The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 1653–1672 | Cite as

Progress in sustainability science: lessons learnt from current methodologies for sustainability assessment: Part 1

  • Serenella SalaEmail author
  • Francesca Farioli
  • Alessandra Zamagni



Sustainability Science (SS) is considered an emerging discipline, applicative and solution-oriented whose aim is to handle environmental, social and economic issues in light of cultural, historic and institutional perspectives. The challenges of the discipline are not only related to better identifying the problems affecting sustainability but to the actual transition towards solutions adopting an integrated, comprehensive and participatory approach. This requires the definition of a common scientific paradigm in which integration and interaction amongst sectorial disciplines is of paramount relevance. In this context, life cycle thinking (LCT) and, in particular, life cycle-based methodologies and life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) may play a crucial role. The paper illustrates the main challenges posed to sustainability assessment methodologies and related methods in terms of ontology, epistemology and methodology of SS. The aims of the analysis are twofold: (1) to identify the main features of methodologies for sustainability assessment and (2) to present key aspects for the development of robust and comprehensive sustainability assessment.


The current debate on SS addressing ontological, epistemological and methodological aspects has been reviewed, leading to the proposal of a conceptual framework for SS. In addition, a meta-review of recent studies on sustainability assessment methodologies and methods, focusing those life cycle based, supports the discussion on the main challenges for a comprehensive and robust approach to sustainability assessment. Starting from the results of the meta-review, we identified specific features of sustainable development-oriented methods: firstly, highlighting key issues towards robust methods for SS and, secondly, capitalising on the findings of each review’s paper. For each issue, a recommendation towards a robust sustainability assessment method is given. Existing limitations of sectorial academic inquiries and proposal for better integration and mainstreaming of SS are the key points under discussion.


In the reviewed papers, LCT and its basic principles are acknowledged as relevant for sustainability assessment. Nevertheless, LCT is not considered as a reference approach in which other methods could also find a place. This aspect has to be further explored, addressing the lack of multi-disciplinary exchange and putting the mainstreaming of LCT as a priority on the agenda of both life cycle assessment and sustainability assessment experts. Crucial issues for further developing sustainability assessment methodologies and methods have been identified and can be summarised as follows: holistic and system wide approaches, shift from multi- towards trans-disciplinarity; multi-scale (temporal and geographical) perspectives; and better involvement and participation of stakeholders.


Those are also the main challenges posed to LCSA in terms of progress of ontology, epistemology and methodology in line with the progress of SS. The life cycle-based methodologies should be broadened from comparing alternatives and avoiding negative impacts, to also proactively enhancing positive impacts, and towards the achievement of sustainability goals.


Life cycle assessment Life cycle sustainability assessment Life cycle thinking Science–policy interface Sustainability assessment Sustainability science 



This paper benefitted from the discussion during the workshop on ‘Scienza della Sostenibilità Italia 2011’, which took place in Valmontone (Rome) on 13–14 October, 2011, and the cross-fertilisation derived from the participation to a broader learning community within the International Network on Sustainability Science ( The contribution of all participants is gratefully acknowledged. We are also grateful to the three anonymous reviewers that contributed to the development of the current version of the paper with their precious and detailed comments.


  1. Adger WN (2006) Vulnerability. Global Environ Chang 16(3):268–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen MS (2007) An introductory note on the environmental economics of the circular economy. Sustain Sci 2:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balsiger PW (2004) Supradisciplinary research practices: history, objectives and rationale. Futures 36(4):407–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell S, Morse S (2008) Sustainability indicators: measuring the immeasurable? Earthscan, London, p 256Google Scholar
  5. Bettencourt LMA, Kaur J (2011) The evolution and structure of sustainability science. Proc Natl Acad Sci 108:19540–19545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blackstock KL, Kelly GJ, Horsey BL (2007) Developing and applying a framework to evaluate participatory research on sustainability. Ecol Econ 60:726–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bond AJ, Dockerty T, Lovett A, Riche AB, Haughton AJ, Bohan DA, Sage RB, Shield IF, Finch JW, Turner MM, Karp A (2011) Learning how to deal with values, frames and governance in sustainability appraisal. Reg Stud 45(8):1157–1170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boulanger P, Bréchet T (2005) Models for policy-making in sustainable development: the state of the art and perspectives for research. Ecol Econ 55:337–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brunet Icart I, Morell Blanch A (2001) Epistemologia y cibernetica. Papers 65:31–45. Google Scholar
  10. Buckley W (1972) A system approach to epistemology. In: Klir GJ (ed) Trends in general systems theory. Wiley, New York, pp 188–202Google Scholar
  11. Burns A, Weave A (2006) Advancing sustainability science in South Africa. South African J Sci 102(2006):379–384Google Scholar
  12. Capra F (1996) The web of life. Doubleday-Anchor Book, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Cash DW, Clark WC, Alcock F, Dickson NM, Eckley N, Gurston DH et al (2003) Knowledge systems for sustainable development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:8086–8091CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Castellani V, Sala S (2010) Integration of LCA and C-Lean for sustainability assessment of short supply chain related to forest products. SETAC LCA Symposium: From simplified LCA to advanced LCA, Poznan (Poland).
  15. CEC (2004) Stimulating technologies for sustainable development: an environmental technologies action plan for the European Union. Communication from the Commission. COM(2004) 38 finalGoogle Scholar
  16. CEC (2005) Thematic strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources. Communication from the Commission COM(2005)670Google Scholar
  17. CEC (2008) Sustainable consumption and production and sustainable industrial policy action plan. Communication from the Commission COM(2008) 397/3Google Scholar
  18. CEC (2009) Mainstreaming sustainable development into EU policies: 2009. Review of the European Union Strategy for Sustainable Development. Communication from the Commission COM(2009) 400 finalGoogle Scholar
  19. CEC (2010) Europe 2020. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Communication from the Commission COM (2010) 2020 finalGoogle Scholar
  20. CEC (2011) A resource-efficient Europe—flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy. Communication from the Commission COM(2011) 21 finalGoogle Scholar
  21. CEC (2012) Environmental product footprint. Accessed 21 Mar 2012
  22. CEC (Commission of the European Communities) (2001) A sustainable Europe for a better world: a European strategy for sustainable development. COM(2001) 264 finalGoogle Scholar
  23. Ciuffo B, Miola A, Punzo V, Sala S, (2012) Dealing with uncertainty in sustainability assessment . Report on the application of different sensitivity analysis techniques to field specific simulation models. EUR 25166 EN. Publications Office of the European Union, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  24. Clark WC (2007) Sustainability Science: a room of its own. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:173Google Scholar
  25. Clark WC, Dickson NM (2003) Sustainability science: the emerging research program. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:8059–8061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Costanza R (1991) Ecological economics: the science and management of sustainability. Columbia University Press, ColumbiaGoogle Scholar
  27. Cutter S (2001) American hazardscapes. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, p 211Google Scholar
  28. De Lange HJ, Sala S, Vighi M, Faber JH (2010) Ecological vulnerability in risk assessment—a review and perspectives. Sci Total Environ 408(18):3871–3879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. EC-JRC (2010a) ILCD handbook. Analysis of existing environmental impact assessment methodologies for use in life cycle assessment. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, p 115. Accessed 21 Mar 2012
  30. EC-JRC (2010b) ILCD handbook. General guide for life cycle assessment—detailed guidance. EUR 24708 EN. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. Accessed 21 Mar 2012
  31. Ekins P (1992) A four-capital model of wealth creation. In: Ekins P, Max-Neef M (eds) Real-Life Economics: Understanding Wealth Creation. Routledge, London, pp 147–155Google Scholar
  32. Finnveden G, Moberg A (2005) Environmental systems analysis tools—an overview. J Cleaner Prod 13:1165–1173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Funtowicz SO, Ravetz JR (1993) Science for the post-normal age. Futures 25:739–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gallopin G (2001) Science and technology, sustainability and sustainable development. ECLAC, LC/R.2081. p 30Google Scholar
  35. Gasparatos A (2010) Embedded values systems in sustainability assessment tools and their implications. J Environ Manage 91:1613–1622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gasparatos A, El-Haram M, Horner M (2008) A critical review of reductionist approaches for assessing the progress towards sustainability. Environ Impact Assess 28:286–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gibbons M, Limoges M, Nowotny C, Schwartzman H, Scott S, Trow M (1994) The new production of knowledge. The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies, 1st edn. Sage, London, p 179Google Scholar
  38. Gruber TR (1993) A translation approach to portable ontology specifications. Knowl Acquis 5(2):199–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Guinée JB, Gorrée M, Heijungs R, Huppes G, Kleijn R, de Koning A, van Oers L, Wegener Sleeswijk A, Suh S, Udo de Haes HA, de Bruijn JA, van Duin R, Huijbregts MAJ (eds) (2002) Handbook on life cycle assessment: operational guide to the ISO standards. Eco-efficiency in industry and science. Kluwer, Dordrecht, p 692Google Scholar
  40. Hacking T, Guthrie P (2008) A framework for clarifying the meaning of triple bottom-line, integrated and sustainability assessment. Environ Impact Assess Rev 28(2–3):73–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hasna AM (2010) Sustainability classifications in engineering: discipline and approach. Int J Sustain Eng 3(4):258–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Heijungs R, Huppes G, Guinée JB (2010) Life cycle assessment and sustainability analysis of products, materials and technologies. Towards a scientific framework for sustainability life cycle analysis. Polym Degrad Stabil 95(3):422–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hirsch Hadorn G, Bradley D, Pohl C, Rist S, Wiesmann U (2006) Implications of transdisciplinarity for sustainability research. Ecol Econ 60:119–128 Google Scholar
  44. Hirsch Hadorn G, Hoffmann-Riem H, Biber-Klemm S, Grossenbacher-Mansuy W, Joye D, Pohl C, Wiesmann U, Zemp E (eds) (2008) Handbook of transdisciplinary research. Springer, Berlin, pp 89–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jahn T (2008) Transdisciplinarity in the practice of research. In: Bergmann M, Schramm E (eds) Transdisziplinare Forschung: Integrative Forschungsprozesse verstehen und bewerten. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/Main, pp 21–37Google Scholar
  46. Jerneck A, Olsson L, Ness B, Anderberg S, Baier M (2011) Structuring sustainability science. Sustain Sci 6:69–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jeswani HK, Azapagic A, Schepelmann P, Ritthoff M (2010) Options for broadening and deepening the LCA approaches. J Cleaner Prod 18:120–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kajikawa Y (2008) Research core and framework of sustainability science. Sustain Sci 3:215–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kajikawa Y, Ohno J, Takeda Y, Matsushima K, Komiyama H (2007) Creating an academic landscape of sustainability science: an analysis of the citation network. Sustain Sci 2:221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kasemir B, Jager J, Jaeger CC, Gardner MT (2003) Public participation in sustainability science—a handbook. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kates RW (2011) What kind of science is sustainability science? Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(49):19449–19450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kates RW, Clark WC, Corell R, Hall JM, Jaeger CC, Lowe I, McCarthy JJ, Schellnhuber HJ, Bolin B, Dickson NM, Faucheux S, Gallopin GC, Grubler A, Huntley B, Jager J, Jodha NS, Kasperson RE, Mabogunje A, Matson P, Mooney H, Moore B, O’Riordan T, Svedin U (2001) Environment and development: sustainability science. Science 292:641–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kemp R, Rotmans J (2004) Managing the transition to sustainable mobility. In: Elzen B, Geels F, Green K (eds) System innovation and the transition to sustainability: theory, evidence and policy. Edward Elgar, Northammpton, pp 137–176Google Scholar
  54. Kissinger M, Rees WE (2010) An interregional ecological approach for modeling sustainability in a globalizing world - Reviewing existing approaches and emerging directions. Ecol Modelling 221(21):2615–2623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Kissinger M, Rees WE, Timmer V (2011) Interregional sustainability: governance and policy in an ecologically interdependent world. Environ Sci Policy 14(8):965–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Komiyama H, Takeuchi K (2006) Sustainability science: building a new discipline. Sustain Sci 1:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kuhn T (1970) The structure of scientific revolution. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, p 212Google Scholar
  58. Kumazawa T, Saito O, Kozaki K, Matsui T, Mizoguchi R (2009) Toward knowledge structuring of sustainability science based on ontology engineering. Sustain Sci 4(1):99–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lang DJ, Wiek A, Bergmann M, Stauffacher M, Martens P, Moll P, Swilling M, Christopher J, Thomas CJ (2012) Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: practice, principles, and challenges. Sust Sci 7(1):25–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Lee N (2002) Integrated approaches to Impact Assessment: substance or make-believe? Environmental Assessment Yearbook. Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment/EIA Centre. Lincoln/ Manchester: University of ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  61. Lenk H (1988) Entre la epistemologıa y la ciencia social. Ed Alfa, Madrid, p 204Google Scholar
  62. Levasseur A, Lesage P, Margni M, Samson R (2012) Biogenic carbon and temporary storage addressed with dynamic life cycle assessment. J Ind Ecol. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00503.x
  63. Levin SA, Clark WC (eds) (2010) Report from Toward a Science of Sustainability Conference. Center for Biocomplexity, Princeton University, Princeton, and Sustainability Science Program, Harvard University, Cambridge.
  64. Martens P (2006) Sustainability: science or fiction? Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 2, 1 (1).
  65. Martinez-Allier J, Munda G, O’Neill J (1998) Weak comparability of values as a foundation for ecological economics. Ecol Economics 26(3):277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Mayer AL (2008) Strengths and weaknesses of common sustainability indices for multidimensional systems. Environ Int 34:277–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Nakano K, Hirao M (2011) Collaborative activity with business partners for improvement of product environmental performance using LCA. J Cleaner Prod 19(11):1189–1197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. NRC (1999) Our common journey: a transition towards sustainability. National Academy Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  69. Ness E, Piirsalu U, Anderberg S, Olsson L (2007) Categorising tools for sustainability assessment. Ecol Economics 60:498–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Nicolescu B (2000) Transdisciplinarity and complexity: levels of reality as source of indeterminacy. CIRET Bulletin 15. Accessed Mar 2012
  71. Noble BF (2000) Strategic environmental assessment: what is it? and what makes it strategic? J Environ Assess Policy Manag 2(2):203–224Google Scholar
  72. Nurse K (2006) Culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. In: Small states: economic review and basic statistics, vol 11. Commonwealth secretariat, London, pp 28–40Google Scholar
  73. O’Connor M (2006) The "Four Spheres" framework for sustainability Ecol. Complexity 3(4):285–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. OECD (2001) The DAC guidelines strategies for sustainable development. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  75. OECD (2003) OECD environmental indicators – development, measurement and use. Reference paper. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  76. OECD (2007) DAC evaluation quality standards (for test phase application). Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris.
  77. Osorio LAR, Lobato MO, Del Castillo XÁ (2009) An epistemology for sustainability science: a proposal for the study of the health/disease phenomenon. Int J Sust Dev World 16(1):48–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Patterson M (2010) Is there more in common than we think? Convergence of ecological footprinting, emergy analysis, life cycle assessment and other methods of sustainability assessment. In: Proceedings of ISEE 2010 conference “Advancing sustainability in time of crisis”. Accessed Feb 2012
  79. Pearce DW, Atkinson GD, Dubourg WR (1994) The economics of sustainable development. Annu Rev Energ Env 19:457–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Perrings C, Duraiappah A, Larigauderie A, Mooney H (2011) The biodiversity and ecosystem services science-policy interface. Science 331:1139–1140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Pintér L, Hardi P, Bartelmus P (2005) Sustainable development indicators: proposals for a way forward. Discussion Paper Prepared Under a Consulting Agreement on Behalf of the UN Division for Sustainable Development. IlSD, Winnipeg, Canada, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  82. Pohl C (2008) From science to policy through transdisciplinary research. Environ Sci Pol 11:46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Porritt J (2007) Capitalism as if the world matters. Earthscan, London, p 360Google Scholar
  84. Potting J, Hauschild MZ (2006) Spatial differentiation in life cycle impact assessment: a decade of method development to increase the environmental realism of LCIA. Int J Life Cycle Assess 11(1):11–13Google Scholar
  85. Reap J, Roman F, Duncan S, Bras B (2008a) A survey of unresolved problems in life cycle assessment—part I goals and scope and inventory analysis. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13(4):209–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Reap J, Roman F, Duncan S, Bras B (2008b) A survey of unresolved problems in life cycle assessment—part II impact assessment and interpretation. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13(5):374–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Rios LA, Ortiz M, Alvarez X (2005) Debates on sustainable development: towards a holistic view of reality. Environ Dev Sustain 7:501–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Robinson J, Tansey J (2006) Co-Production, emergent properties and strong interactive social research: The Georgia Basin Futures Project. Sci Public Pol 33:151–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Rockström J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson Å, Chapin FS, Lambin E, Lenton TM, Scheffer M, Folke C, Schellnhuber H, Nykvist B, De Wit CA, Hughes T, van der Leeuw S, Rodhe H, Sörlin S, Snyder PK, Costanza R, Svedin U, Falkenmark M, Karlberg L, Corell RW, Fabry VJ, Hansen J, Walker B, Liverman D, Richardson K, Crutzen P, Foley J (2009) Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecol Soc 14(2):32Google Scholar
  90. Rotmans J, Kemp R, van Asselt M (2001) More evolution than devolution: transition management in public policy. Foresight 3(1):15–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Sala S, Castellani V (2010) Significato e prospettive della sostenibilità. Tangram Edizioni Scientifiche, Trento, Italy, p 153Google Scholar
  92. Sala S, Farioli F, Zamagni A (2012) Life cycle sustainability assessment in the context of sustainability science progress. Part II. Int J Life Cycle Assess (this issue). doi: 10.1007/s11367-012-0509-5
  93. Savan B, Sider D (2003) Contrasting approaches to community-based research and a case study of community sustainability in Toronto, Canada. Local Environ 8:303–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Scholz RW (2011) Environmental literacy in science and society: from knowledge to decisions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 631Google Scholar
  95. Scholz RW, Lang DJ, Wiek A, Walter A, Stauffacher M (2006) Transdisciplinary case studies as a means of sustainability learning: Historical framework and theory. Int J Sustain High Educ 7:226–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Schultz J, Brand FS, Kopfmueller J, Ott K (2008) Building a ‘Theory of Sustainable Development’: two salient conceptions within the German discourse. Int J Environ Sustain Dev 7:465–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Seager TP, Melton J, Eighmy TT (2004) Working towards sustainable science and engineering: introduction to the special issue on highway infrastructure. Resour Conserv Recy 42(3):205–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Singh RK, Murty HR, Gupta SK, Dikshit AK (2009) An overview of sustainability assessment methodologies. Ecol Indicators 9(2):89–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Spangenberg JH (2011) Sustainability science: a review, an analysis and some empirical lessons. Environ Conser 38:275–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Sterman JD (2012) Sustaining sustainability: creating a systems science in a fragmented academy and polarized world. In: Weinstein M, Turner RE (eds) Sustainability science: the emerging paradigm and the urban environment. Springer, Tokyo, p 452Google Scholar
  101. Stokes DE (1997) Pasteur's quadrant: basic science and technological innovation. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, p 180Google Scholar
  102. Tabone MD, Cregg JJ, Beckman EJ, Landis AE (2010) Sustainability metrics: Life cycle assessment and green design in polymers. Environ Sci Technol 44:8264–8269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Talwar S, Wiek A, Robinson J (2011) User engagement in sustainability research. Sci Public Policy 38:379–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Thabrew L, Wiek A, Ries R (2009) Environmental decision making in multi-stakeholder contexts: applicability of life cycle thinking in development planning and implementation. J Cleaner Prod 17(1):67–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Todorov V, Marinova D (2011) Modelling sustainability. Math Comput Simulat 81(7):1397–1408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Turner BL II, Kasperson RE, Matson PA, McCarthy JJ, Corell RW, Christensen L, Eckley N, Kasperson JX, Luers A, Martello ML, Polsky C, Pulsipher A, Schiller A (2003) A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:8074–8079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. UN (1992) Agenda 21. Accessed Mar 2012
  108. UN (2000) Millennium development goals. Accessed Mar 2012
  109. UN (2012) United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. Resilient People, Resilient Planet: a future worth choosing. United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  110. UNEP (2004) Why take a life cycle approach? UNEP, Paris, p 28Google Scholar
  111. UNEP (2012) UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative. Accessed Mar 2012
  112. van der Leeuw S, Wiek A, Harlow J, Buizer J (2012) How much time do we have? Urgency and rhetoric in sustainability science. Sustain Sci 7(s1):115–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. van Kerkhoff L, Lebel L (2006) Linking knowledge and action for sustainable development. Annu Rev Environ Resour 31:445–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. Vos RO (2007) Perspective defining sustainability: a conceptual orientation. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 82:334–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Walter AI, Helgenberger S, Wiek A, Scholz RW (2007) Measuring societal effects of transdisciplinary research projects: design and application of an evaluation method. Eval Program Plann 30:325–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  116. WCED (1987) Our common future. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  117. Wegener Sleeswijk A (2011) Regional LCA in a global perspective. A basis for spatially differentiated environmental life cycle assessment. Int J Life Cycle Assess 16(2):106–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. White G F (1974) Natural hazards: local, national, global. Oxford, New York, p 288Google Scholar
  119. Wickson F, Carew AL, Russell AW (2006) Transdisciplinary research: characteristics, quandaries and quality. Futures 38:1046–1059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Wiek A (2007) Challenges of transdisciplinary research as interactive knowledge generation—experiences from transdisciplinary case study research. Gaia 16:52–57Google Scholar
  121. Wiek A, Ness B, Schweizer-Ries P, Brand F, Farioli F (2012a) From complex systems thinking to transformational change: A comparative study on the epistemological and methodological challenges in sustainability science projects. Sustain Sci 7(s1):5–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  122. Wiek A, Farioli F, Fukushi K, Yarime M (2012b) Sustainability science: bridging the gap between science and society. Sustain Sci 7(s1):1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serenella Sala
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francesca Farioli
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alessandra Zamagni
    • 4
  1. 1.Sustainability Assessment UnitEuropean Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and SustainabilityIspraItaly
  2. 2.Interuniversity Research Centre on Sustainable Development (CIRPS)Sapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringSapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly
  4. 4.LCA and Ecodesign LaboratoryItalian National Agency for new Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA)BolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations