Leading research journal Global Environmental Change has dedicated its latest issue to the topic of grassroots innovation for sustainability. The special issue contains six original research articles Guest Edited by Adrian Smith and Gill Seyfang, and a special editorial introduction. The articles were selected from papers presented at a research workshop held at Sussex University in May 2012. Fifteen full papers and six PhD posters were discussed at the workshop by thirty researchers from eleven countries.
Written by an economist and an investment professional, this book addresses the economic and environmental implications of how we treat food. The book examines each aspect of the ‘food chain’, from agriculture, to production and processing, retail, preparation, consumption and waste. Consideration is given to whether the financial credit crunch could ameliorate or exacerbate the emergent environmental credit crunch.
This World Resources Institute Working Paper is the second instalment in a series that forms the foundation of the ‘World Resources Report 2013-14: Creating a Sustainable Food Future’. The document contains preliminary research, analysis, findings, and recommendations aimed at stimulating discussion and critical feedback to influence on-going debate on emerging issues. This study examines how approximately 24 per cent of all calories currently produced for human consumption are lost or wasted.
A new web-based tool known as the N-Calculator has been developed by scientists at Lancaster, Virginia and Oxford universities, and allows anyone living in the UK to calculate their own ‘nitrogen footprint’. The tool asks users to enter information on topics such as their food consumption, transportation choices, and housing situation in order to calculate their likely effect on the environment in terms of nitrogen pollution. Nitrogen pollution is a major environmental problem that is causing significant damage to air and water quality across the UK.
The UK has recently been named by audit and tax advisory company, KPMG, as one of the six most active countries in using tax as a tool to drive sustainable corporate behaviour and achieve green policy goals. The findings are the result of KPMG’s Green Tax Index, a tool created to increase awareness of the ‘complex, fragmented and rapidly evolving’ green tax landscape worldwide. The index analyses green tax incentives and penalties in 21 major economies, focusing on key policy areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, carbon emissions, green innovation and green buildings.
This new book by Arjen Hoekstra explains how the concept of a ‘water footprint’ can be used to quantify and map the water use behind consumption and guide reduction of water use to a sustainable level. A number of case studies are included in the book that illustrate water use along supply chains, and how water consumption at one place is often linked to water use at another. For example, it is calculated that it takes 15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef, or 8,000 litres of water to produce a pair of jeans.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has produced a series of evidence plans for different policy areas which make significant use of formal evidence, including plans for water, waste and resources, sustainable economy, sustainable land and farming, and climate change. The evidence plans will be used to help ensure the link between evidence and policy development and implementation. The evidence plans set out evidence needs for a 5 year timeframe and will be updated roughly annually to reflect any major changes in evidence needs as a result of changing policy.