eCite Digital Repository

‘Social stuff’ and all that jazz: understanding the residual category of social sustainability


Alexander, KA and Amundsen, VS and Osmundsen, TC, Social stuff' and all that jazz: understanding the residual category of social sustainability, Environmental Science and Policy, 112 pp. 61-68. ISSN 1462-9011 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2020.06.003


Recently we have seen a substantial increase in pressure for industries, such as aquaculture, to become more sustainable. When it comes to practical attempts to operationalise sustainable development, however, the ‘social stuff’ is often neglected. In this paper, we provide a detailed exploration of how the concept of social sustainability is operationalised (and therefore understood) within the aquaculture certification context. We found that a) certification schemes do address social sustainability, but relevant indicators mostly focus on workers’ rights, or link directly back to environmental sustainability (through the consequences of environmental impact on humans); and b) the actions required often add little over and above existing legal requirements. Essentially, aquaculture sustainability certification schemes have not (yet) taken the opportunity to further shape our understanding of what social sustainability means, or how it is practiced. The consequence of this may be the impression that industries are truly sustainable, just because they have obtained sustainability certification.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social sustainability, aquaculture, certification, social Indicators, aquaculture
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Environmental sociology
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Aquaculture fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Alexander, KA (Dr Karen Alexander)
ID Code:139434
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2020-06-16
Last Modified:2022-08-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page