• Exploring the community waste sector: Are sustainable development and social capital useful concepts for project-level research?

      Luckin, D.; Sharp, Liz (2005)
      The concept of sustainable development implies that social, economic and environmental objectives should be delivered together, and that they can be achieved through enhanced community participation. The concept of social capital indicates how these objectives interrelate, implying that community involvement enhances trust and reciprocity, thus promoting better governance and greater prosperity. This paper draws on a survey of Community Waste Projects to explore how these concepts can inform investigations of community projects. It argues that the concepts provide useful guides to research and debate, but highlights the resource requirements of empirically confirming the claims of the social capital perspective.
    • Governance for sustainability: Towards a 'thick' analysis of environmental decisionmaking.

      Adger, W.M.; Brown, K.; Fairbrass, Jenny M.; Jordan, A.; Paavola J.; Rosendo, S.; Seyfang G. (2003)
      Environmental decisions made by individuals, civil society and the state involve questions of economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, equity and political legitimacy. These four criteria are constitutive of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, which has become the dominant rhetorical device of environmental governance. We discuss the tendency for different strands of social science to focus on particular subsets of the four criteria and argue that such a practice promotes solutions that do not acknowledge the dynamics of scale and the heterogeneity of institutional and historical contexts. We propose a more interdisciplinary approach to understanding environmental decisions that seeks to identify legitimate and context-sensitive institutional solutions producing equitable, efficient and effective outcomes. We examine two examples that illustrate the indivisible and integrated nature of the four criteria in actual environmental decisions. The first example relates to international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the second one to local resource management in the UK. We utilise the example to outline a new agenda for future research on environmental governance and decision-making.
    • Towards the Sustainable University.

      Hopkinson, Peter G. (Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, 2009)
      All universities have the capacity to embrace, embed or ignore sustainable development. Looking across the sector and reflecting on the past seven years and my own institutional experiences, the key finding is that change for campus and curriculum-based sustainability is clearly possible but unpredictable. For many years my own institution (University of Bradford) struggled to make progress in a number of key aspects of `campus greening¿ including recycling, green build, energy management, green travel, fair trade etc. It employed its first environmental manager as recently as 2003. Up until 2007, education for sustainable development (ESD) was largely found in one small academic department. Now, as this paper describes, it is a central feature of the learning and teaching strategy for the university and an overall institutional objective.