Browsing by Subject "GREEN"

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  • Tzoulas, Konstantinos; Galan, Juanjo; Venn, Stephen; Dennis, Matthew; Pedroli, Bas; Mishra, Himansu; Haase, Dagmar; Pauleit, Stephan; Niemelä, Jari; James, Philip (2021)
    This article provides a perspective on nature-based solutions. First, the argument is developed that nature-based solutions integrate social and ecological systems. Then, theoretical considerations relating to relational values, multifunctionality, transdisciplinarity, and polycentric governance are briefly outlined. Finally, a conceptual model of the social–ecological system of nature-based solutions is synthesised and presented. This conceptual model comprehensively defines the social and ecological external and internal systems that make up nature-based solutions, and identifies theoretical considerations that need to be addressed at different stages of their planning and implementation The model bridges the normative gaps of existing nature-based solution frameworks and could be used for consistent, comprehensive, and transferable comparisons internationally. The theoretical considerations addressed in this article inform practitioners, policymakers, and researchers about the essential components of nature-based solutions. The conceptual model can facilitate the identification of social and ecological interconnections within nature-based solutions and the range of stakeholders and disciplines involved.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Gaio, Marco; Semenzin, Elena (2020)
    The emergence of politically driven bioeconomy strategies worldwide calls for considering the ecological issues associated with bio-based products. Traditionally, life cycle analysis (LCA) approaches are key tools used to assess impacts through product life cycles, but they present limitations regarding the accounting of multiple ecosystem service-related issues, at both the land-use and supply chain levels. Based on a systematic review of empirical articles, this study provides insights on using LCA assessments to account for ecosystem service-related impacts in the context of bioeconomy activities. We address the following research questions: what is the state of the art of the literature performing LCA assessments of forest-based bioeconomy activities, including the temporal distribution, the geographic areas and products/processes at study, and the approaches and methods used? 2. Which impacts and related midpoints are considered by the reviewed studies and what types of ecosystem service- related information do they bear? Out of over 600 articles found through the Scopus search, 155 were deemed relevant for the review. The literature focuses on North-America and Europe. Most of the articles assessed the environmental impact of lower-value biomass uses. Climate change was assessed in over 90% of the studies, while issues related to ozone, eutrophication, human toxicity, resource depletion, acidification, and environmental toxicity were assessed in 40% to 60% of the studies. While the impact categories accounted for in the reviewed LCA studies bear information relevant to certain provisioning and regulating services, several ecosystem services (especially cultural ones) remain unaccounted for. The implications of our study are relevant for professionals working in the ecosystem services, circular bioeconomy, and/or LCA communities. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Holmgren, Sara; D'amato, Dalia; Giurca, Alexandru (2020)
    This review article examines how social science literature co-produces various imaginaries of forest-based bioeconomy transformations and pathways for reaching desired ends. Based on an analysis of 59 research articles, we find that despite a growing number of social sciences studies on the forest-based bioeconomy, much of the research tends to replicate a bioeconomy imaginary articulated in EU and national bioeconomy policies and strategies. Accordingly, the research primarily reproduces a weak approach to sustainability, which prioritize economic growth and competitiveness. Expectations are largely directed at national and regional corporate interests and forest industrial renewal, while the state has a supportive rather than restricting role. We discuss the findings against the role of social sciences, and conclude that social science scholars may adopt various strategies if interested in opening up forest-based policy debates and offer alternative imaginaries of sustainable bioeconomy transformations.
  • Lounela, Anu (2020)
    Climate change mitigation pilot projects (REDD+ - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) affect and interact with the local population in Central Kalimantan and many other parts of Indonesia. Rather than being politically and economically neutral activities, climate change mitigation projects tend to objectify the value of carbon, land and labour, contributing to a process of commodification of nature and social relations. In this specific case study, a set of values - equality and autonomy - central to the Ngaju people, the indigenous population in Central Kalimantan, become contested in the course of the climate change mitigation project. These central values are produced in everyday activities that include mobility and the productive base - subsistence and market-based production - among the Ngaju people. On the other hand, the climate change mitigation project-related environmental practices and actions produce values that point to individual (material) benefit and stratification of the society. The aim of the paper is to draw attention to and create understanding of value production and related tensions in the efforts to 'fix' environmental degradation problems through the climate change mitigation pilot project in Central Kalimantan.
  • Kuittinen, Matti; Hautamaki, Ranja; Tuhkanen, Eeva-Maria; Riikonen, Anu; Ariluoma, Mari (2021)
    Purpose Currently, no clear guidance exists for ISO and EN standards of calculating, verifying, and reporting the climate impacts of plants, mulches, and soils used in landscape design and construction. In order to optimise the potential of ecosystem services in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, we unequivocally propose their inclusion when assessing sustainability. Methods We analysed the life cycle phases of plants, soils, and mulches from the viewpoint of compiling standard-based Environmental Product Declarations. In comparison to other construction products, the differences of both mass and carbon flows were identified in these products. Results Living and organic products of green infrastructure require an LCA approach of their own. Most importantly, if conventional life cycle guidance for Environmental Product Declarations were to be followed, over time, the asymmetric mass and carbon flows would lead to skewed conclusions. Moreover, the ability of plants to reproduce raises additional questions for allocating environmental impacts. Conclusions We present a set of recommendations that are required for compiling Environmental Product Declarations for the studied products of green infrastructure. In order to enable the quantification of the climate change mitigation potential of these products, it is essential that work for further development of LCA guidance be mandated.
  • Luomala, Harri; Puska, Petteri; Lähdesmäki, Merja; Siltaoja, Marjo; Kurki, Sami (2020)
    Status considerations have recently been linked to prosocial behaviors. This research shows that even everyday consumer behaviors such as favoring organic foods serve as prosocial status signaling. Key ideas from the continuum model of consumer impression formation and the theories of costly signaling and symbolic consumption are synthetized to make sense of this phenomenon. Two web-surveys (Ns = 187, 259) and a field study (N = 336) following experimental designs are conducted. This approach allows the analysis of both the more and less conscious reactions of consumers. Study 1 shows that the image of consumers favoring organic product versions is marked by characteristics consistent with prosocial status signaling. Study 2 replicates these findings with another sample and a wider range of products and demonstrate that observers’ conservative values influence the image formed of organic food users. Study 3 establishes that similar image effects also emerge through a less conscious formation process and that they extend to how organic food users are socially treated. This research advances the current understanding concerning the interlinkages between organic food usage, prosocial status signaling, consumer impressions and reputation management. Substantively, the studies provide novel compelling empirical evidence for the ability of non-luxurious everyday consumer behaviors to qualify as prosocial status signaling. Conceptually, the integration of evolutionary and sociocultural perspectives represents a major contribution. More specifically, this research yields new understanding as regards the role of individual variation in sensing and interpreting status symbols.
  • Telford, William G.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Buschke, David; Hawley, Teresa S.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V. (2015)
    Engineering of fluorescent proteins (FPs) has followed a trend of achieving longer fluorescence wavelengths, with the ultimate goal of producing proteins with both excitation and emission in the near-infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum. Flow cytometers are now almost universally equipped with red lasers, and can now be equipped with NIR lasers as well. Most red-shifted FPs of the GFP-like family are maximally excited by orange lasers (590 to 610 nm) not commonly found on cytometers. This has changed with the development of the iRFP series of NIR FPs from the protein family of bacterial phytochromes. The shortest wavelength variants of this series, iRFP670 and iRFP682 showed maximal excitation with visible red lasers. The longer wavelength variants iRFP702, iRFP713 and iRFP720 could be optimally excited by NIR lasers ranging from 685 to 730 nm. Pairs of iRFPs could be detected simultaneously by using red and NIR lasers. Moreover, a novel spectral cytometry technique, which relies on spectral deconvolution rather than optical filters, allowed spectra of all five iRFPs to be analyzed simultaneously with no spectral overlap. Together, the combination of iRFPs with the advanced flow cytometry will allow to first image tissues expressing iRFPs deep in live animals and then quantify individual cell intensities and sort out the distinct primary cell subpopulations ex vivo.
  • Puska, Petteri; Kurki, Sami; Lähdesmäki, Merja; Siltaoja, Marjo; Luomala, Harri (2018)
    As the current research suggests that there are links between prosocial acts and status signaling (including sustainable consumer choices), we empirically study (with three experiments) whether food consumers go green to be seen. First, we examine how activating a motive for status influences prosocial organic food preferences. Then, we examine how the social visibility of the choice (private vs. public) affects these preferences. We found that when consumers' desire for status was elicited, they preferred organic food products significantly over their nonorganic counterparts; making the choice situation visible created the same effect. Finally, we go beyond consumers' evaluative and behavioral domains that have typically been addressed to investigate whether this (nonconscious) "going green to be seen" effect is also evident at the level of more physiologically-driven food responses. Indeed, status motives and reputational concerns created an improved senso-emotional experience of organic food. Specifically, when consumers were led to believe that they have to share their organic food taste experiences with others, an elevation could be detected not only in the pleasantness ratings but also in how joyful and hopeful they felt after eating a food sample. We claim that the reason for this is that a tendency to favor organic foods can be viewed as a costly signaling trait, leading to flaunting about one's prosocial tendencies. According to these findings, highlighting socially disapproved consumption motives, such as reputation management, may be an effective way to increase the relatively low sales of organic foods and thereby promote sustainable consumer behavior. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Wang, Qing-Wei; Robson, Thomas Matthew; Pieristè, Marta; Oguro, Michi; Oguchi, Riichi; Murai, Yoshinori; Kurokawa, Hiroko (2020)
    Although sunlight is essential for plant growth and development, the relative importance of each spectral region in shaping functional traits is poorly understood, particularly in dynamic light environments such as forest ecosystems. We examined responses of 25 functional traits from groups of 11 shade-intolerant and 12 understorey shade-tolerant forb species grown outdoors under five filter treatments differing in spectral transmittance: (a) transmitting c. 95% of solar radiation (280-800 nm); (b) attenuating ultraviolet-B (UV-B); (c) attenuating all UV; (d) attenuating all UV and blue light; (e) attenuating all UV, blue and green light. Our results show that UV-B radiation mainly affected the biochemical traits but blue light mainly affected the physiological traits irrespective of functional strategy, whereas green light affected both sets of traits. This would suggest that differentiation among suites of functional trait responses proceeds according to light quality. Biomass accumulation was significantly increased by UV-A radiation (contrasting treatment [b] vs. [c]) among shade-intolerant but decreased by blue light among shade-tolerant species; green and red light affected whole-plant morphological development differently according to functional groups. Shade-tolerant species were more plastic than shade-intolerant species in response to each spectral region that we examined except for UV-B radiation. Synthesis. Our results show that differences in the spectral composition of sunlight can drive functional trait expression irrespective of total irradiance received. The different responses of functional traits between functional groups imply that shade-tolerant and intolerant species have adapted to utilize spectral cues differently in their respective light environments.
  • Morone, Piergiuseppe; D'amato, Dalia (2019)
    As bio-based chemicals become more technically and financially competitive, spurring the further development of the chemical industry, they are also presented as more sustainable alternatives to petrol-based chemicals. We argue that an ad hoc and coordinated regulatory and standards framework channeling sustainability efforts would legitimize sustainability claims for bio-based products.