Towards Addressing Unintended Environmental Consequences: A Planning Framework
2015 (English)In: Sustainable Development, ISSN 0968-0802, E-ISSN 1099-1719, Vol. 24, no 1, 1-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Efforts to decouple environmental impacts and resource consumption have been confounded by interactions and feedback between technical-economic, environmental and social aspects not considered prior to implementing improvement actions. This paper presents a planning framework that connects material flows and the socio-economic drivers that result in changes in these flows, in order to reduce conflicts between localized gains and global losses. The framework emphasizes the need for (i) having different settings of system boundaries (broader and narrower), (ii) explicitly accounting for causal relationships and feedback loops and (iii) identifying responsibilities between stakeholders (e.g. producers, consumers, collectors, recyclers, policy makers). Application of the framework is exemplified using the case of the global mobile phone product system. 'Product design and development' and 'Retailers and users as part of a collection system' were identified as central intervention points for implementing improvement strategies that included designing for longer life, designing for recycling and improving collection, designing for limiting phone hibernation time and internalizing external costs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. Vol. 24, no 1, 1-17 p.
Global sustainability, Physical resource management, Planning, Sustainable development, Systems thinking, Unintended environmental consequences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176245DOI: 10.1002/sd.1601ISI: 000370661900001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84958121991OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-176245DiVA: diva2:871498
QC 20151116. QC 201603192015-11-162015-11-022016-08-29Bibliographically approved