Maria Sandberg

Maria Sandberg

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Hanken School of Economics. My research focuses on transitions to environmentally sustainable production-consumption systems.

Location Finland

Activity

  • @ManYang It is absolutely quite the dilemma that social and environmental sustainability seem so hard to reconcile. As you point out, countries that perform well on social sustainability tend to have much too high ecological footprints, while countries with lower ecological footprints tend to not meet goals for social sustainability. This shows the difficulty...

  • @ManYang The paragraph you are quoting is of course a slight simplification, but if you look at the map for ecological footprints per person on the Global Footprint Network website, you can see that some of the highest ecological footprints per person are in North America, Australia, and Western Europe, while countries in Africa, South-East Asia and South...

  • And you can read more about sustainability of production for example here: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/our-work/supply-chain

  • @PatsyToland Check my pinned comment for some additional resources.

  • For those of you interested in learning more, here are some resources about sustainable consumption - I recommend in particular the first report about 1,5 degree lifestyles (the report is quite long, but the executive summary already gives good insights):
    Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Aalto University, D-mat ltd, 2019. 1.5-Degree Lifestyles:...

  • @MohammadAbdulQaium I absolutely agree with you that in the case of SDG 1, developing countries probably need to be the primary concern, especially for the first target of SDG 1, eradicating extreme poverty. But SDG 1 aims to "End poverty in all its forms everywhere", a goal that requires attention also in developed countries. This case is a reminder that...

  • For anyone interested in learning more about sustainable food production systems, I recommend this report, which is one of the most comprehensive analyses of the sustainability of food systems: https://eatforum.org/content/uploads/2019/01/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summary_Report.pdf

  • @PatsyToland It is important to understand that poverty looks very different in different contexts. In a country such as France having access to technology that gives you access to the Internet can be quite important to be able to function in society as more and more things are conducted online. In the case in the video, the smartphone is a tool for homeless...

  • Hi @AnnaC ! To not have too much content in any week of the course and keep your workload manageable, we only cover three SDGs every week. The SDGs that we have covered so far are examples of social, environmental, and economic sustainability, as you note, but also the other goals fall under these three dimensions of sustainability (e.g. SDG 1: No poverty and...

  • @AnnikaSjoberg This is a topic of much debate, as we touched upon in week 3 (step 3.10). If you want to learn more about what research says about the types of consumption changes that are needed, I recommend this report: https://www.iges.or.jp/en/pub/15-degrees-lifestyles-2019/en The executive summary already gives a quite good overview of how these...

  • Good points about the interlinkages and potential conflicts between different SDGs. Focusing on one SDG at a time is already complex. Trying to achieve several or all of them at once, as is needed, makes it even more difficult precisely because of issues such as the ones that you raise.

  • This is a really good point! The goal of economic growth tends to be taken as a given, without considering whether it is always a good thing. We will be discussing economic growth more later in the week, but you bring in a really good, additional perspective to the discussion.

  • @TimNott We actually have an example about tax avoidance in week 7 of the course!

  • @HeidiKoivisto There is some more recent information available on yearly "overshoot days" that you can look up if you are interested. The overshoot day is a way to illustrate ecological footprints, signifying the day of the year when we have used up the natural resources available to use for that year (read more here: https://www.overshootday.org/about/). By...

  • @WilliamChia From a consumption perspective, like the one used for the calculations in the linked article, emissions for transportation of goods would count towards the country in which the goods are consumed. But there are different ways to allocate emissions (e.g. production based or consumption based, as discussed in the article), so it depends on how the...

  • @SanteriSalmi You are absolutely right about the links between our consumption habits and the growth/decline of the economy. Perhaps there is a need to restructure the economy in response to issues such as this one. We will actually be covering this when we discuss economic growth in week 4!

  • Exactly! As production moves in particular from developed to developing countries, the environmental impact of the production shows up in the statistics of the country where the production is located, even though the goods are consumed somewhere else. This way, the emissions are "outsourced" and it may look like emissions of a country are falling even though...

  • Great point about access to technology @SharifaKhan !

  • Hi everyone! When looking at the data from the Global Footprint Network, make sure to check the "ecological footprint per person" for your country. This figure for your country can be compared to the global available biocapacity per person, estimated at 1.7 gha per person. The figures for biocapacity per person and biocapacity reserve/deficit compare the...

  • @ArashHassanian Since compiling the data is quite time consuming, it will lag a bit behind. But in general, the changes from year to year are not dramatic, so the data available still gives a good understanding of the current situation. An exception is the covid pandemic, which has had a big impact on the ecological footprint for the year 2020, as you can read...

  • Hi @PatsyToland! The main idea behind calculating ecological footprints is to measure our environmental impact by how much land area is needed to produce the natural resources that we use and to absorb the waste and pollution that we generate. This land area is measured with the unit global hectares (gha). The estimated available land area globally (1.7 gha...

  • Hi @MonaEllaithi You can take a look at how Raworth has measured the shortfall and overshoot in the Doughnut in the supplementary material of her article from 2017, linked above (link to supplementary material: https://ars-els-cdn-com.proxy.shh.fi/content/image/1-s2.0-S2542519617300281-mmc1.pdf). We will also in week 3 of the course look more closely at the...

  • Hi Jake! Good questions, which we will actually address later in the course, in particular the question of measurement in week 2 and the question of who decides on the goals in week 7.

  • Thank you! I think the Doughnut model illustrates sustainability challenges we are facing very well and I am glad that you think we have presented it in a clear way!

  • Hi Lauri! You are right that measuring sustainability can be difficult (though I would not go as far as to call it arbitrary), a question we will actually discuss in week 2 of the course. If you are interested in the indicators that Raworth has used to measure the shortfall and overshoot in the Doughnut, you can check the supplementary material of her article...

  • Welcome to the course everyone! Great to see such a diverse group of people here to learn about the SDGs!

  • This unfortunately is out of our control, since FutureLearn determines the pricing, I encourage you to give feedback to them about it. Otherwise, all learning material on the course is free to enable access to it for anyone interested.

  • Thank you to everyone that has participated in the course! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts on the SDGs and have through your comments and discussions gotten new insights into the diverse ways to think about and organise for the SDGs around the world. It has been a pleasure to be on this seven week journey with all of you!

    If you want, you...

  • There is quite a bit of academic studies on the reliability of sustainability reports, and as Marcos has experienced, the impression tends to be that they are not fully transparent accounts of companies' sustainability activities. One interesting study (https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/AAAJ-04-2012-00998/full/html) has compared what is...

  • Thank you for pointing out about the transcript! We will replace it with the correct one.

  • That is a very good example of the power of different actors to drive or hinder change that we talked about in week 6!

  • So inspiring to read about the great variety of actors our learners on the course are part of! As part of the actor that is Hanken School of Economics, I am trying to make my own small contribution towards the SDGs through my research and through this course. It is wonderful to see that we have people here working all over the world in such diverse roles to...

  • Yes, once structures of the physical environment are in place, they are quite difficult to change, and how the cities are built in many way directs our behavior to be more or less sustainable.

  • Very good example of how different the reality looks in different geographical contexts - different contexts require different actions.

  • We are also enjoying reading all of your comments! We have learners from such diverse backgrounds that bring different perspectives to the discussions!

  • A very interesting example of applying SDG 11 to a specific problem in a specific geographical context!

  • We are glad that you have found the discussions helpful! We have such a diverse group of learners sharing their thoughts, we are also learning from all of you!

  • Well said!

  • Good point about the power of different actors! We will discuss that later in the week (steps 6.10-6.11).

  • @ez That is not a bad idea at all! Many argue that we are currently too often reduced to our roles as consumers, even though we are also citizens, workers, friends and many other things, and we can try to change society not only as consumers but from other roles as well. For the specific SDG 12, our role as consumers is of course particularly relevant.

  • That is an excellent addition to the points in the text! The idea of consumer responsibility assumes a consumer in a quite privileged position, which is not the reality in the examples you brought up.

  • Good point about how people can have more than one role!