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The Challenges of Applying Planetary Boundaries as a Basis for Strategic Decision-Making in Companies with Global Supply Chains

Clift, Roland, Sim, S, King, H, Chenoweth, Jonathan, Christie, Ian, Clavreul, J, Mueller, C, Posthuma, L, Boulay, A-M, Chaplin-Kramer, R , Chatterton, J, DeClerck, F, Druckman, Angela, France, Christopher, Franco, A, Gerten, D, Goedkoop, M, Hauschild, MZ, Huijbregts, MAJ, Koellner, T, Lambin, EF, Lee, Jacquetta, Mair, Simon, Marshall, S, McLachlan, MS, Milà i Canals, L, Mitchell, C, Price, E, Rockström, J, Suckling, James and Murphy, Richard (2017) The Challenges of Applying Planetary Boundaries as a Basis for Strategic Decision-Making in Companies with Global Supply Chains Sustainability, 9 (2).

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Abstract

The Planetary Boundaries (PB) framework represents a significant advance in specifying the ecological constraints on human development. However, to enable decision-makers in business and public policy to respect these constraints in strategic planning, the PB framework needs to be developed to generate practical tools. With this objective in mind, we analyse the recent literature and highlight three major scientific and technical challenges in operationalizing the PB approach in decision-making: first, identification of thresholds or boundaries with associated metrics for different geographical scales; second, the need to frame approaches to allocate fair shares in the ‘safe operating space’ bounded by the PBs across the value chain and; third, the need for international bodies to co-ordinate the implementation of the measures needed to respect the Planetary Boundaries. For the first two of these challenges, we consider how they might be addressed for four PBs: climate change, freshwater use, biosphere integrity and chemical pollution and other novel entities. Four key opportunities are identified: (1) development of a common system of metrics that can be applied consistently at and across different scales; (2) setting ‘distance from boundary’ measures that can be applied at different scales; (3) development of global, preferably open-source, databases and models; and (4) advancing understanding of the interactions between the different PBs. Addressing the scientific and technical challenges in operationalizing the planetary boundaries needs be complemented with progress in addressing the equity and ethical issues in allocating the safe operating space between companies and sectors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Clift, RolandR.Clift@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Sim, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
King, HUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chenoweth, JonathanJ.Chenoweth@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Christie, IanI.Christie@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Clavreul, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mueller, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Posthuma, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Boulay, A-MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chaplin-Kramer, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chatterton, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
DeClerck, FUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Druckman, AngelaA.Druckman@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
France, ChristopherC.France@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Franco, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gerten, DUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Goedkoop, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hauschild, MZUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Huijbregts, MAJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Koellner, TUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lambin, EFUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lee, JacquettaJ.Lee@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Mair, Simons.mair@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Marshall, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McLachlan, MSUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Milà i Canals, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mitchell, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Price, EUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rockström, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Suckling, Jamesj.suckling@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Murphy, Richardrj.murphy@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 15 February 2017
Identification Number : 10.3390/su9020279
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Uncontrolled Keywords : planetary boundaries; biodiversity; climate change; chemical pollution; water use; business
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 Feb 2017 11:26
Last Modified : 09 Aug 2017 09:08
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/813566

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