Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

Co-producing neighbourhood resilience

By Robert Lyons on 9th November 2016

New research in a special issue of Building Research & Information explores the social-ecological aspects of neighbourhood resilience through the use of co-production processes. It shows that the scale of the neighbourhood, its social networks and physical aspects are significant for creating resilience - the capabilities and capacities to thrive in response to uncertainty, threats, disturbances and shocks.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has praised UN Member States for reaching agreement on the draft outcome document that will constitute the new sustainable development agenda. ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim, by 2030, to eradicate extreme poverty, promote prosperity and people's well-being, while protecting the environment. The new agenda was agreed upon by 193 UN Member States on 1st August following a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years.

New book- ‘Beyond Certification’

By Bridget Elliott on 16th June 2015

Can certification deliver urgently needed improvements to complex problems like deforestation and the exploitation of people? In this new book, Scott Poynton, founder of The Forest Trust, makes a compelling case for a new approach to social and environmental problems that goes 'beyond certification'. The book offers an alternative model, ‘VT-TV’, based on Values, Transparency, Transformation and Verification, which the author has been exploring and implementing with over 70 companies and industries around the world.

‘Our Green City’ public engagement project

By Bridget Elliott on 16th June 2015

A new public engagement project, ‘Our Green City: Global Challenges, Bristol Solutions’ aims to educate participants about current environmental and social challenges faced by cities across the world and the solutions that are being found to these. Launching in September 2015 and running over six weeks, the project is delivered as a free, online learning experience that anyone can access.

Blog series on Sustainable Development Goals

By Bridget Elliott on 3rd June 2015

In 2015 the United Nations are expected to adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Newcastle University Institute for Sustainability has recently made available a new blog series giving recommendations for targets and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals. Topics for the three most recent blog posts include: solving the energy trilemma; focussing on low-income housing and settlements in cities to end urban hunger; and the politics of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The latest 2015 volume in the Worldwatch Institute’s highly regarded State of the World series explores the hidden threats to sustainability and how to address them. Eight key issues are addressed in depth, along with the central question of how we can develop resilience to these and other shocks. The publication is set to be launched at an event on the 13th of April 2015. The launch symposium will be available via live-stream making it accessible to all to listen in to.

A new interactive online tool shows that cutting carbon emissions to limit global temperatures to a 2°C rise can be achieved while improving living standards. The Global Calculator, led by DECC and co-funded by Climate-KIC, was built in collaboration with ten leading international organisations from the US, China, India and Europe to model the world’s energy, land, food and climate systems. The tool allows users to explore the options for reducing global emissions to 2050, and to see the climate consequences of these choices to 2100.

More people now live in urban than rural areas for the first time in human history. This growth challenges areas already struggling to provide services and cope with environmental pressures. How is planning and technology helping cities become more sustainable and reimagine their futures? A recent Spotlight feature by SciDev.Net presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a report and illustrated guide demonstrating how tackling climate change can also help address some of the economic and social challenges facing the UK. The report’s authors argue that, while addressing climate change is important in its own right, taking action can also help to address some of the greatest challenges facing the UK.

A recent working paper by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) sets out the essential premise of their ‘Towards A New Social Settlement’ project: that the goals of social justice and environmental sustainability are profoundly connected and interdependent. The paper examines why these goals are linked together and how they affect each other. It then explores the implications for policy and practice, arguing that a new social settlement cannot depend on continuing economic growth.