Framework for selecting and setting boundaries for social sustainability indicators in a life cycle perspective

Mia Heide*, Nana Kira Prisholm Skrøder, Sara Føns Steffen, Michael Hauschild, Morten Ryberg

*Corresponding author for this work

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The historical consumption of natural resources to fulfil the demands of the growing population have resulted in severe environmental degradation. Therefore, understanding the role of fulfilment of human needs and the social aspect of sustainability is crucial in the transition towards more sustainable societies. We present a methodological framework for a social sustainability assessment that includes a full life cycle perspective and is based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The framework comprehends operationalisation of the social aspects of the SDGs and includes means/tools to achieve the environmental targets through a six-step guide. A demonstration of the method’s application is given by applying the six-step framework to a case study: the Danish building sector focusing on SDGs 3 Good health and well-being, 7 Affordable and clean energy, 8 Decent work and economic growth, 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 10 Reduced inequalities and 11 Sustainable cities and communities, 12 Responsible consumption and production, 13 Climate action and 15 Life on land. The final social indicators and the associated targets indicate in which areas a building is absolute social sustainable and in which areas the social performance falls short. The developed framework supports an informed and transparent selection of relevant social indicators across the life cycle while setting objective absolute targets.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012080
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventSBE23-Thessaloniki: Sustainable built environments: Paving the way for achieving the targets of 2030 and beyond - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 22 Mar 202324 Mar 2023




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