Matching Items (20)

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Creating Shared Economic Value for Arizonans by Proliferating Solar through the Hyperloop Project

Description

Each year the United States' interstates and roadways become increasingly congested, with little development of useful mass transit. Elon Musk released a whitepaper titled Hyperloop Alpha in order to generate

Each year the United States' interstates and roadways become increasingly congested, with little development of useful mass transit. Elon Musk released a whitepaper titled Hyperloop Alpha in order to generate conversation around a potential "fifth mode of transportation" as an alternative to current high-speed rail technologies. This case study analyzes the implications of implementing the Hyperloop along the 120-mile Phoenix-Tucson route in terms of the State's geographic, economic, political, and environmental advantages for the Hyperloop design. This case study was not meant to investigate the engineering aspects of an untested technology, but rather to generate conversation and elicit enthusiasm in the State of Arizona in order to bring the project in-house. Through comparison of the California context of the Hyperloop and other megaregions this report proposes that given Arizona's solar power production potential, short, flat, undeveloped route, explosive population growth, urban density distribution, recognized need for HSR, and strong research institutions make it the ideal site and premiere candidate for initial Hyperloop testing and construction.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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GreenLight Solutions Student Sustainability Consultant's Portfolio

Description

The following Student Sustainability Consultant's Portfolio was created with the intention of being duplicated and utilized by Arizona State University (ASU) students to build their own Portfolio and to hel

The following Student Sustainability Consultant's Portfolio was created with the intention of being duplicated and utilized by Arizona State University (ASU) students to build their own Portfolio and to help prepare them for success after graduation. Student Consultants in GreenLight Solutions (GLS) are in a unique position to prepare themselves to create value for organizations while in school, and then continue to after graduation. When I enrolled in the School of Sustainability as an undergraduate transfer student I heard some constructive criticism from graduates of the school. Those students shared that while they had attained a great theoretical understanding of the science of sustainability, they lacked the ability to apply their knowledge in a practical way. They were struggling with finding work in their field because they could not communicate to employers how their knowledge was useful. They did not know how to apply their sustainability knowledge to create value for an organization. I did not want to have that same problem when I graduated. Enter GreenLight Solutions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Different Roads to the Same Destination?

Description

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little overlap of the two, and to others, they are perceived as being interchangeable. This paper evaluates Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and Circular Economy (CE) individually and in comparison to see how truly different these frameworks are from one another. This comparison is then extended into a theoretical walk-through of an SMM treatment of concrete pavement in contrast with a CE treatment. With concrete being a ubiquitous in the world's buildings and roads, as well as being a major constituent of Construction & Demolition waste generated, its analysis is applicable to a significant portion of the world's material flow. The ultimate test of differentiation between SMM and CE would ask: 1) If SMM principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with CE principles? and conversely 2) If CE principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with SMM principles? Using concrete pavement as an example, this paper seeks to determine whether or not Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are simply different roads leading to the same destination.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Analyzing the Concept of Planetary Boundaries From a Strategic Sustainability Perspective: How Does Humanity Avoid Tipping the Planet?

Description

Recently, an approach for global sustainability, the planetary-boundary approach (PBA), has been proposed, which combines the concept of tipping points with global-scale sustainability indicators. The PBA could represent a significant

Recently, an approach for global sustainability, the planetary-boundary approach (PBA), has been proposed, which combines the concept of tipping points with global-scale sustainability indicators. The PBA could represent a significant step forward in monitoring and managing known and suspected global sustainability criteria. However, as the authors of the PBA describe, the approach faces numerous and fundamental challenges that must be addressed, including successful identification of key global sustainability metrics and their tipping points, as well as the coordination of systemic individual and institutional actions that are required to address the sustainability challenges highlighted. We apply a previously published framework for systematic and strategic development toward a robust basic definition of sustainability, i.e., the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD), to improve and inform the PBA.

The FSSD includes basic principles for sustainability, and logical guidelines for how to approach their fulfillment. It is aimed at preventing unsustainable behavior at both the micro, e.g., individual firm, and macro, i.e., global, levels, even when specific global sustainability symptoms and metrics are not yet well understood or even known. Whereas the PBA seeks to estimate how far the biosphere can be driven away from a “normal” or “natural” state before tipping points are reached, because of ongoing violations of basic sustainability principles, the FSSD allows for individual planners to move systematically toward sustainability before all impacts from not doing so, or their respective tipping points, are known. Critical weaknesses in the PBA can, thus, be overcome by a combined approach, significantly increasing both the applicability and efficacy of the PBA, as well as informing strategies developed in line with the FSSD, e.g., by providing a “global warning system” to help prioritize strategic actions highlighted by the FSSD. Thus, although ongoing monitoring of known and suspected global sustainability metrics and their possible tipping points is a critical part of the evolving sustainability landscape, effective and timely utilization of planetary-boundary information on multiple scales requires coupling to a strategic approach that makes the underlying sustainability principles explicit and includes strategic guidelines to approach them.

Outside of such a rigorous and systems-based context, the PBA, even given its global scale, risks leading individual organizations or planners to (i) focus on “shares” of, e.g., pollution within the PBs and negotiations to get as high proportion of such as possible, and/or (ii) awaiting data on PBs when such do not yet exist before they act, and/or (iii) find it difficult to manage uncertainties of the data once such have arrived. If global sustainability problems are to be solved, it is important that each actor recognizes the benefits, not the least self-benefits, of designing and executing strategies toward a principled and scientifically robust definition of sustainability. This claim is not only based on theoretical reasoning. A growing number of sectors, businesses, and municipalities/cities around the world are already doing it, i.e., not estimating “allowed” shares of, say fossil CO[subscript 2] emissions, but gradually moving away from unsustainable use of fossil fuels and other unsustainable practices altogether.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council Landing Pages: Using SPLC's Community Platform to Advance Category-specific Strategies

Description

My creative thesis project was done through a collaborative project with Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize suppliers and buyers that

My creative thesis project was done through a collaborative project with Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize suppliers and buyers that champion a transition to sustainability-driven value within the purchasing process of corporations and other organizations. Within the SPLC intranet available to members, there is an abundance of guidance to purchasing professionals procuring materials and services required by their organization. This guidance comes in forms such as case studies, example contract language, webinars, green certifications and labels, and various helpful tools. The issue and value add of the project lies in the current organization and location of guidance on the SPLC website. Much of the information is scattered, and many stakeholders have voiced their confusion when seeking guidance on a particular project or process they are undergoing.

Our solution, the “Category Landing Pages” would tackle this issue by re-organizing SPLC’s resources into category specific pages where any and all guidance SPLC has on a particular purchasing category can be easily accessed. Many procurement professionals often specialize and deal in a certain spend or commodity category, which makes a category organized page the most logical. This is certainly valuable to individuals and organizations who subscribe to a membership with SPLC, but there is also opportunity for SPLC to benefit from this restructuring.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Restaurant industry sustainability: barriers and solutions to sustainable practice indicators

Description

Restaurants have a cumulative impact on the environment, economy, and society. The majority of restaurants are small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Review of sustainability and industry literature revealed that considering restaurants as

Restaurants have a cumulative impact on the environment, economy, and society. The majority of restaurants are small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Review of sustainability and industry literature revealed that considering restaurants as businesses with sustainable development options is the most appropriate way to evaluate their sustainable practices or lack thereof. Sustainable development is the means by which a company progresses towards achieving an identified set of sustainability goals and harnesses competitive advantage. The purpose of this thesis is to identify barriers to implementing sustainable practices in restaurants, and explore ways that restaurateurs can incorporate sustainable business practices. Energy consumption, water use, waste production, and food throughput are the four sustainability indicators addressed in this thesis. Interviews were conducted with five Tempe, Arizona restaurants, two of which consider their operations to be sustainable, and three of which are traditional restaurants. Results show that for traditional restaurants, the primary barriers to implementing sustainable business practices are cost, lack of awareness, and space. For sustainability-marketed restaurants, the barriers included a lack of knowledge or legal concerns. The sustainability-marketed restaurants have energy-efficient equipment and locally source a majority of their food purchases. There is a marked difference between the two types of restaurants in perception of barriers to sustainable business practices. I created a matrix to identify whether each indicator metric was applicable and present at a particular restaurant, and the potential barriers to implementing sustainable practices in each of the four indicator areas. Restaurants can use the assessment matrix to compare their current practices with sustainable practices and find ways to implement new or enhance existing sustainable practices. Identifying the barriers from within restaurants increases our understanding of the reasons why sustainable practices are not automatically adopted by SMEs. The assessment matrix can help restaurants overcome barriers to achieving sustainability by highlighting how to incorporate sustainable business practices.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

From reactive to proactive: creating a governance system for negotiating local and regional climate change mitigation interventions

Description

Growing concerns over climate change and the lack of a federal climate policy have prompted many sub-national organizations to undertake greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation actions on their own. However, the

Growing concerns over climate change and the lack of a federal climate policy have prompted many sub-national organizations to undertake greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation actions on their own. However, the interventions associated with these efforts are typically selected in a top-down and ad hoc manner, and have not created the desired GHG emissions reductions. Accordingly, new approaches are needed to identify, select, develop, and coordinate effective climate change mitigation interventions in local and regional contexts. This thesis develops a process to create a governance system for negotiating local and regional climate interventions. The process consists of four phases: 1) mapping the overall transition, 2) reconstructing the current intervention selection system, 3) assessing the system against principles identified in the literature, and 4) creating an improved system based on the assessment. This process gives users a detailed understanding of how the overall transition has progressed, how and why interventions are currently selected, what changes are needed to improve the selection system, and how to re-structure the system to create more desirable outcomes. The process results in an improved system that relies on participation, coordination, and accountability to proactively select evidence-based interventions that incorporate the interests of stakeholders and achieve system-level goals. The process was applied to climate change mitigation efforts underway in Sonoma County, California to explore the implications of real-world application, and demonstrate its utility for current climate change mitigation efforts. Note that results and analysis from interviews with Sonoma County climate actors are included as a supplementary file.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The status of green purchasing in the five most populous U.S. states

Description

I present a new framework for qualitative assessment of the current green purchasing practices of U.S. state governments. Increasing demand from citizens for green public purchasing has prompted state governments

I present a new framework for qualitative assessment of the current green purchasing practices of U.S. state governments. Increasing demand from citizens for green public purchasing has prompted state governments to adopt new, and improve existing, practices. Yet there has been little assessment of public green purchasing in academic research; what has been done has not provided the conceptual support necessary to assess green purchasing practices as a single component of the procurement process. My research aims to fill that gap by developing a conceptual framework with which to assess the status of green purchasing practices and by applying this framework to determine and describe the status of green purchasing in the five most populous U.S. states. The framework looks at state purchasing practices through the lenses of policy, policy implementation, and transparency.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

Facilitating phosphorus recovery through improved waste management

Description

Phosphorus (P) is an essential resource for global food security, but global supplies are limited and demand is growing. Demand reductions are critical for achieving P sustainability, but recovery

Phosphorus (P) is an essential resource for global food security, but global supplies are limited and demand is growing. Demand reductions are critical for achieving P sustainability, but recovery and re-use is also required. Wastewater treatment plants and livestock manures receive considerable attention for their P content, but municipal organic waste is another important source of P to address. Previous research identified the importance of diverting this waste stream from landfills for recovering P, but little has been done to identify the collection and processing mechanisms required, or address the existing economic barriers. In my research, I conducted a current state assessment of organic waste management by creating case studies in Phoenix, Arizona and New Delhi, India, and surveyed biomass energy facilities throughout the United States. With participation from waste management professionals I also envisioned an organic waste management system that contributes to sustainable P while improving environmental, social, and economic outcomes.

The results of my research indicated a number of important leverage points, including landfill fees, diversion mandates for organic waste, and renewable energy credits. Source separation of organic waste improves the range of uses, decreases processing costs, and facilitates P recovery, while creating jobs and contributing to a circular economy. Food is a significant component of the waste stream, and edible food is best diverted to food banks, while scraps are best given to livestock. Biomass energy systems produce multiple revenue streams, have high processing capacities, and concentrate P and other minerals to a greater extent than composting. Using recovered P in urban agriculture and native landscaping results in additional benefits to social-ecological systems by improving food security, reducing the urban heat island effect, sequestering carbon, and enhancing urban ecosystems.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Training Future Entrepreneurs – Developing and Assessing Sustainability Competencies in Entrepreneurship Education

Description

Employee-owned businesses, benefit corporations, social enterprises, and other sustainability entrepreneurship innovations are responding to challenges such as climate change, economic inequalities, and unethical business behavior. Academic programs to date, however,

Employee-owned businesses, benefit corporations, social enterprises, and other sustainability entrepreneurship innovations are responding to challenges such as climate change, economic inequalities, and unethical business behavior. Academic programs to date, however, often fall short in sufficiently equipping students with competencies in sustainability entrepreneurship – from a coherent set of learning objectives, through effective and engaging pedagogies, to rigorous assessment of learning outcomes. This dissertation contributes to bridging these gaps. The first study proposes a process-oriented and literature-based framework of sustainability entrepreneurship competencies. It offers a general vision for students, faculty, and entrepreneurs, as well as for the design of curricula, courses, and assessments. The second study presents an exploration into the nature of sustainability entrepreneurship courses, with a focus on teaching and learning processes. Using pioneering courses at Arizona State University, the study analyzes and compares the links between learning objectives, pedagogies, and learning outcomes. Based on document analysis and semi-structured interviews with course instructors, the study identifies cognitive apprenticeship from input processing to experimentation, constructive alignment from learning objectives to assessments, and curriculum-level coordination across courses as key success factors of sustainability entrepreneurship education. The result of this study can inform instructors and researchers in applying and further substantiating effective educational models for future entrepreneurs. The third study addresses the key question of competence assessment: what are reliable tools for assessing students’ competence in sustainability entrepreneurship? This study developed and tested a novel tool for assessing students’ competence in sustainability entrepreneurship through in-vivo simulated professional situations. The tool was in different settings and evaluated against a set of criteria derived from the literature. To inform educators in business and management programs, this study discusses and concludes under which conditions this assessment tool seems most effective, as well as improvement for future applications of the tool.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020