The Foundations of Sustainability and the Implications for Transport Modes

  • Paul Nieuwenhuis


In this chapter there is presented a radical interpretation of sustainability that pushes at the boundaries of the conventional approaches contained by sustainable supply chain management. The chapter is grounded in the historical development of the policy treatment of transportation and sustainability, in which it is argued that there is a complex interplay between the technically possible and the politically acceptable. The sustainability agenda is shown to be an emergent property of an evolving discourse, traced back here to key milestone events such as the Club of Rome reports in the 1970s. The chapter argues that we have neglected the cultural basis of sustainability as it is currently defined, and illustrates this view by reference to the treatment of this issue by other cultures in other times and places. Indeed, the continuity of concern over environmental matters is the predominant feature, rather than a recent ‘new’ emergence. The chapter concludes with an awkward question: Have the achievements of the past 50 years made transport or supply chains more ‘sustainable’?


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Nieuwenhuis
    • 1
  1. 1.Formerly at Cardiff Business SchoolCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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