This book, from noted materials selection authority Mike Ashby, provides a structure and framework for analyzing sustainable development and the role of materials in it. The aim is to introduce ways of exploring sustainable development to readers in a way that avoids simplistic interpretations and approaches complexity in a systematic way. There is no completely "right" answer to questions of sustainable development – instead, there is a thoughtful, well-researched response that recognizes concerns of stakeholders, the conflicting priorities and the economic, legal and social aspects of a technology as well as its environmental legacy. The intent is not to offer solutions to sustainability challenges but rather to improve the quality of discussion and enable informed, balanced debate.
Winner of a 2016 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors AssociationDescribes sustainable development in increasingly detailed progression, from a broad overview to specific tools and methodsSix chapter length case studies on such topics as biopolymers, electric cars, bamboo, and lighting vividly illustrate the sustainable development process from a materials perspectiveBusiness and economic aspects are covered in chapters on corporate sustainability and the "circular materials economy"Support for course use includes online solutions manual and image bank