Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

CECAN Policy and Practice Note Series

By Robert Lyons on 2nd August 2017

CECAN has launched a Policy and Practice Note Series, with e-versions available to download.

The latest papers are:

This plan outlines 29 actions the government, Ofgem and industry will take to:

  • remove barriers to smart technologies (such as storage and demand-side response)
  • enable smart homes and businesses
  • improve access to energy markets for new technologies and business models

These actions are designed to reduce the costs of the energy system, and help keep energy bills low for consumers.

Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion

By Robert Lyons on 18th July 2017

A new report by WRAP examines the environmental impact of the UK clothing industry. It highlights recent achievements in the sector, explores opportunities for businesses, and shares insights on consumer attitudes and behaviour toward clothing. However, it also notes that while the amount of clothing being sent to landfill has fallen by 14% from 350,000 tonnes in 2012 to 300,000 in 2016 around 25 per cent is still binned rather than recycled.

Sustainability of liquid biofuels

By Robert Lyons on 18th July 2017

A new report by the Royal Academy of Engineering suggests that the UK should focus on the use of waste for the production of biofuels rather than crops that might displace food production. The authors argue that ncentives should be given to farmers to increase production of fuel crops like Miscanthus on marginal land and note that even with the greater use of electric vehicles, biofuels will still be needed for aviation and heavy goods.

More...

A new paper for Nature Scientific Reports arguest that while diesel-engined vehicles are currently a major source of particulate pollution, modern diesel vehicles actually produce lower levels of such emissions than petrol-engined cars. Whether gasoline or diesel cars are more polluting depends on the pollutant in question - in other words, that diesel cars are not necessarily worse polluters than gasoline cars.

The more variable nature of some forms of renewable energy can be balanced by using adequately flexibile measures, such as adaptable fuel generation sources, active demand response (a change in consumer power consumption to match the demand for power with the supply), better storage of power and interconnections; the big challenge is to develop a flexible power system with the adequate resources to ensure a cost-effective integration of renewables.

This European Environment Agency report explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models. For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools are proposed that can help fill the current data and knowledge gaps.

This thematic issue of Science for Environment Policy presents recent peer-reviewed research examining the impact of AES on European farming, with a particular focus on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. AES have been shown to benefit a range of animals and plants by increasing the number of individuals and species. However, as with all measurements involving complex ecosystems, the findings and causal links are nuanced, and sometimes difficult to isolate.

This report for Nature Climate Change is a quantitative assessment of the economic costs of the joint impacts of local and global climate change for all main cities around the world. Cost–benefit analyses are presented of urban heat island mitigation options, including green and cool roofs and cool pavements. It is shown that local actions can be a climate risk-reduction instrument.

The latest report from the CCC argues that two new plans covering emissions reductions and actions to prepare for climate change are needed to meet the UK’s climate change objectives. The plans to be developed by the new Government will be drawn up against a backdrop of changes that could help to deliver better policy. However, some of these changes also present risks to the delivery of those climate change plans.

Pages