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Cet article scientifique de 26 pages avait été traduit, puis révisé à plusieurs reprises. Pourtant, le Comité de lecture ne le considérait toujours pas prêt à être publié. Les délais fondaient comme peau de chagrin lorsque le client m’a contactée. 

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Definition of the environmental dimension of sustainability, from the case of transport system

Abstract

Definitions of the environmental dimension of sustainable development are usually quite vague or global, and the variety of environmental impacts is rarely taken into account. A correct representation of the whole range of impacts is necessary for a correct and transparent environmental sustainability assessment. Environmental impacts and their characteristics are described through the concept of chain of causalities between a source and a final target. Its parameters are the type of source, the process through the main scientific disciplines involved, the time and distance scales, and the type of final target. This analysis allows us to define 49 causal chains, which are independent and cover all the impacts. They can be organized into a hierarchy of 27 aggregated chains and 8 groups. The usual classification in terms of quality of life / natural heritage, present / future generations, reversibility, local / global are hardly relevant as the axes are more continuous than binary.

Après

Environmental sustainability assessments: toward a new framework

Abstract

Definitions of the environmental dimension of sustainable development are usually general and the variety of impacts rarely considered. A correct representation of the full range of effects is necessary for an accurate and transparent environmental sustainability assessment. Environmental impacts and their characteristics are described through the concept of causal chains between a source and a final target. Its parameters are the type of source, time and distance scales, and the type of final target. The scientific disciplines involved in defining indicators are considered. This analysis is based on research on environmental impacts resulting from transport activities. It allows us to define 49 independent causal chains that address all effects. They can be organized into a hierarchy of 27 aggregated chains and 8 groups. The usual classification in terms of quality of life/natural heritage, present/future generations, reversibility, local/global is too binary to be meaningful.

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