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24 Research products, page 1 of 3

  • Canada
  • 2017-2021
  • Open Access
  • VIUSpace
  • Energy Research

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frederic Fovet;
    Publisher: Indonesian Journal of Disability Studies
    Country: Canada

    Sustainability in Higher Education is usually interpreted as a concept applying solely to operations management and energy policy. Though the applicability of the concept to social justice is immediately tangible, few campuses have found organic and pragmatic ways to extend principles of sustainability to their equity, diversity or inclusion practices, or to convince their community of the need to do so. This study examines the unique experience of North American campus having attempted this progressive osmosis between the two concepts. Access has represented the opportunity for this rethink. As individual, retroactive accommodations become increasingly obsolete when it comes to providing access to learning to large number of students with specific needs entering post-secondary education, sustainability has become an increasingly appealing lens with which to devise a new framework for inclusion seeking systemic change in pedagogical practices. The North American campus in question implemented a proactive drive for the implementation of Universal Design for Learning from 2011 and this paper presents the analysis of the various and complex ways access and sustainability have become entwined in campus policies. The outcomes are particularly relevant for the Global South in that it may encourage Higher Education institutions in developing countries to avoid the temporary appeal of medical model based measures of inclusion and the precedents set in the Global North over the last two decades, and to focus instead on social model based policies that seek the development of sustainable and inclusive teaching practices from the onset. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Brian Belcher; Rachel Claus; Rachel Davel; Luisa F. Ramirez;
    Publisher: Environmental Science & Policy
    Country: Canada
    Project: SSHRC

    This article is published under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). More and more effective research is needed to help address complex sustainability problems. Many research approaches have adopted more transdisciplinary characteristics as a way to improve effectiveness. However, empirical evidence of the extent to which and how transdisciplinary research design and implementation contribute to (more) effective scientific and social outcomes remains limited. This paper reports a comparative analysis of five research-for-development projects implemented in Peru and Indonesia to: characterize the extent to which projects employed transdisciplinary principles; assess the extent to which and how intended project outcomes were achieved; analyze the relationship between transdisciplinary research approaches and outcomes; and provide lessons from the experience of using a theory-based approach to evaluate a set of case studies. Our analysis demonstrates that the projects employing more transdisciplinary principles in their design and implementation make more diverse contributions and have a greater breadth of influence.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Newton, Chris;
    Country: Canada

    Peatland communities in western Canada have slowly developed over thousands of years with wildfires being a constant influence on these systems. As fires move through mature peatland communities, the aftermath is an open landscape where pioneer peatland species establish and develop. The open landscape supports the growth of successional species to create a mature forest, which is then ready for the fire interval cycle to continue. Fire cycles have been a constant on the landscape with little disruption; however, as climate change in western Canada has altered precipitation and temperature regimes, typical vegetation succession patterns that establish after peatland fires may be changing. The Chisholm fire of 2001 burned over 116,000 hectares of forest in northern Alberta, with most of the area being peatlands (treed fens). Vegetation surveys were completed throughout 2018 and 2019 within the burned peatlands of the Chisholm area and compared to an unburnt control area to identify species richness, diversity, composition and vegetation trends. I found, within the re-establishing peatland, a healthy, thriving and diverse community that is developing towards a community similar to the offsite mature treed fen. After almost 20 years of recovery, the affected vegetation community is dominated by peatland species. With temperatures and precipitation levels continually changing, the area is at a transition state in which the community may be maintained on the landscape or the area may experience a regime shift to a drier state.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Zhao, Joan;
    Country: Canada

    China’s rapid economic growth in the past four decades has led to serious negative impacts on ambient air quality. Studies identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the major cause of smog, which harms both human health and the environment. Nevertheless, VOC control faces tremendous challenges, especially when small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the furniture sector that account for a large percentage of VOCs in China find current, on-the-market technologies impractical and costly. To alleviate this problem, SunHub Inc. proposed a comprehensive 4-stage solution for abating VOCs at all stages of the production process. My study uses action research to assess the sustainability of SunHub’s solution and finds that it is indeed sustainable. To reach this conclusion, I conduct a two-phase case study. The first phase reviews the literature to determine the appropriate sustainability indicators for assessment, while the second phase analyzes SunHub’s documents and email correspondence with stakeholders.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Schwass, Tamara;
    Country: Canada

    Red Deer, Alberta hosted Canada’s largest amateur sporting event in February 2019, the Canada Winter Games (CWG). There is little research on sustainability on the scale of a national amateur sporting event or impacts within the host community. Therefore, the research questions asked: can the introduction of sustainability initiatives through a sporting event truly have a lasting impact on the future of sustainability practices in Red Deer? Pre- and post-Game interviews were conducted with the sustainability managers and individuals at organizations involved in planning the Games. The results highlight that local community members are instrumental in affecting change by setting goals and it is critical to engage in planning sustainable initiatives as early as possible. Hosting the Games served as a catalyst for a range of sustainability initiatives in the City of Red Deer, which suggests that sustainable practices are likely to grow in the community.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Alexander, Don;
    Country: Canada

    In the past fifty years, various concepts have emerged that have the potential to assist societies in achieving greater sustainability. In this article I will briefly review the evolution of the bioregion and biosphere reserve concepts, look at definitional issues, at their similarities and differences, and at their relative strengths and weaknesses as vehicles for promoting the greater sustainability of human societies. https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/5436/Bioregions.pdf?sequence=4

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Littlemore, Richard;
    Country: Canada

    Hope is often credited as an inspiration for action and, in difficult circumstances, a protection against despair. But ill-considered hope can be an unreliable helper. If people choose only to hope for a happy outcome, rather than acting in their own interest, they risk losing the opportunity to improve their situation. Putting faith in hope alone, they may also find that, after crossing a critical marker, hope’s protection evaporates, suddenly and at great emotional cost. In that context and in the face of the gathering threat of climate change, this thesis records the search for a strategy that is better than hope – more active, robust and resilient. The search, including interviews with five high-profile and highly accomplished exemplars, suggests there might be value in simply recognizing the full extent of the threat and then embracing action in pursuit of a goal that is worthy, irrespective of a hoped-for result.

  • Publication . Article . 2021 . Embargo End Date: 12 Aug 2021
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Susan Morrissey Wyse; Runa Das; Christina E. Hoicka; Yuxu Zhao; Maria-Louise McMaster;
    Publisher: Frontiers Media
    Country: Canada

    The diffusion of low-carbon innovations, including innovative products and services, is required to accelerate a low-carbon energy transition. These innovations also have the potential to alleviate and perpetuate existing social inequities, calling into question their “justness.” Energy justice is a useful analytical tool for framing justice questions related to energy. In this paper, we ask whether demand-side low-carbon energy innovations are meeting energy justice criteria. To address this question, this study develops four indicators from existing energy justice frameworks and applies them to a range of demand-side innovations offered to energy users in Ontario. The indicators are used to assess innovation availability, affordability, information, and involvement. Innovations were identified using surveys and desk research across Ontario's energy technology innovation system (ETIS). One hundred twenty-two innovations are analyzed for these four indicators, and according to intended innovation users and innovation providers. Findings suggest that three of the four indicators—availability, affordability and information are broadly being addressed, while involvement was more difficult to establish. However, the ETIS may be perpetuating inequities through an over emphasis of innovations for particular energy users, such as private businesses, alongside under-emphasis on potentially marginalized actors, such as low-income households and renters. Furthermore, government-delivered, publicly owned or regulated innovation providers place a greater emphasis on energy justice, including the provision of innovations for marginalized actors. This study aids our understanding of energy justice in low-carbon energy innovations and is critical given that in the context of funding cuts to public services, there may be an increased reliance on decentralized actors. The consideration of justice gaps that emerge through such decentralization should not be overlooked. Our findings suggest that within Ontario's ETIS, who provides innovations matters. Given the insights presented in this study, this research approach and the developed indicators could be applied to other contexts and socio-technical systems. The application of energy justice indicators, derived from existing scholarship, therefore presents an important opportunity to address current and understudied practical energy challenges. Citation: Wyse SM, Das RR, Hoicka CE, Zhao Y and McMaster M-L (2021) Investigating Energy Justice in Demand-Side Low-Carbon Innovations in Ontario. Front. Sustain. Cities 3:633122. doi: 10.3389/frsc.2021.633122 Copyright © 2021 Wyse, Das, Hoicka, Zhao and McMaster. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). First publication by Frontiers Media. The definitive version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2021.633122

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Doan-Prévost, Julie;
    Country: Canada

    Several regulatory policies have been implemented in the past five years on methane mitigation and oil sands industry emission in Alberta, Canada; however, most effective technologies in methane reduction remain to be explored in the context of these new policies in the Alberta oil sands industry. The purpose of this research was to determine the most effective technologies, based on economic and environmental criteria, to mitigate methane emissions from Alberta’s upstream oil sands processes. This was achieved through qualitative analysis of current technologies, and the development and application of a qualitative risk analysis and quantitative cost-benefit analysis considering economic and environmental factors. I concluded that high risk technologies have the lowest ratio of cost to environmental benefit and suggest that more effective technologies incur a greater risk to the industry; conversely, precise emission inventories need to be completed in order to identify areas of high emissions in individual cases.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Hethey, Robin;
    Publisher: Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University
    Country: Canada

    Consumers are increasingly conscious of the toll that plastic has had on the environment, and packaging waste in particular is now under global scrutiny for its devastating effects. Although considered a scientific wonder for most of the last century and unquestioningly tied to modernity and convenience, many consumers are grappling with their plastic consumption as they come to terms with the extent of the environmental crisis. Increasingly, consumers worldwide are looking at their own behaviours and resolving to do what they can, including efforts to reduce and refuse plastic packaging. This study explores my experiences with plastic-free shopping by learning new behaviours, in an effort to develop lasting habits. Using a social practice theory approach, this autoethnographic account of my experience of a 30-day challenge, shares the complexities of trying to change my grocery shopping behaviours and how the ripple effects of these new behaviours were experienced in other areas of life. This research suggests that plastic-free shopping has the potential to be a driver of social change, but it exists within larger societal practices that present interesting challenges for individual sustainability. https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/23538/Hethey.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

search
Include:
The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
24 Research products, page 1 of 3
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frederic Fovet;
    Publisher: Indonesian Journal of Disability Studies
    Country: Canada

    Sustainability in Higher Education is usually interpreted as a concept applying solely to operations management and energy policy. Though the applicability of the concept to social justice is immediately tangible, few campuses have found organic and pragmatic ways to extend principles of sustainability to their equity, diversity or inclusion practices, or to convince their community of the need to do so. This study examines the unique experience of North American campus having attempted this progressive osmosis between the two concepts. Access has represented the opportunity for this rethink. As individual, retroactive accommodations become increasingly obsolete when it comes to providing access to learning to large number of students with specific needs entering post-secondary education, sustainability has become an increasingly appealing lens with which to devise a new framework for inclusion seeking systemic change in pedagogical practices. The North American campus in question implemented a proactive drive for the implementation of Universal Design for Learning from 2011 and this paper presents the analysis of the various and complex ways access and sustainability have become entwined in campus policies. The outcomes are particularly relevant for the Global South in that it may encourage Higher Education institutions in developing countries to avoid the temporary appeal of medical model based measures of inclusion and the precedents set in the Global North over the last two decades, and to focus instead on social model based policies that seek the development of sustainable and inclusive teaching practices from the onset. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Brian Belcher; Rachel Claus; Rachel Davel; Luisa F. Ramirez;
    Publisher: Environmental Science & Policy
    Country: Canada
    Project: SSHRC

    This article is published under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). More and more effective research is needed to help address complex sustainability problems. Many research approaches have adopted more transdisciplinary characteristics as a way to improve effectiveness. However, empirical evidence of the extent to which and how transdisciplinary research design and implementation contribute to (more) effective scientific and social outcomes remains limited. This paper reports a comparative analysis of five research-for-development projects implemented in Peru and Indonesia to: characterize the extent to which projects employed transdisciplinary principles; assess the extent to which and how intended project outcomes were achieved; analyze the relationship between transdisciplinary research approaches and outcomes; and provide lessons from the experience of using a theory-based approach to evaluate a set of case studies. Our analysis demonstrates that the projects employing more transdisciplinary principles in their design and implementation make more diverse contributions and have a greater breadth of influence.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Newton, Chris;
    Country: Canada

    Peatland communities in western Canada have slowly developed over thousands of years with wildfires being a constant influence on these systems. As fires move through mature peatland communities, the aftermath is an open landscape where pioneer peatland species establish and develop. The open landscape supports the growth of successional species to create a mature forest, which is then ready for the fire interval cycle to continue. Fire cycles have been a constant on the landscape with little disruption; however, as climate change in western Canada has altered precipitation and temperature regimes, typical vegetation succession patterns that establish after peatland fires may be changing. The Chisholm fire of 2001 burned over 116,000 hectares of forest in northern Alberta, with most of the area being peatlands (treed fens). Vegetation surveys were completed throughout 2018 and 2019 within the burned peatlands of the Chisholm area and compared to an unburnt control area to identify species richness, diversity, composition and vegetation trends. I found, within the re-establishing peatland, a healthy, thriving and diverse community that is developing towards a community similar to the offsite mature treed fen. After almost 20 years of recovery, the affected vegetation community is dominated by peatland species. With temperatures and precipitation levels continually changing, the area is at a transition state in which the community may be maintained on the landscape or the area may experience a regime shift to a drier state.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Zhao, Joan;
    Country: Canada

    China’s rapid economic growth in the past four decades has led to serious negative impacts on ambient air quality. Studies identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the major cause of smog, which harms both human health and the environment. Nevertheless, VOC control faces tremendous challenges, especially when small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the furniture sector that account for a large percentage of VOCs in China find current, on-the-market technologies impractical and costly. To alleviate this problem, SunHub Inc. proposed a comprehensive 4-stage solution for abating VOCs at all stages of the production process. My study uses action research to assess the sustainability of SunHub’s solution and finds that it is indeed sustainable. To reach this conclusion, I conduct a two-phase case study. The first phase reviews the literature to determine the appropriate sustainability indicators for assessment, while the second phase analyzes SunHub’s documents and email correspondence with stakeholders.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Schwass, Tamara;
    Country: Canada

    Red Deer, Alberta hosted Canada’s largest amateur sporting event in February 2019, the Canada Winter Games (CWG). There is little research on sustainability on the scale of a national amateur sporting event or impacts within the host community. Therefore, the research questions asked: can the introduction of sustainability initiatives through a sporting event truly have a lasting impact on the future of sustainability practices in Red Deer? Pre- and post-Game interviews were conducted with the sustainability managers and individuals at organizations involved in planning the Games. The results highlight that local community members are instrumental in affecting change by setting goals and it is critical to engage in planning sustainable initiatives as early as possible. Hosting the Games served as a catalyst for a range of sustainability initiatives in the City of Red Deer, which suggests that sustainable practices are likely to grow in the community.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Alexander, Don;
    Country: Canada

    In the past fifty years, various concepts have emerged that have the potential to assist societies in achieving greater sustainability. In this article I will briefly review the evolution of the bioregion and biosphere reserve concepts, look at definitional issues, at their similarities and differences, and at their relative strengths and weaknesses as vehicles for promoting the greater sustainability of human societies. https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/5436/Bioregions.pdf?sequence=4

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Littlemore, Richard;
    Country: Canada

    Hope is often credited as an inspiration for action and, in difficult circumstances, a protection against despair. But ill-considered hope can be an unreliable helper. If people choose only to hope for a happy outcome, rather than acting in their own interest, they risk losing the opportunity to improve their situation. Putting faith in hope alone, they may also find that, after crossing a critical marker, hope’s protection evaporates, suddenly and at great emotional cost. In that context and in the face of the gathering threat of climate change, this thesis records the search for a strategy that is better than hope – more active, robust and resilient. The search, including interviews with five high-profile and highly accomplished exemplars, suggests there might be value in simply recognizing the full extent of the threat and then embracing action in pursuit of a goal that is worthy, irrespective of a hoped-for result.

  • Publication . Article . 2021 . Embargo End Date: 12 Aug 2021
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Susan Morrissey Wyse; Runa Das; Christina E. Hoicka; Yuxu Zhao; Maria-Louise McMaster;
    Publisher: Frontiers Media
    Country: Canada

    The diffusion of low-carbon innovations, including innovative products and services, is required to accelerate a low-carbon energy transition. These innovations also have the potential to alleviate and perpetuate existing social inequities, calling into question their “justness.” Energy justice is a useful analytical tool for framing justice questions related to energy. In this paper, we ask whether demand-side low-carbon energy innovations are meeting energy justice criteria. To address this question, this study develops four indicators from existing energy justice frameworks and applies them to a range of demand-side innovations offered to energy users in Ontario. The indicators are used to assess innovation availability, affordability, information, and involvement. Innovations were identified using surveys and desk research across Ontario's energy technology innovation system (ETIS). One hundred twenty-two innovations are analyzed for these four indicators, and according to intended innovation users and innovation providers. Findings suggest that three of the four indicators—availability, affordability and information are broadly being addressed, while involvement was more difficult to establish. However, the ETIS may be perpetuating inequities through an over emphasis of innovations for particular energy users, such as private businesses, alongside under-emphasis on potentially marginalized actors, such as low-income households and renters. Furthermore, government-delivered, publicly owned or regulated innovation providers place a greater emphasis on energy justice, including the provision of innovations for marginalized actors. This study aids our understanding of energy justice in low-carbon energy innovations and is critical given that in the context of funding cuts to public services, there may be an increased reliance on decentralized actors. The consideration of justice gaps that emerge through such decentralization should not be overlooked. Our findings suggest that within Ontario's ETIS, who provides innovations matters. Given the insights presented in this study, this research approach and the developed indicators could be applied to other contexts and socio-technical systems. The application of energy justice indicators, derived from existing scholarship, therefore presents an important opportunity to address current and understudied practical energy challenges. Citation: Wyse SM, Das RR, Hoicka CE, Zhao Y and McMaster M-L (2021) Investigating Energy Justice in Demand-Side Low-Carbon Innovations in Ontario. Front. Sustain. Cities 3:633122. doi: 10.3389/frsc.2021.633122 Copyright © 2021 Wyse, Das, Hoicka, Zhao and McMaster. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). First publication by Frontiers Media. The definitive version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2021.633122

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Doan-Prévost, Julie;
    Country: Canada

    Several regulatory policies have been implemented in the past five years on methane mitigation and oil sands industry emission in Alberta, Canada; however, most effective technologies in methane reduction remain to be explored in the context of these new policies in the Alberta oil sands industry. The purpose of this research was to determine the most effective technologies, based on economic and environmental criteria, to mitigate methane emissions from Alberta’s upstream oil sands processes. This was achieved through qualitative analysis of current technologies, and the development and application of a qualitative risk analysis and quantitative cost-benefit analysis considering economic and environmental factors. I concluded that high risk technologies have the lowest ratio of cost to environmental benefit and suggest that more effective technologies incur a greater risk to the industry; conversely, precise emission inventories need to be completed in order to identify areas of high emissions in individual cases.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Hethey, Robin;
    Publisher: Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University
    Country: Canada

    Consumers are increasingly conscious of the toll that plastic has had on the environment, and packaging waste in particular is now under global scrutiny for its devastating effects. Although considered a scientific wonder for most of the last century and unquestioningly tied to modernity and convenience, many consumers are grappling with their plastic consumption as they come to terms with the extent of the environmental crisis. Increasingly, consumers worldwide are looking at their own behaviours and resolving to do what they can, including efforts to reduce and refuse plastic packaging. This study explores my experiences with plastic-free shopping by learning new behaviours, in an effort to develop lasting habits. Using a social practice theory approach, this autoethnographic account of my experience of a 30-day challenge, shares the complexities of trying to change my grocery shopping behaviours and how the ripple effects of these new behaviours were experienced in other areas of life. This research suggests that plastic-free shopping has the potential to be a driver of social change, but it exists within larger societal practices that present interesting challenges for individual sustainability. https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/23538/Hethey.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y