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.

A new report by the Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds, commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, examines how automation and smart connectivity in road vehicles might be combined and integrated into the mobility system to have the most positive impact on energy efficiency and carbon reduction.  It suggests that the impacts of automation on energy demand and carbon emissions are highly uncertain but that the combination of connectivity, automation plus shared ownership has the potential to lead to a substantial reduction

The European Environment Agency has published a report stressing the benefits of investing in long-term preventative measures that cities should take to improve their resilience to climate change events, such as more extreme flooding or prolonged heatwaves.  It gives an overview of progress made by in adaptation by cities in the last couple of years and poses the questions: Is what cities are already doing leading to attractive and climate-resilient cities?  If not yet, what needs to change? 

This study by researchers at Plymouth University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, looked beyond the immediate benefit of beach cleaning on the local environment and examined the well-being, educational value and behavioural intentions of participants, compared with other coastal activities such as rock pooling or walking.  It found that the environment was perceived as less restorative when engaging in a beach clean but that the activity was more meaningful than the others. 

A major review, Taking the Temperature: A Review of Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Schemes in Scotland, conducted for Citizens Advice Scotland by CAG Consultants, Glasgow Caledonian University, and National Energy Action, has called for independent monitoring and evaluation to be built into all future energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes.

The Adaptation Sub-Committee of the UK Committee on Climate Change has produced an Evidence Report on the risks and opportunities to the UK from climate change, to inform the second (five-yearly) Climate Change Risk Assessment, to be presented to Parliament in 2017.

The report highlights the top six areas of inter-related climate change risks for the UK:

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and Lancaster University, in collaboration with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, used interviews with built environment professionals, together with a critical assessment of sustainability assessment methods, to explore whether sustainability measures constrain creativity and innovation in urban design. 

This new study, published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, estimates the carbon footprint of crime.  Researchers, led by Helen Skudder of the University of Surrey, used a complex method of quantification – applying carbon emissions factors to the monetized costs of crime using environmentally-extended input-output analysis.  This allowed them to estimate the carbon footprint of crime committed in England and Wales in 2011 as being over four million metric tons CO2e, equivalent to the carbon emissions of around 900,000 UK homes.

Behaviour Change and Home Energy Coaching

By Editor on 29th June 2016

This new report is a result of a six month research project run by Ymlaen Ceredigion, in partnership with Ceredigion County Council and Aberystwyth University, exploring how home energy coaching operates, what effect it can have and how those effects can be measured. 

Low carbon network infrastructure

By Editor on 29th June 2016

A new report by the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee examines the low-carbon network infrastructure in the UK.  It identifies three interwoven challenges:

Sustainability Citizenship in Cities

By Editor on 15th June 2016

This new book, published by Earthscan/Routledge, seeks to explain how sustainability citizenship can manifest in urban built environments as both responsibilities and rights. Contributors elaborate on the concept of urban sustainability citizenship as a participatory work-in-progress with the aim of setting its practice firmly on the agenda.