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A strategic tool to find out regional sustainability methodologies helpingindividuals to make long term decisions
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering. (Ekoteknik; Ecotechnology)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7037-5348
Section for Sustainable Transitions, Department of Planning, Aalborg University.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering. (Ecotechnology)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3204-4089
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of Global Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption, Barcelona Sitges, November 1-4, 2015, 2015Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a variety of definitions of the concept ‘sustainable’ to be found, and many interestingideas how to measure and evaluate what can be regarded as ‘sustainability’. Meanwhile,whatever the definition is used it must have a strong physical background. There is also acontinuous flow of information and a general awareness about the necessity of taking action,thereby reducing the negative anthropocentric contribution to global warming and ecologicalsystems depletion. A number of visions about (for example) future emission values typically 15-30 years from today are often presented. At the same time there is a continuous political debateabout the balance between individual freedom vs political regulations. The typical individual -standing in the intersection of all this - still seldom gets practical guidelines on how to act in thedaily life to meet future visions. This paper argues that it is necessary to simplify the indicatorsused to evaluate sustainability and at the same time ensure clear instructions of action therebyincreasing the communicability. This is believed to be possible through the application of aholistic approach based upon a detailed mapping, thus making it possible to find out an over-allstrategy and then transform it into specific guidelines for the individual to apply, taking anentrance point in a realistic description of individual everyday life. The regional level is chosenas the most suitable level to work with to keep in touch with the individual level without losingthe strategic possibilities and over-all view when attacking the problem. Without a deep andcommon understanding of the ‘daily life’ in the region, visions and guidelines might show to becounterproductive.For the Swedish region Jämtland, a sparsely populated area with large forests, a lot of hydropower, and one major city (Östersund with about 60.000 inhabitants), some industries and skiresorts (the largest being Åre), the method developed by Nielsen and Jørgensen for the minorisland named Samsø in Denmark has been chosen. By building a model for evaluating thecarbon balance and the work energy balances we are able to focus the strategies and make aguideline for individuals. It seems necessary to accept some usage of fossil fuels also in thefuture but we need to see how this usage can be steered to applications where non-fossilalternatives are less realistic. By working with sectors, built together, we are able to work withsub-models without having to compromise on either lower or higher level of societal activities.Compared to the Samsø case, Jämtland is more complex and also much larger (127.000inhabitants compared to Samsø’s 4.000 and with an area about 20% larger than theNetherlands). The sectors chosen are Industry (Businesses other than those covered in othersectors), Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Nature, Public, Private (households), Reindeerherding, Wastes and Energy. The budget of each sector is mapped in terms of carbon and workenergy balances as a sub-model of an over-all model of Jämtland. By finding out the limits(constrains) from simulations carried out on the region it is possible to set for example carbonand energy budgets as basis for personal guidelines for the citizens of the region.The major idea is that most citizens of the region will understand and adapt to such guidelinesto an extent that may induce a change of individual behavioral patterns thus turning the regiontowards sustainability. Jämtland has a specific “culture” which can be used to create proudnessand interest for the sustainability aims. It is important to arrange a platform that serves to shapea fruitful dialogue between all stakeholders – from individual to groups – that will make itpossible to create a common plan for measurements to be implemented, i.e. a concertedgovernance which ensure and guarantee a future of optimal existence for ecosystems as wellas human beings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability evaluation, Carbon balance, Work energy, Societal transition
National Category
Environmental Sciences Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26231OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-26231DiVA: diva2:867964
Conference
Global Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption, Barcelona Sitges, Novmenber 1-4, 2015
Available from: 2015-11-08 Created: 2015-11-08 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Skytt, TorbjörnStåhl, FredrikJonsson, AndersGrönlund, ErikCarlman, IngaFröling, Morgan
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