland


1. Introducing the Roots, Evolution and Effectiveness of Sustainability Assessment
Alan Bond, Jenny Pope and Angus Morrison-Saunders

2. A Conceptual Framework for Sustainability Assessment
Jenny Pope, Alan Bond and Angus Morrison-Saunders

3. The Economics of Sustainable Development
Nick Hanley

4. Equity in Sustainability Assessment: A Conceptual Framework
Lydia Lamorgese and Davide Geneletti

5. Sustainability Considerations in Regional Environmental Assessment
Jill Gunn and Bram Noble

6. Sustainability Assessment at the Policy Level
Camilla Adelle and Sabine Weiland

7. Sustainability Assessment and Energy Future: Opportunities for Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol Planning
Carla Grigoletto Duarte, Tadeu Fabricio Malheiros, Amarilis Lucia Castelli Figueiredo Gallardo and Luis Enrique Sánchez

8. A Sustainability Assessment Framework for Energy Systems – Building an Appropriate Relationship with Energy
Kryke Gaudreau and Robert Gibson

9. Cities and Sustainability Assessment - Resilience and Sustainability Thinking about the Future of Cities
Maria Partidario and Pedro Pereira

10. Ecosystem Services and Sustainability Assessment: Theory and Practice
Davide Geneletti, Alan Bond, Duncan Russel, John Turnpenny, William Sheate and Andy Jordan

11. Multicriteria Analysis for Sustainability Assessment: Concepts and Case Studies
Davide Geneletti and Valentina Ferretti

12. Setting and Measuring Objectives in Sustainability Assessment
Samuel Hayes and Thomas Fischer

13. A Systems Approach to Sustainability Assessment
William Grace and Jenny Pope

14. An Introduction to Sustainability Science and its Links to Sustainability Assessment
Michelle Audouin, Mike Burns, Alex Weaver, David le Maitre, Patrick O’Farrell, Rudolph du Toit and Jeanne Nel

15. Public Participation in Sustainability Assessment: Essential Elements, Practical Challenges and Emerging Directions
John Sinclair, Alan Diduck and Morgan Vespa

16. Deliberative Collaborative Governance Approaches to Sustainability Assessment
Janette Hartz-Karp, Jenny Pope and Svetla Petrova

17. Key Learning from Psychology for Sustainability Assessment
Francois Retief, Angus Morrison-Saunders, Jenny Pope and Alan Bond

18. Conclusion: Reflections on the State of the Art of Sustainability Assessment
Jenny Pope, Alan Bond and Angus Morrison-Saunders

Robert Gibson


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