Sustainability

Definition

Sustainability is essentially the ability to endure, for example by exploiting resources in a way that does not deplete their future availability or unduly damage the wider environment. This concept has been incorporated in the idea of sustainable development.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Organic agriculture requires fewer inputs but produces lower yields than conventional farming. Here, via a modeling approach, Muller et al. predict that if food waste and meat consumption are reduced, organic agriculture could feed the world without requiring cropland expansion.

    • Adrian Muller
    • , Christian Schader
    • , Nadia El-Hage Scialabba
    • , Judith Brüggemann
    • , Anne Isensee
    • , Karl-Heinz Erb
    • , Pete Smith
    • , Peter Klocke
    • , Florian Leiber
    • , Matthias Stolze
    •  & Urs Niggli
  • Research | | open

    N-methylated amines display high biological activity in living organisms. Here, the authors show the convenient synthesis of a wide range of biologically relevant N-methylamines via reduction of nitrobenzenes using a recyclable iron catalyst and paraformaldehyde without additional hydrogen pressure.

    • Kishore Natte
    • , Helfried Neumann
    • , Rajenahally V. Jagadeesh
    •  & Matthias Beller
  • Research |

    Empirical two-part models describe the relationship between conservation spending, human development pressures and biodiversity loss and can inform sustainable development strategies by predicting the effects of financing decisions on future biodiversity losses.

    • Anthony Waldron
    • , Daniel C. Miller
    • , Dave Redding
    • , Arne Mooers
    • , Tyler S. Kuhn
    • , Nate Nibbelink
    • , J. Timmons Roberts
    • , Joseph A. Tobias
    •  & John L. Gittleman
    Nature 551, 364–367
  • Reviews |

    Incorporating marine biomes into the planetary boundaries framework promotes integrated understanding of biophysical limits and earth system governance.

    • Kirsty L. Nash
    • , Christopher Cvitanovic
    • , Elizabeth A. Fulton
    • , Benjamin S. Halpern
    • , E. J. Milner-Gulland
    • , Reg A. Watson
    •  & Julia L. Blanchard
  • Research | | open

    The consequences of poverty eradication on limiting warming to 2 °C are not fully clear. Here, Hubacek et al. find that while ending extreme poverty does not jeopardize the climate target, moving everybody to a modest expenditure level increases required mitigation rate by 27%

    • Klaus Hubacek
    • , Giovanni Baiocchi
    • , Kuishuang Feng
    •  & Anand Patwardhan

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Quality requirements for water differ by intended use. Sustainable management of water resources for different uses will not only need to account for demand in water quantity, but also for water temperature and salinity, nutrient levels and other pollutants.

    • Michelle T.H. van Vliet
    • , Martina Flörke
    •  & Yoshihide Wada
    Nature Geoscience 10, 800–802
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The European infrastructures EMPHASIS and AnaEE aim to collaborate in bringing innovative solutions for a sustainable intensification of agriculture. By integrating the study of plant phenomics and agricultural ecology they hope to foster the development of novel scientific concepts, sensors and integrated models.

    • Jacques Roy
    • , François Tardieu
    • , Michèle Tixier-Boichard
    •  & Ulrich Schurr
    Nature Plants 3, 756–758
  • News and Views |

    Strategies that reduce fossil-fuel use can achieve both global carbon mitigation and local health-protection goals. Now research shows the dual benefits of compact urban design and circular economy policies in Chinese cities.

    • Nadine Ibrahim
  • News and Views |

    Social norms are the dominant behavioural patterns in a group that affect how people follow rules and regulations. A new modelling study shows, for different localities around the world, how the combination of biophysical context and social norms affects cooperation in water conservation.

    • Marco A. Janssen
  • News and Views |

    A global spatial analysis based on biophysical modelling identifies that vast swathes of the ocean are suitable for marine aquaculture development.

    • Max Troell
    • , Malin Jonell
    •  & Patrik John Gustav Henriksson