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SUSTAINABILITY AND SDG RESEARCH LIBRARY

The ITS Education Asia Foundation’s core mission is based on bringing sustainability education to all. We do this with a range of in-person and online activities including YCI, UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme and school workshops.

The resources below, launched in 2022, are the first step to building a large and varied library of sustainability information, be they case studies, documents or links to many of the world’s foremost sustainability organizations, big and small. It can be used by anyone researching sustainability be it for school or university studies, or for work. As this grows, we will commit to more complex cross-referencing and indexing. For now, either browse/search the page, or use a quick link to go down to a particular section.

If you have a resource or use a resource that you think should be listed, please do not hesitate to submit to [email protected] with “SDG library” in the subject.

If you would like to link to this resource, please name & credit as follows:
Sustainability & SDG Research Library, The ITS Education Asia Foundation

My thanks at this launch point goes to the UN Systems Staff College and all my fellow course attendees of the “Circular Economy and the 2030 Agenda, 2021” who provided the inspiration and many of the first links.

Danny Harrington, January 2022

Various news/forums/issues Circular economy Sustainable business forums Sustainable business case studies Government/IGOs Sustainability education

Various news/forums/issues:

National Geographic Drowning in Plastic
Great edu resource by NatGeo on plastic in the oceans.

FORESTS NEWS
Operating from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), a non-profit scientific institution and CGIAR Research Center, Forests News features the latest research findings and insights from the field.

Earth Overshoot Day
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. This site has education resources, blog and more.

Sustainable diet
The global and regional costs of healthy and sustainable dietary patterns: a modelling study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

Modern Diplomacy - Environment
Modern Diplomacy is a platform for assessing and evaluating complex international issues, including the environment, that are often outside the boundaries of mainstream Western media and academia. Provide qualitative analysis in the form of political commentary, policy inquiry, in-depth interviews, special reports, and commissioned research.

WIEGO
Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) is a global network focused on empowering the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy to secure their livelihoods so all workers have equal economic opportunities, rights, protection and voice. Lots of resources.

Soil Association
The Soil Association is a UK charity that digs deeper to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world so we can live in a world which is in balance with nature and a future with good health and a safe climate. As well as certifying organics, they provide lots of insightful articles.

McKinsey Sustainability
Lots of useful reports and insights from one of the world’s best known management consultants.

ESG Today
Industry specific news and articles on ESG

Eco-Business
Eco-Business is an independent media and business intelligence company dedicated to sustainable development and ESG performance. The platform features more than a decade-long archive of information on sustainable development issues in the region and globally. Its content is categorised and searchable by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and core sustainability topics, and it also provides a key platform for individuals and organisations to publish jobs, events, press release and research.

The World
A US international affairs outlet committed to human-centered journalism that consistently connects the global to the local and builds empathy for people around the world. Key areas of focus are global security, women & gender, the environmentmigration and public health. From frontline diplomats to refugees in crisis, from environmental scientists in the field to protesters putting their lives on the line and individuals grappling with the impact of global cyberculture, The World starts with individuals at the core of a story and expands from there.

GreenBiz
Business news website with focus on food, energy, transportation and circular economy.

Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful? (nature.com)
Compact article with some good graphics

MDPI
Open access scholarly articles on a range of subjects, sustainability and beyond.


Circular Economy:

MIDA
Circular economy: where are we now and how do we even begin? By Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

Indonesia Circular Economy Forum
Great place to explore content for studies on Indonesia’s circularity progress.

Motivations for a sustainable lifestyle
Interesting overview of how different people find different reasons for following the lifestyles that they do and how this is important for sustainability.

100 smart ways to live sustainably
Useful list in different categories for easy reference

Amazon rainforest and circularity
Published in Nature, the Amazon hosts a large biological and cultural diversity with a deeply established knowledge of natural resource management. Nevertheless, many parts of the Amazon are increasingly urban, lacking basic urban services, such as waste management. In this context, the design of new development pathways based on the principles of the circular economy is a promising alternative to align biodiversity conservation and urban changes. Here, based on an analysis of Carauari municipality in the western Brazilian Amazon, is a discussion on how the principles of the circular economy can be integrated in the Amazonian urban development frontline using the existing co-management organizations.

The Circular Design Guide
Design underpins all circularity. This website provides multiple resources to both understand and begin implementing circular design.

Circular Economy Asia
Variety of resources. Monthly magazine. Country specific Facebook pages. Case studies. Other educational resources.

Catalogue of best practice
Range of business examples from Spain that have been selected for demonstrating best practice in current implementation of circularity for business.

Circular Economy Glossary
Useful page to try and get common language on the topic from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Home
Huge news, education and resource site giving access to their work on circular economy.

Life Cycle Initiative
The Life Cycle Initiative is a public-private, multi-stakeholder partnership enabling the global use of credible life cycle knowledge by private and public decision makers hosted by UN Environment. It provides a global forum to ensure a science-based, consensus-building process to support decisions and policies towards the shared vision of sustainability as a public good. It delivers authoritative opinion on sound tools and approaches by engaging its multi-stakeholder partnership (including governments, businesses, scientific and civil society organizations). The Initiative facilitates the application of life cycle knowledge in the global sustainable development agenda in order to achieve global goals faster and more efficiently.

Circle-Economy
Circle Economy is a not-for-profit organization with a mission is to empower a global community of businesses, cities and governments to accelerate the transition to the circular economy through practical and scalable insights and solutions that address humanity’s greatest challenges.

CSCP
The Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) is an international nonprofit Think and Do tank that works with businesses, policy makers, partner organisations and civil society towards a good life.

WEF
Good listicle of 11 top companies leading the way in circular economy.

FICCI-Circular Economy India[pdf]

Circular Economy: The Kenyan Perspective [pdf]
Kenya has made significant efforts towards transiting to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. This is well spelt out in Kenya's Vision 2030 development agenda and in various laws, policies, plans and projects. The principles of circularity are key to achieving this mission and Kenya is already in transition to a circular economy.

Bioconnections as Enablers of Regenerative Circularity for the Built Environment by Henrique Sala Benites; Osmond, Paul
Learning from nature may be the most important step towards improving cities in the context of environmental and climate issues. However, many of the current approaches to make cities greener or more sustainable are still linear and insufficient to deal with these growing challenges. In this scenario, the adoption of regenerative and circular lenses for the built environment may foster a more holistic development based on what is good rather than what is less bad. In this article, it is proposed that bioconnectivity or bioconnections—a nature-focused approach based on biophilic design, biomimetics, and ecosystem services—may be an important enabler for the regeneration of the ecological and social boundaries of the planetary boundaries and doughnut economics models.

The Circular Economy and Benefits for Society [pdf]

Circular Economy Global Perspective [pdf]

Circular Economy in Industrial Parks Technologies for Competitiveness [pdf]

Circular Economy Plastics India Roadmap [pdf]

Circular economy in travel and tourism [pdf]

River Blue
River Blue is a documentary to link fashion, economy and climate. You can watch it hear & learn more on the cruelties of fashion and clothing around the world. As one of the largest pollutants and GHG emitters, the fashion industry needs to transform and produce more responsibly. But what role do users have?

Circularity in Canada
Circular Economy leadership Canada provides a range of reports and other resources in the areas of: Circular North America; Circular Plastics; Built Environment; Circular Food Systems; Metals and Minerals; Circular Business Leaders.

Manufacturer efforts in tech production
Circularity in Intel’s Semiconductor Manufacturing: Recovery and Reuse - company white paper. Useful for students to see corporate report writing.
Circular Economy in travel & Tourism [pdf]
This paper introduces and explores the potential of Circular Economy inspired ideas and practices to guide a more sustainable, resilient and future-proof development of the travel and tourism industry.

enel – Circular cities: Cities of tomorrow [pdf]

Circular Economy in Europe
Good overview report from the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Towards a Circular Economy Taxation Framework: Expectations and Challenges of Implementation
At school level there is a tendency to focus on what the direct solutions to problems look like e.g. installing water pumps to provide clean water. But financing is a crucial hidden element of sustainability solutions and taxation is a key area of this element as governments are a cornerstone in the transitions required.

Problems with bio-plastic feeding into technical material recycling chains
Great reminder of the challenges facing circular initiatives especially at the material recovery stage.


Sustainable business forums:

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (wbcsd)
Range of articles and resources under a Vision 2050 agenda which encompasses circular economy; cities & mobility; climate & energy; food & nature; people & society; and redefining value.

EY Sustainability
Global giant EY has a dedicated part of its website for ESG related material. Good collection of topics covered.


Sustainable business case studies:

Dealing with toxic waste in agriculture
CampoLimpio(SM)* program is an environmental solution for the empty pesticide containers utilized in agriculture. CropLife Latin America is promoting this program in 18 Latin American countries, where the program is carried out by National Associations with the participation of producers, importers, authorities, distributors and farmers.

ESEC
Case study of a very specific product (manhole covers) being dealt with from a wholes life point of view.

Motivations adapted from sitra British Columbia [pdf]

Plastics in healthcare
NSW, Australia case study on planning for removal of plastics in the healthcare sector

Biofuels in developing economies
A case study from Kenya

Wooden skyscrapers
Canadian case study

Eco—i Manual: Eco-innovation implementation process [pdf]
To introduce a methodology for the implementation of eco-innovation within small and medium sized companies in developing and emerging economies. The intended audience of this manual is organizations that provide professional consulting services (referred to in this manual as the ‘Service Provider’) to inform, guide and support manufacturing companies to improve their sustainability performance as a strategy for developing new business models.

Business Models in the Circular Economy Concepts, Examples and Theory [pdf]

Case study of water management in Australia

Case study - the impact illegal oil refining on the environment in the Niger delta region.

Wastepickers case study
Good article in the world resources Institute about SWaCH Pune Seva Sahakari Sanstha (SWaCH), India’s first fully worker-owned cooperative of self-employed waste-collectors.

Microsoft Sustainability Executive playbook 2021 [pdf]
This executive playbook – commissioned by Microsoft and authored by EY – is designed to help business leaders identify how sustainable transformation, and specifically the reduction of carbon emissions, can benefit business as well as the environment.


Government/IGOs:

Our Common Future [pdf]

C40Cities
A global network of mayors taking urgent action to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone can thrive.

Eco-Industrial Parks from UNIDO
EIPs enable benefits from greater collaboration between tenant companies, service providers and local communities, allowing companies to transform environmental problems into efficiency gains, by using resources more effectively and enabling companies to draw on common services and infrastructure. UNIDO has developed a set of EIP Tools for industrial parks and policymakers. By using the tools parks and countries can advance the transformation of industrial parks and zones towards EIPs.

UNECE - UN Economic Commission for Europe
UNECE's major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. UNECE includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia. However, all interested United Nations member States may participate in the work of UNECE. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities which include many sustainability initiatives. [pdf]

Eco-innovation implementation process [pdf]

Climate Change and Agriculture  Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation [pdf]

Srilanka strategy for SD [pdf]

UN Stats
A robust follow-up and review mechanism for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires a solid framework of indicators and statistical data to monitor progress, inform policy and ensure accountability of all stakeholders. This is the Sustainable Development Goal indicators website.

Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative [CGRi]
In January 2018, the first Circularity Gap Report was published during the World Annual Forum in Davos. This first report established that our world is only 9.1% circular, leaving a massive circularity gap. It also provided a framework and fact-base to measure and monitor progress in bridging the global circularity gap. Efforts to measure the circular economy have grown into the Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative. The Initiative delivers an annual global circularity metric that measures the state of the world economy and identifies key levers to transition to global circularity. It also provides insights into the circularity gap of individual countries and sectors.

Bruntland Commission, 1987: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future [pdf]

International Resource Panel (IRP)
The International Resource Panel (IRP) was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2007 to build and share the knowledge needed to improve our use of resources worldwide. The Panel consists of eminent scientists with expertise in resource management issues. It studies key questions around global resource use and produces assessment reports that distill the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic findings to inform decision-making.

Happiness – the development alternative [pdf]
The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan represents a rare context for the study and operationalization of a living development alternative that challenges GDP-metrics. The nation is best known for the articulation and practice of an innovative alternative and sustainable development path, exemplified in Gross National Happiness (GNH) which this paper explores.

OECD
Both general development insights and specific sustainability topic areas provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Includes data section.

WEF
The World Economic Forum has a section of its site dedicated to circular economy.

EU4Environment
EU supported group for environment policy and initiatives in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine.

Circular Economy Coalition for Latin America and the Caribbean
To provide a regional platform to enhance inter-ministerial, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation, increase knowledge and understanding on circular economy, provide capacity building and technical assistance for the development of public policies for circular economy and sustainable consumption and production.

Zero Waste Scotland
Not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund to help accelerate circular economy and resource efficiency work with SMEs in Scotland. Wealth of resources and good for use as student case studies.

UNEP
Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future

Eionet Portal
The European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) is a partnership network of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its 38 member and cooperating countries. The EEA is responsible for developing Eionet and coordinating its activities together with National Focal Points (NFPs) in the countries.

The Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities (GI-REC)
A cooperation platform offered by UN Environment to connect many different institutions that are using systems approaches (specifically urban metabolism and morphology approaches) towards building low-carbon, resilient, and resource efficient cities. plenty of resources and info for students.

UNIDO
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization has a good resource page for Circular Economy.

The Circular Economy and Benefits for Society, Wijkman , A. & Skanberg , K., 2015 [pdf]
The central theme of this report is how to greatly enhance resource efficiency. The proposition is that a circular economy, where products are designed for ease of recycling, reuse, disassembly and remanufacturing should replace the traditional, linear ’take, make & dispose’ model that has dominated the economy so far. It broadly explores the potential for a significant increase in resource efficiency and to specifically assess what the main benefits for society would be looking at carbon emissions and employment in particular. It aims to provide valuable input to the discussion on the Commission’s new proposal, as well as national policies, particularly in terms of highlighting the opportunities offered by the Circular Economy for the EU’s competitiveness and jobs agenda.

UNEP circularity platform
Fantastic site with resources by sectors and by components of circularity. The UNEP Circularity Platform assembles a wide array of resources on the Circular Economy as well as its interlinkages with Sustainable Consumption and Production. If offers further details and case studies on UNEP's Circularity Diagram.

Wastewater as a resource - World Bank
An important paradigm shift is necessary at multiple levels to advance sustainable sanitation services toward a circular economy in which wastewater is considered a valuable resource rather than a liability. Energy, clean water, fertilizers, and nutrients can be extracted from wastewater—and used to help achieve the SDGs. In 2018 the World Bank launched the “Wastewater: From Waste to Resource” initiative in the LAC region, to address the wastewater challenge and raise awareness among decision makers about the potential of wastewater as a resource.

AI in the European Green Deal
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be deployed for a wide range of applications to promote the goals of the European Green Deal. However, adverse environmental impacts of AI could jeopardise the attainment of these goals. The report describes environmental potential, clarifies characteristics and causes of environmental risks, and outlines initiatives and best practices for environmental policies. It illustrates the need for regulatory action to align design and deployment of AI with the goals of the European Green Deal and concludes with specific recommendations. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA).


Sustainability education:

Healthy Materials Lab
A design research lab at Parsons School of Design dedicated to a world in which people’s health is placed at the center of all design decisions. Raising awareness about toxics in building products and to creating resources for the next generation of designers and architects to make healthier places for all people to live. Lots of resources across site.

Circular economy Club - Education
Comprehensive list of courses, forums and more to engage in CE work.

Kate Raworth , Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist
Economics is broken. It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its outdated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all of our futures. Can it be fixed? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth identifies seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet.

The Eight Manifestations of GNH- multiple meanings of a development alternative [pdf]

Doughnut Economics Action Lab
The Doughnut offers a vision of what it means for humanity to thrive in the 21st century - and Doughnut Economics explores the mindset and ways of thinking needed to get us there. First published in 2012 in an Oxfam report by Kate Raworth, the concept rapidly gained traction internationally, from the UN General Assembly to the Occupy movement. This site builds on that work.

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
Yale social scientists studying the causes and consequences of public opinion and behavior with relation to climate.

Divestment map
Interesting visualization of who has been divesting from fossil fuels by  GoFossilFree.

The Donella Meadows Project
Dr. Donella H. Meadows, a Pew Scholar in Conservation and Environment and a MacArthur Fellow, was one of the most influential environmental thinkers of the twentieth century. After receiving a Ph.D in biophysics from Harvard, she joined a team at MIT applying the relatively new tools of system dynamics to global problems. She became principal author of The Limits to Growth (1972), which sold more than 9 million copies in 26 languages. She went on to author or co-author eight other books. This site preserves her legacy and is a source of great resources.

Marine Litter Vital Graphics [pdf]
Incredible report detailing and visualizing marine litter.

GRID Arendal
GRID-Arendal is a non-profit environmental communications centre which transforms environmental data into innovative, science-based information products and provide capacity-building services. They aim to inform and activate a global audience and motivate decision-makers to effect positive change. GRID-Arendal collaborates with the United Nations Environment Programme and other partners around the world.

UN Environment, 2018: Mapping of global plastics value chain and plastics losses to the environment [pdf]
This report provides a comprehensive global mapping of plastic losses to the environment throughout the plastic value chain using 2015 as the reference year. This mapping covers plastics production and processing, use of plastics or plastic containing products, and disposal of the products.

Stockholm Resilience Centre
An international research centre on resilience and sustainability science at the University of Stockholm.

SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES options & opportunities [pdf]
This publication provides a sample of opportunities that can be tailored and applied at the city level to introduce and promote more sustainable lifestyles. Its aim is to enhance understanding of what are more sustainable ways of living and to raise awareness of what can be done, including actions inspired by efforts in the field.

One Planet Network
The One Planet network is a global community of practitioners, policymakers and experts, including governments, businesses, civil society, academia and international organisations, that implements the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production and works towards achieving SDG 12: ensuring sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
It is comprised of thousands of individual members; six thematic programmes and their partner organisations; numerous working groups; and over 140 national focal points for sustainable consumption and production within country governments. Serving as the secretariat of the 10YFP, the United Nations Environment Programme facilitates the One Planet network.
Collectively, the One Planet network holds enormous experience and expertise on sustainable consumption and production, and houses a global repository of projects, policies, tools and resources.

IGES – Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) was established in March 1998 under an initiative of the Japanese government and with the support of Kanagawa Prefecture based on the “Charter for the Establishment of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies”. The aim of the Institute is to achieve a new paradigm for civilization and conduct innovative policy development and strategic research for environmental measures, reflecting the results of research into political decisions for realising sustainable development both in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

Science Based Targets
The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi’s Corporate Net Zero Standard is the world’s first framework for corporate net zero target setting in line with climate science. It includes the guidance, criteria, and recommendations companies need to set science based net zero targets consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 C.

Canadian International School
Dulwich College Singapore

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