Browsing by Subject "sustainable development"

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  • Nieminen, Tuuli (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The objective of my thesis is to portray small investors' views on ethical investing. The study material consists of 427 writings collected from Internet's Finnish investment discussion web pages. The focus of the study is on small investors' perceptions and on the methods they use. I examine whether investors are willing to put time and effort to ensure ethical issues, and the challenges and obstacles they confront. Furthermore, I study investors' views on ethical investments profit making possibilities compared to ordinary investing. Small investors prefer stocks and funds, and thus I take a closer look at these types of investments. As a method, ethical investors prefer negative screening. Their motive to invest ethically is the good feeling they get. Small investors define ethical investing based on their own, individual values. By using qualitative research methods I discovered four themes that are important reasons to invest ethically. These themes are financial profits, the environment, supporting domestic production and responsibility to take care of other people. Only few investors are willing to sacrifice profits for ethics if needed. Some investors defined ethical investing as aiming for best financial profits possible, without taking other issues into consideration. Environment itself is considered as important, but also because ignoring environmental issues has a negative impact on profits. Investors prefer domestic companies' stocks and are worried that companies move production to foreign countries. In decision-making, investors consider future generations, especially their own offspring. Ethical investing is considered as challenging and time-taking. They also find that there is a lack of ethical investment products and it is difficult to find objective information. In addition to interest towards ethical investing, there were different attitudes that characterized the investors. Neutral investors concentrate on facts and they consider ethical issues if they have an impact on profits. Orthodox investors believe that ethics do not belong to investing. Unethical investors are experimental and they believe that unethical investments provide high returns.
  • Furman, Eeva; Häyhä, Tiina; Hirvilammi, Tuuli (Finnish Environment Institute, 2018)
    SYKE Policy Brief
  • Ropero, Rosa F.; Maldonado, Ana D.; Uusitalo, Laura; Salmerón, Antonio; Rumí, Rafael; Aguilera, Pedro A. (MDPI AG, 2021)
    Agronomy 11(4), 740
    Detecting socio-ecological boundaries in traditional rural landscapes is very important for the planning and sustainability of these landscapes. Most of the traditional methods to detect ecological boundaries have two major shortcomings: they are unable to include uncertainty, and they often exclude socio-economic information. This paper presents a new approach, based on unsupervised Bayesian network classifiers, to find spatial clusters and their boundaries in socio-ecological systems. As a case study, a Mediterranean cultural landscape was used. As a result, six socio-ecological sectors, following both longitudinal and altitudinal gradients, were identified. In addition, different socio-ecological boundaries were detected using a probability threshold. Thanks to its probabilistic nature, the proposed method allows experts and stakeholders to distinguish between different levels of uncertainty in landscape management. The inherent complexity and heterogeneity of the natural landscape is easily handled by Bayesian networks. Moreover, variables from different sources and characteristics can be simultaneously included. These features confer an advantage over other traditional techniques.
  • Mäkelä-Korhonen, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Everyday life of consumers revolves around housing, food and transport. Consumption related to these areas forms a burden to the atmosphere through direct or indirect energy consumption which causes climate warming GHG emissions. Climate change itself results in deepening global economic and humanitarian problems while the human populations constantly grows. In this quantitative study I researched the relationship between sociodemographic variables and residential location to attitudes towards climate change, possibilities of individual influence and political guidance of consumption. My target was to find perspectives on how to further sustainable consumption and the shift to ecological options. The empirical part drew on the 2016 European Social Survey’s Finnish material due to its comprehensiveness and the good quality. The data was analyzed using data processing program SPSS. Everyday life and sustainable consumption were studied using a practice theory approach. Everyday practices are routinized actions which are not actively given thought. Routines are formed to ease everyday life, but they stand as obstacles for change. These routines must be broken and there must be sufficient incentives for consumers to shift to new ways of executing practices. Consumption can be made more sustainable by changing its quality or quantity. Technological solutions offer more ecological options, but the level of consumption should be decreased as well. My analysis showed that education has a positive relationship with attitudes toward climate change, the probability to conserve energy, how one sees their own influence and responsibility as well as political guidance of consumption. Income had the same effect as education. Age and residential area had an opposite effect. With age grew skepticism and efforts to save energy dropped. Moving from large cities to the countryside the phenomenon was similar. Objection to political guidance was also strongest in the countryside. My observations showed that worriedness about climate change and perceived level of responsibility and possibilities of making change through one’s own actions increased the level of energy saving and the support for political guidance of consumption. Because consumption related to everyday practices is highly routinized breaking these routines is needed to enable change. This requires the understanding of one’s role as a consumer, supporting of the transition to more sustainable options of consumption and the guidance of market offerings through political decisions. In my opinion the role of education and young consumers in central in driving change.
  • Myllyviita, Tanja; Sironen, Susanna; Saikku, Laura; Holma, Anne; Leskinen, Pekka; Palme, Ulrika (2019)
    Journal of Cleaner Production 236: 117641
    Impacts of bioeconomy on climate have been much discussed, but less attention has been given to biodiversity deterioration. One approach to assess biodiversity impacts is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Finland is a forested country with intensive forest industries, but only coarse biodiversity LCA methods are available. The aim of this study was to further develop and apply approaches to assess the biodiversity impacts of wood use in Finland. With the species richness approach (all taxons included), biodiversity impacts were higher in Southern than in Northern Finland but impacts in Southern and Northern Finland were lower when mammals, birds and molluscs were included. With the ecosystem indicators approach, if the reference situation were forest in its natural state, biodiversity impacts were higher than in the case where the initial state of forest before final felling was used to derive biodiversity loss. In both cases, the biodiversity impacts were higher in Northern Finland. These results were not coherent as the model applying species richness data assesses biodiversity loss based on all species, whereas the ecosystem indicators approach considers vulnerable species. One limitation of the species richness approach was that there were no reliable datasets available. In the ecosystem indicators approach, it was noticed that the biodiversity of managed Finnish forests is substantially lower than in natural forests. Biodiversity LCA approaches are highly sensitive to reference states, applied model and data. It is essential to develop approaches capable of comparing biodiversity impacts of forest management practices, or when looking at multiple environmental impacts simultaneously with the LCA framework.
  • Martin, Michael; Lazarevic, David; Gullström, Charlie (MDPI, 2019)
    Sustainability 2019, 11, 190
    Collaborative consumption—through sharing services—has been promoted as an important step in transforming current consumption patterns toward more sustainable practices. Whilst there are high expectations for sharing services, there are few studies on the potential environmental benefits and impacts of sharing services. This study aims to analyze the potential environmental impacts of a peer-to-peer (P2P) product sharing platform and potential integration with a package drop-off/pick-up service in the urban district of Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, Sweden. A life cycle approach is adopted, taking into account product lifetime and use, the potential replacement of conventional products and services, impacts from digital infrastructure and their impacts on the environment. The results indicate that there is significant potential for these sharing services to reduce environmental impacts associated with production and consumption; primarily through avoiding production and reducing the production impacts of new product purchases. The results also illustrate potential synergies to integrate with the package drop-off/pick up service; where the impacts from shared products are further reduced by reducing transportation impacts through improved logistics. However, the results are dependent upon, and sensitive to, a number of methodological choices and assumptions; highlighting the need for greater knowledge on the use environmental assessments of sharing services.
  • Tiitu, Maija; Viinikka, Arto; Kopperoinen, Leena; Geneletti, Davide (World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd, 2018)
    Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 20(3)
    The objectives in consolidating the urban form and preserving green spaces are often in conflict in growing cities. The usability of spatial multi-criteria decision analysis (SMCDA) was tested as a tool for integrating residential infill development and urban green spaces in the City of Järvenpää, Finland. In collaboration with local practitioners, this study focused on the benefits and challenges of SMCDA. The results were based on two workshops with the practitioners along with comprehensive GIS analyses based on a wide range of available data. The practitioners saw SMCDA as a useful method to bring together a variety of factors related to infill development. They highlighted the importance of the method’s transparency, emphasising the comprehensive explanation of each step of the method. Better understanding of the impact of individual criteria weightings on the results was mentioned as one of the key future developments of the method.
  • Niemistö, Johanna; Myllyviita, Tanja; Judl, Jáchym; Holma, Anne; Sironen, Susanna; Mattila, Tuomas; Antikainen, Riina; Leskinen, Pekka (2019)
    International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 26 (7): 625-634
    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a substantial role in the economy and job creation, but they are a remarkable source of environmental impacts. SMEs often lack skills and resources to compile environmental impact assessments; Streamlined Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can provide efficient tools for this. An application of streamlined LCA relying heavily on database data, LCA clinic, was developed and tested on 23 SMEs in Finland. The climate change impacts were mainly caused by the production of raw materials, electricity and heating, whereas packaging and transportation were not influential. A significant amount of emissions were indirect, i.e. caused by production of raw materials. Thus, decreasing emissions from raw material production or selecting raw materials with a smaller environmental load could be a more efficient way to decrease emissions than reducing direct emissions such as those from electricity use. Lack of data in the LCA-databases was considered a challenge. An access to regionally customised datasets is important for the implementation of LCA clinics. Company feedback indicated that LCA clinics were useful in climate-friendly product design and increased environmental awareness, but did not lead to immediate actions to reduce emissions because of inadequate investment capabilities. Company managers had limited possibilities to use the results in marketing as comparative assessments would require a full LCA. Many company managers were willing to pay a fee sufficient to cover the costs of an LCA clinic, but some considered that the costs should be covered by external funding sources.
  • Tabarracci, Daniela Andrea (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    In 1987, the United Nations concerned with global challenges to human development called for a new model of growth to be erected upon the notion of sustainable development. Today, twenty five years later, the world continues to be beset by these global challenges and a governance gap around this issue has become manifest. Overtime, the international community came to the realization that, first, tackling these challenges requires the collective action of a multiplicity of relevant actors. And second, that the private sector, with its resources, know-how, experience and jurisdiction, could have a pivotal role to play to this end. The problem with these assumptions was the scepticism generated by mainstream interpretations of corporate nature and rationality. Despite the potential for contribution, corporations as self-interested agents in the struggle for the maximization of individual advantage could not be expected to contribute to the promotion of sustainable development; let alone through collective action. And yet contemporary evidence shows, that this scepticism is unwarranted. For that reason, the main purpose of this descriptive study was to account for the existing cases of collective action, and identify by listening to corporate actors, what was the rationale that underpinned their decisions to engage in these forms of collective action. In doing so, the aim was to assess the current suitability of mainstream approaches to reflect reality. Because of that, special attention was devoted to the notion of corporate self-interest (the key concept used by mainstream approaches to nurture the egoistic interpretation of the corporate actor). In listening to corporate actors two related qualitative analyses were conducted. On the one hand, a set of archival material - corporate responsibility reports and codes of conduct - was approached through a story-line narrative technique the purpose of which was to set the contextual and notional framework for the content analysis of interview transcripts that was to follow. On the other hand, semi-structured elite interviews were conducted on corporate executives of four transnational corporations, all of which are leaders in their respective industries and have a record of collective action that contributes to sustainable development. These corporations were Novartis, UPM, Tetra-Pak and Nokia and the overall purpose of the analytical chapter has been learn from corporate actors themselves what drove them to engage in these forms of collective action. At first glance the results of the analyses revealed that the rationale behind corporate engagement, continued to be explained by reference to corporate self-interest; just as mainstream approaches suggested. However, the point of divergence between these two interpretations was to be found in the way corporate self-interest was defined. According to mainstream approaches, corporate self-interest was defined in terms of profit maximization. Conversely, the findings unveiled in this study highlight the necessity to separate interests (instrumental reasons) from corporate self-interest (teleological reasons). In line with that differentiation, self-interest is defined as long-term survival, and all other interests are interpreted as instrumental to it. These findings have encouraging implications on the relevance of mainstream approaches to represent. Insofar a reassessment of the notion of corporate self-interest is undertaken to account for teleological reasons as distinct from instrumental reasons, mainstream approaches would be able to provide a fairer account of contemporary circumstances than they do today. In the absence of such an update, not only do they run the risk of not being able to reflect reality and becoming irrelevant, but they would also run the risk of rendering themselves unsuitable to account for changes in behaviours and interests, ultimately, downplaying rather than strengthening the rationality of actors. All in all, if what unrevised mainstream standards provide us with is an account for corporate rational behaviour, then what this study contributes is the possibility of moving past scepticism and understanding the potential for corporate behaviour to be better than rational.
  • Gonçalves, Paula; Vierikko, Kati; Elands, Birgit; Haase, Dagmar; Catarina Luz, Ana; Santos-Reis, Margarida (Elsevier BV, 2021)
    Environmental and Sustainability Indicators 11: 100131
    Cities face growing challenges and urban greenspaces (UGS) play a key role in improving cities liveability. UGS are complex socio-ecological systems and evidence-based and context-sensitive tools are needed to assist planning and manage environmentally sound and socially inclusive UGS. In this paper, we propose an innovative indicator-based tool to operationalize the biocultural diversity (BCD) framework in urban contexts, deriving from its three conceptual layers – materialized, lived and stewardship. Indicators proposed are bundled in themes representing essential components when assessing and analyzing urban BCD from a contextual and sensitizing perspective. The set of indicators highlight key features of socio-cultural and ecological systems, theirs links and interactions, both material and non-material, to capture the essence of biocultural diversity at site-level. By offering a uniform scoring system with the possibility to set site-specific benchmarks, these can be used in any type of greenspace of any city, while allowing different communities/neighborhoods/city councils to embrace different approaches to meet their objectives towards larger scale goals. Twelve urban parks in Lisbon were used as a test-bed for the indicator-based tool and proved its feasibility to gather an overall snapshot of all parks and to demonstrate the possibility to deepen the study to only two parks uncovering self-exclusion processes that otherwise would have remained hidden. The BCD tool brings together essential information scattered over several quality and good practices assessment tools and protocols and, by including indicators specifically addressing governance and stewardship, offers a policy-driven instrument able to capture trade-offs and/or synergies between ecological, social and political domains.
  • Schumacher, Johanna; Bergqvist, Lisa; van Beest, Floris M.; Carstensen, Jacob; Gustafsson, Bo; Hasler, Berit; Fleming, Vivi; Nygård, Henrik; Pakalniete, Kristîne; Sokolov, Alexander; Zandersen, Marianne; Schernewski, Gerald (Frontiers in Marine Science, 2020)
    Frontiers Marine Science 7 (2020)
    Decision support tools (DSTs), like models, GIS-based planning tools and assessment tools, play an important role in incorporating scientific information into decision-making and facilitating policy implementation. In an interdisciplinary Baltic research group, we compiled 43 DSTs developed to support ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea and conducted a thorough review. Analyzed DSTs cover a wide variety of policy issues (e.g., eutrophication, biodiversity, human uses) and address environmental as well as socio-economic aspects. In this study, we aim to identify gaps between existing DSTs and end-user needs for DSTs for supporting coastal and marine policy implementation, and to provide recommendations for future DST development. In two online surveys, we assess the awareness and use of DSTs in general, as well as policy implementation challenges and DST needs of representatives of public authorities from all Baltic countries, in particular. Through a policy review we identify major policy issues, policies, and general implementation steps and requirements and develop the synthesis-matrix, which is used to compare DST demand and supply. Our results show that DSTs are predominantly used by researchers. End-users from public authorities use DSTs mostly as background information. Major obstacles for DST use are lacking awareness and experiences. DST demand is strongest for the policy issue eutrophication. Furthermore, DSTs that support the development of plans or programs of measures and assess their impacts and effectiveness are needed. DST supply is low for recently emerging topics, such as non-indigenous species, marine litter, and underwater noise. To overcome existing obstacles, a common database for DSTs available in the BSR is needed. Furthermore, end-users need guidance and training, and cooperation between DST developers and end-users needs to be enhanced to ensure the practical relevance of DSTs for supporting coastal and marine policy implementation. To fill existing gaps, DSTs that address impacts on human welfare and link environmental and socio-economic aspects should be developed. The Baltic Sea Region serves as a best practice case for studying DSTs and their practical use. Hence, our results can provide insights for DST development in other marine regions. Furthermore, our methodological approach is transferable to other areas.
  • Lyytimäki, Jari (Springer, 2019)
    Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 21, 1143–1153 (2019)
    One of the most widely accepted rule of thumb of bioenergy production has been that burning wet wood should be avoided. This advice has guided the development of harvesting, logistics and combustion of wood chips. However, experimentations in Finland have challenged this approach by showing that it may be possible to considerably improve the energy efficiency of heat and power plants by burning the wood chips as soon as possible after harvesting them from boreal forests. The high energy content of fresh wood has been known for a long time, but this knowledge has not been widely acknowledged as the guiding principle in the development of the energy use of wood chips. This study analyses public (non)debate of wood chip burning in Finland based on conceptualisations of non-recognition and discusses the implications of knowledge use and non-use for sustainable energy transitions. It is concluded that various forms of non-recognition can significantly hinder the development and implementation of more sustainable energy solutions. The importance of the varieties of ignorance and their societal consequences should not be forgotten from the sustainability transition studies.
  • Berg, Annukka; Antikainen, Riina; Hartikainen, Ernesto; Kauppi, Sari; Kautto, Petrus; Lazarevic, David; Piesik, Sandra; Saikku, Laura (Finnish Environment Institute, 2018)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 26/2018
    As a new paradigm for economic development, the circular economy has significant environmental, economic and social benefits at the global scale. The circular economy concept highlights the notion of replacing the ‘end-of-life’ in current production and consumption practices by reducing, reusing, and recycling products and materials in production, distribution and consumption processes. Promoting circularity aims to accomplish sustainable development, and the circular economy has links to many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by the United Nations in 2015. This report is a background contribution asked by the Independent group of scientists writing the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019. The GSDR 2019 is the first in a series of comprehensive, in-depth Reports that will be produced every four years to inform the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened under the auspices of the General Assembly. Thus, this background report seeks to provide a condensed package on the circular economy; the concept, its history, potentials, business opportunities, management and measurement. Some of the key messages entail that moving towards a circular economy presents vast opportunities for businesses of various kind, and that increasing the material circularity of economy can also be a way to alleviate poverty. Yet, the systemic and disruptive changes required for a circular economy transition will not take place without significant changes to existing regulatory structures.
  • Lyytimäki, Jari (Inderscience, 2014)
    Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development 1(2/3): 137-145
    Sustainability is simultaneously the fundamental and a secondary challenge for societies. It is a fundamental challenge defining the operating space for humanity, but as a long-term, wide-spanning, and holistic issue, it is often overlooked by actors focusing on narrowly defined and short-term economic or social concerns. The main aim of sustainability communication is to create bridges between these co-existing realms of long-term and immediate challenges. This paper discusses the use of sustainability strategies and indicators as tools to encourage a wide variety of actors, including private enterprises, to take concrete actions that produce systemic changes towards sustainability. Experiences from the ongoing national-level sustainable development commitment process of Finland are presented, and lessons for Latin America are identified. A key lesson is the importance of transparency in sustainability communication.
  • Hietala, Reija; Ijäs, Asko; Pikner, Tarmo; Kull, Anne; Printsmann, Anu; Kuusik, Maila; Fagerholm, Nora; Vihervaara, Petteri; Nordström, Paulina; Kostamo, Kirsi (Springer Nature, 2021)
    Journal of Coastal Conservation 25 (2021), 47
    The Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive was ratified (2014/89/EU) along the Strategy of the European Union (EU) on the Blue Economy to contribute to the effective management of maritime activities and resources and incorporate the principal elements of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) (2002/413/EC) into planning at the land-sea interface. There is a need to develop the ICZM approach throughout Europe to realise the potential for both socio-economic and environmental targets set by the EU and national legislations. In this study, we co-developed different approaches for land-sea interactions in four case areas in Estonia and Finland based on the defined characteristics and key interests derived from local or regional challenges by integrating spatial data on human activities and ecology. Furthermore, four ICZM drafts were co-evaluated by stakeholders and the public using online map-based assessment tools (public participatory GIS). The ICZM approaches of the Estonian cases ranged from the diversification of land use to the enhancement of community-based entrepreneurship. The Finnish cases aimed to define the trends for sustainable marine and coastal tourism and introduce the ecosystem service concept in land use planning. During the project activities, we found that increased communication and exchange of local and regional views and values on the prevailing land-sea interactions were important for the entire process. Thereafter, the ICZM plans were applied to the MSP processes nationally, and they support the sustainable development of coastal areas in Estonia and Finland.
  • Silan, Wasiq; Chen, Chi-Chuan; Lai, Tin-Yu (2022)
    This article explores the “wholistic” as a central concept of “the good life” as expressed by the Bnkis, Tayal Indigenous Elders, who participated in the Day Club, Tayal territory of Northern Taiwan. In particular, we analyze the stories of care experienced by the Bnkis from the standpoint of wholistic relationships. The stories were recorded primarily between 2015 and 2018. In this analysis we used a critical qualitative design approach, privileging Tayal epistemology and informed by Tayal hermeneutics. Our results show that the concept of well-being for the Bnkis is closely linked to their relationships with people and with the land and spirituality. Through these relationships, the continuation of Gaga—Tayal law and cosmology—has been adapted organically over time. We argue that Gaga is central to Tayal Elder/Bnkis care and essential to Bnkis’ well-being. We propose that the concept of wholistic relationships embedded in the Tayal law of Gaga is vital in developing an elderly care system that is genuinely culturally relevant in the long run. This research demonstrates how the wholistic concept can improve human health and well-being, and ultimately provides an implication to sustainable development.
  • Lyytimäki, Jari (Routledge, 2017)
    Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry
    Ecosystem services provided by urban green areas have been recognised to an increasing degree following the turn of the millennium (MEA, 2003; Gómez-Baggethun and Barton, 2013). Urban trees in particular provide urban dwellers with a variety of ecosystem services (see Chapter 4 of this volume). However, urban trees are also the source of various types of harm, nuisance and costs. These ‘bad’ aspects may be labelled as ecosystem disservices. The concept of ecosystem disservice is a recent one and there is no widely agreed definition for it. On a general level, ecosystem disservices can be defined as the functions, processes and attributes generated by the ecosystem that result in perceived or actual negative impacts on human wellbeing (Shackleton et al., 2016). Both ecosystem services and disservices are inherently anthropogenic concepts, putting emphasis on the human valuation of ecosystem properties and functions. What is perceived as beautiful and beneficial by one person may be considered ugly, useless, unpleasant or unsafe by another. For example, biodiversity-rich, semi-natural areas inside city limits are often experienced as suffering from a lack of maintenance, as opposed to intensively maintained but biodiversity-poor urban parks.
  • Henry, Hagen Christian Knuth (2019)
    Against the background of opposite developments in law, which lead to reducing the diversity of enterprise forms, the article presents empirical and legal reasons why this diversity must be maintained through law - instead of other means - for the sake of the legal concept of sustainable development and it suggests a wide notion of democratic participation as that legal feature which distinguishes cooperatives from other forms of enterprise in times when the very notion of enterprise is undergoing radical changes.
  • Hakala, Pirjo (Helsingfors universitet, 2003)
    The aim of the study was to find out, how the craftsmen of textile of the archipelago reach for ecological sustainability. In addition, what does the ecological orientation mean for the craftsman and how to understand ecological handicrafts. Both the product and the creator serve as a narrator. To answer these questions interviews were made with nine craftsmen who live in the Archipelago. The interviews were analysed with content analysis method. The research report proceeds in a dialogue between theory and the analysis. The relationship between the sustainable development and the handicrafts of archipelago was observed as the theoretical basis of the research. By investing in cultural, social, financial and industrial sustainability the fundamental aim of ecological sustainability is possible to attain. Values, skills and knowledge of a craftsman have an influence on the various sectors of the development. The operational environment of the craftsmen is the archipelago, its nature and the culture created by man. One objective was to work out, how the archipelago and its notion played a part in their way of working and telling about their products. Ecology in the handicrafts of the archipelago appeared in various ways. Cultural and social sustainability materialized better than economical and industrial sustainability. Education seemed to be the best way to get intermediate goals on the way to the sustainable development. Handicrafts was seen as a part of the culture of archipelago and the networks in a sparsely populated area is experienced as an important thing. The ecological acting is commonly connected to the material of handicraft and its methods of production. Values take shape, when the craftsman talked about his family and told his story about growing into the craftsmanship. Striving for ecological sustainability in handicrafts aroused also mixed feelings. Craftsmanship is lifeblood on the market, which is ruled by the global market economy. Does it mean that striving for ecological sustainability is an attempt to reach for truth?
  • Amiri, Ali; Emami, Nargessadat; Ottelin, Juudit; Sorvari, Jaana; Marteinsson, Björn; Heinonen, Jukka; Junnila, Seppo (Elsevier, 2021)
    Energy and Buildings 241: 110962
    The construction and use of buildings consume a significant proportion of global energy and natural resources. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is arguably the most international green building certification system and attempts to take actions to limit energy use of buildings and construct them sustainably. While there has been a wide range of research mainly focused on energy use and emission production during the operation phase of LEED-certified buildings, research on embodied emissions is rare. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of LEED regarding initial (pre-use) embodied emissions using life cycle assessment (LCA). The study comprised several steps using a designed model. In the first step, three optional building material scenarios were defined (optimized concrete, hybrid concrete-wood, and wooden buildings) in addition to the base case concrete building located in Iceland. Second, an LCA was conducted for each scenario. Finally, the number of LEED points and the level of LEED certification was assessed for all studied scenarios. In addition, a comparison regarding embodied emissions consideration between LEED and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) as mostly used green certificate was conducted in the discussion section. The LCA showed the lowest environmental impact for the wooden building followed by the hybrid concrete-wood building. In the LEED framework, wooden and hybrid scenarios obtained 14 and 8 points that were related to material selection. Among these points, only 3 (out of a total of 110 available points) were directly accredited to embodied emissions. The study recommends that the green building certificates increase the weight of sustainable construction materials since the significance of embodied emissions is substantially growing along with the current carbon neutrality goals. As most of the materials for building construction are imported into Iceland, this study is useful for locations similar to Iceland, while overall it is beneficial for the whole world regarding climate change mitigation.