Environment Papers


View our selection of papers on socioecological systems from water, to food, to energy systems management

The Rise of Sustainability


Part two in our series "Age of Transition" this video explores the rise of the concept of sustainability as it has gone from the fringes to the mainstream within just a few short decades, driven by an environmental crisis on a global scale

Inclusive Economy


Inclusivity is an inherent part of achieving sustainability. To be sustainable a system has to be open to and harness all of the resources available to it. To effectively manage a complex system requires harnessing the distributed capabilities of its members.

Service Dematerialization


At the heart of the challenge of sustainable development is the challenge of decoupling economic growth from an increased demand for more resources; doing this is called decoupling

Full Cost Economy


Full cost accounting refers to accounting for the complete cost or benefit of some product or service in terms of its social, economic and environmental impacts. It represents an expansion of our traditional accounting systems to incorporate the full set of impacts relating to a given economic activity. Our traditional accounting systems are designed to account for what economists call utility. But utility and monetary value only account for what something is worth to an individual, it does not account for its cost or value to the whole of society or ecosystem.

Sustainability: From the Parts to the Whole


This is part one in a five-part series of papers on the rise of the paradigm of sustainability. In this paper, we look at what sustainability is and how our economies will be shaped along a number of dimensions as it grows in significance in the coming decades.

Why Full Cost Accounting


In this video we explain the concept of full cost accounting and why it can be an effective method for managing common natural and social resources in a distributed fashion through the market

Sustainable Development & Decoupling


The 20th Century, driven by scientific and technological advances, was a time of remarkable change for human civilization. But it was also a century when the extraction of many natural resources began for the first time in history to follow an essentially exponential growth path.

Water-Energy-Food Nexus


Food, water and energy are essential for economic development and the well-being of every society around the planet. When we talk about the "environment" it is to a large extent this nexus that we are primarily referring to