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Sustainability dimensions

In order to deepen the understanding of different sustainability perspectives, the school have developed a supportive narrative in the form of 14 "sustainability dimensions". The dimensions (as we call them ) categorize and define different sustainability related knowledge areas that we think are essential for a comprehensive understanding. The dimensions also make up the benchmark upon which we evaluate and discuss program related contents and development needs.


1. Natural limitations
Demographic development and lifestyle issues in relation to the exploitation of natural resources (including energy) or the limited capacity of the ecosystems to meet the human demand.

2. Governance and administration
How politics, regulatory frameworks, and voluntary agreements (such as standards) affect the use of natural resources, ecosystems, and the environment (including health effects).

3. Human rights and issues of justice
Issues related to resource distribution, discrimination and poverty; the interaction between social injustices, environmental degradation, and people’s opportunities for self-realization.

4. Social dilemmas
Conditions for human cooperation in situations where a cooperative approach will benefit all parties in the long term while each actor based on narrow self-interest will benefit from not cooperating.

5. Entrepreneurship and markets
Social or environmental consequences of corporate behavior and the functioning of markets, and how market failures can be reduced by changing the way businesses act as well as the policy instruments used to regulate the functioning of markets.

6. Ethics and responsibility
The relevance of ethics and responsibility to individuals, organizations, and societies in social, economic, and environmental matters.

7. Values, norms, and culture
How social norms, culture, and values affect ecosystems and people’s well-being via for example consumption behavior, product design, and production methods.

8. Consumer and customer power
How consumers and public and private customers can influence business opportunities and the products and services offered by businesses through demands for social responsibility and environmental considerations.

9. Leadership and management principles
Work models conducive to sustainability objectives and the development of democracy, participation, long-term planning, and a broader view of corporate value creation (for example social entrepreneurship).

10. Follow-up, communication, and transparency
How different actors in society report, follow up on, communicate, and evaluate stated objectives and goal achievement in relation to social issues and environmental performance.

11. Planning and design
How community planning and the design of products and services affect people’s well-being and the environment.

12. Financial regulation
Regulatory and responsibility issues of relevance to the vulnerability of economic and financial systems; historical perspectives on financial and debt crises.

13. Sustainability science
An emerging scientific discipline that addresses broad social and environmental challenges with a problem-oriented focus and an interdisciplinary approach.

14. Sustainability as a concept
The concept of sustainable development and its political, cultural, and idea-historical connections.

Page Manager: Mattias Sundemo|Last update: 4/19/2016

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