Method for Quantitative Evaluation of Sustainability Measures: A Systems Approach for Policy Prioritization

Lavers Westin, A., Kalmykova, Y., & Rosado, L. (2019). Method for Quantitative Evaluation of Sustainability Measures: A Systems Approach for Policy Prioritization. Sustainability, 11(3), 734. doi:10.3390/su11030734

Platform
Gothenburg
Publication type
Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
Projects
Municipal Environmental Impact 
DOI Title
Method for Quantitative Evaluation of Sustainability Measures: A Systems Approach for Policy Prioritization
Journal
Sustainability
ISSN/ISBN
2071-1050
DOI
10.3390/su11030734
Author(s)
Alexandra Lavers Westin Yuliya Kalmykova Leonardo Rosado
Published year
Subject
Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment Geography, Planning and Development Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

 

Abstract

Decision makers are tasked with defining and implementing measures that can meet established environmental targets. However, it is not always clear how effective the measure(s) will be in meeting the specified goals and which measures should be prioritized for implementation. To fill this gap, we have developed a method for testing planned actions to estimate potential impact on targets. The method can be performed at any scale, e.g., at the national, regional, or city level. The approach considers several factors, including the total consumption of an area, region-specific consumption-based environmental hotspots, the decision makers, the reduction targets and related measures, as well as multiple impact types. We present the method using the example of the municipality Gothenburg, Sweden. In collaboration with local authorities in Gothenburg, we co-created scenarios that bundle proposed measures intended to make progress towards their climate target of 3.5 tons carbon dioxide equivalents per capita. We then quantified how measures related to two known environmental hotspots, fuel and electronics, may affect climate change impact levels by the target year of 2035. The scenarios indicate that despite targeting known high-impact product types in Gothenburg, the efforts lead to only 14% of the reduction needed to meet the specified goal.

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