Exploring the possibility of a systematic and generic approach to social sustainability

Merlina Missimer*, Karl Henrik Robrt, Gran Broman, Harald Sverdrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing need to understand how existing concepts and tools for sustainability relate to each other and to a robust, trans-disciplinary systems perspective for sustainability. As a response, a group of scientists, including some of the authors, have developed a framework based on backcasting from sustainability principles over the last 20 years the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), also known as The Natural Step Framework. The intent of this study is to scrutinize the existing framework as regards its social dimension. The study demonstrates dichotomies and lack of robustness and proposes a way forward to make the social dimension of the FSSD more cohesive as well as operational.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1112
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support from the Real Change Funding Partners – VINNOVA (The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems), Tillväxtverket (Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth), FORMAS (Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning), Naturvårdsverket (Swedish Environment Protection Agency) and Energimyndigheten (Swedish Energy Agency) – is gratefully acknowledged.

Other keywords

  • Framework for strategic sustainable development
  • Social sustainability
  • Sustainability principles
  • System analysis
  • The natural step framework


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