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 Association
- Describes sustainable development in increasingly detailed progression, from a broad overview to specific tools and methods
- Six chapter length case studies on such topics as biopolymers, electric cars, bamboo, and lighting vividly illustrate the sustainable development process from a materials perspective
- Business 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