New Frontiers journal to address humanity’s global sustainability challenges

Worldwide material consumption reached 92.1 billion tons in 2017, with rates projected to increase to 190 billion tons by 2060. This reflects the increased demand for natural resources that has defined the past decades, resulting in an excessive burden on environmental resources (Report of the Secretary-General, Sustainable Development Goals).

“Since the industrial revolution, the world has witnessed phenomenal economic and population growth,” explains Professor Sangwon Suh, Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Sustainability. “On the one hand, progress has certainly been made on various fronts: life expectancy at birth, nutrition, and urban air quality of many cities around the world, especially in recent decades. On the other hand, growing evidence shows alarming rates of species extinction, global climate change, and disruption in biogeochemical cycles, calling into serious question the continuity of the earth system’s ability to provide vital life-supporting functions. These constitute global sustainability challenges that humanity is facing today.”

Our new journal Frontiers in Sustainability aims to “serve as a premier cross-disciplinary platform for major advancement in our understanding of the causes, current status, and future prospects of (and the potential solutions to) global sustainability challenges,” says Prof Suh.

Professor Suh became interested in environmental science at junior high school after watching the documentary film ‘Urban Birds’. The film identified biomagnification of persistent chemicals discharged from nearby manufacturing facilities as the cause of urban bird death.

“The documentary made a big impact on me; I was so determined that I decided to pursue an environmental career without understanding what it really meant,” he says. “Soon I found myself reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which shaped and corroborated my passion in the sustainability of technology-environment interactions.”

Frontiers in Sustainability will deal with sustainable production and consumption. “I also hope the journal will present solutions to natural resources and environmental degradation,” concludes Prof Suh.

The new open-access journal includes five specialty sections headed by leading experts:

Multi-criteria Decision Making, led by Jingzheng Ren, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Quantitative Sustainability Assessment, led by Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sustainable Supply Chain Management, led by Biswajit Sarkar, Yonsei University
Sustainable Organizations, led by Rodrigo Lozano, Gävle University College
Sustainable Chemical Process Design, led by Mahmoud M El-Halwagi, Texas A&M University

The following article collections are now open for submissions:

Climate Change Mitigation and Environmental Benefit of Eco-Industrial Development and Regional Symbiosis Practices

Non-Linearity in Life Cycle Assessment

Frontiers journals also consistently rank among the world’s most-cited in their fields and in the top Impact Factor and CiteScore percentiles. Discover more.

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