Stephen Morse

Professor Stephen Morse


Chair in Systems Analysis for Sustainability
+44 (0)1483 686079
14 BA 02

Academic and research departments

Centre for Environment and Sustainability.

Biography

Affiliations and memberships

Higher Education Academy
Fellow
Royal Geographical Society
Fellow
Royal Society of Biology
Fellow

Research

Research interests

Research collaborations

My teaching

My publications

Publications

Morse S., McNamara, N., Adamu S., Nathan N, Adedipe Y, Kabir M, Onwuaroh A and Otene N. (2020). Social Networks and Food Security in the Urban Fringe. Part of the ‘Urban Perspectives from the Global South’ series. Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland
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The book explores how social groups in the urban fringe of Abuja, Nigeria, engaged with a series of development projects spanning 15 years (2003 to 2018) which focused on the enhancement of food security for farming households. The groups were at the heart of these development projects and the book presents the many insights that were gained by farmers and project agents working within these partnerships and provides advice for those seeking to do the same. The book also explores how the social groups attempted to lever benefits from being near to the fastest growing city in Africa and a centre of economic and political power. While much has been written about social groups and their embeddedness within wider social networks in Africa and in other parts of the world, the exploration of the role of social groups within development projects is an area that remains relatively unchartered and this book seeks to fill that important gap in knowledge. It provides an important contribution for all those researching and working with social groups in the developing world
Morse S. (2019). The Rise and Rise of Indicators: Their History and Geography. Routledge, London.
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This book makes indicators more accessible, in terms of what they are, who created them and how they are used. It examines the subjectivity and human frailty behind these quintessentially ‘hard’ and technical measures of the world. To achieve this goal,  presents the world in terms of a selected set of indicators. The emphasis is upon the origins of the indicators and the motivation behind their creation and evolution. The ideas and assumptions behind the indicators are made transparent to demonstrate how changes to them can dramatically alter the ranking of countries that emerge. They are, after all, human constructs and thus embody human biases. The book concludes by examining the future of indicators and the author sets out some possible trajectories, including the growing emphasis on indicators as important tools in the Sustainable Development Goals that have been set for the world up until 2030. This is a valuable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of economics, sociology, geography, environmental studies, development studies, area studies, business studies, politics and international relations.
The Rise and Rise of Indicators
McNamara N and Morse S. (2018). Food Most Royal - Nurture for Posterity. On-Stream Publications, Cork, Ireland.
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Food security is a term that is hardly on the tips of most people’s tongues, especially those living in the Northern Hemisphere. But while the term may be unfamiliar, we can all recognise the outcomes of its opposite – food insecurity – namely, hunger, food banks and crop contamination. This book is about how we can work towards growing enough for everyone, available at the right quality and an affordable price. While food’s cultural significance is not always fully appreciated, most eating habits are strongly cultural, with indigenous foods prepared and presented in many ways. Can you imagine Ireland without the potato, or China without rice? The authors explore many aspects of food security within the context of a single African crop of major cultural significance — the white yam. Food Most Royal is a tribute to those who have worked for over four decades with a crop they cherish. It aims to encourage others to value food resources as a key element in preserving our environment.
Zhang D, Morse S and Kambhampati U. (2018). Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an important concept in the last few decades. Although it originated in the developed countries of the West, the concept has been embraced and adapted by corporations and policy-making agencies in many developing countries. Not surprisingly, given the importance of growth and development as policy objectives in these countries, CSR has had a significant impact on sustainable development. explores the evolution of CSR across the developed and developing world, with a particular focus on China and sustainable development. Through an extensive review of the literature and relevant case studies, the book examines whether CSR can make a contribution to sustainable development, how the patterns of CSR in developed Western economies compare to that in the rapidly growing economy of China, what trade-offs take place between CSR and economic growth as well as the future of CSR and its possible impact on the global sustainable development agenda. This book is a valuable resource for academics and upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of human/social geography, economics, business studies, sustainable development, development studies and environmental studies.
Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility
Bell, S, Berg T and Morse S. (2016). Rich Pictures: Encouraging Resilient Communities (Earthscan Tools for Community Planning). Routledge, London.
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focuses on the value of developing visual narratives – Rich Pictures – as an important component and starting point for community participation. A key device for the community to share ideas and perspectives on current and potential future situations, Rich Pictures provide a shared space for members to set out ideas and negotiate. While Rich Pictures are widely and globally used, this is the first book discussing their use, and how and when to use this technique for maximum participatory value. A valuable read for community engagement professionals, planners, politicians, and members of affected communities, is richly illustrated with examples and authors’ testimonials.
Rich PicturesRich Pictures
Morse S and McNamara N. (2013). Sustainable Livelihood Approach. A critical review of theory and practice. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
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We all view the ubiquitous term ‘sustainability’ as a worthwhile goal. But how can we apply the principles of sustainability in the real world, at the sharp end of communities in developing nations where income insecurity is the troubled norm? This volume provides some practical answers, explaining the precepts of the ‘sustainable livelihood approach’ (SLA) through the case study of a microfinance scheme in Africa. The case study, centered around the work of the Catholic Church’s Diocesan Development Services organization, involved an SLA implemented over two years designed in part to help enhance its existing microfinance operation through closer links between local communities and international donors. The book’s central conclusion is that we must move beyond the concept of sustainable livelihood itself, with its in-built polarities between developed and developing nations, and embrace a more global notion of ‘sustainable lifestyle’; a more nuanced and inclusive approach that encompasses not just how we make a sustainable living, but how we can live sustainable lives.
Bell S and Morse S. (2012). Resilient Participation: Saving the Human Project? Routledge, Abingdon.
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Stakeholder or public participation has become something of a modern mantra employed in all sorts of contexts to give people a voice. There are many variants on this 'participation' but traditionally they all share a desire to maximise involvement and provide desired 'outputs' of a required quality as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Difference tends to be reduced and compromise encouraged as the outputs or even just the appearance of participation are emphasised. This book explores the large and diverse range of participatory methods currently in use, examines the problems and gaps in these methods and sets out an innovative new methodology which overcomes these shortcomings. Uniquely, this method builds from the assumption that it is not just the outputs that matter in participation - it is also the journey. 'Triple Task' is designed to help groups explore their current situation and develop a path by which they can improve their functioning and ultimately make a positive contribution to the lives of others. The book includes in-depth case studies of Triple Task in action across a range of contexts and countries, with particular focus on an EU project concerning indicators in policy-making. This new approach can be used in any context and with any sort of group to help them produce more informative 'outputs' in which a deep reflection of how the group works is allied to an analysis of how problems can be solved.
Morse S (2010). Sustainability: A biological perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
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Encouraging students to engage in the challenges and complexity of sustainability, this text considers not only the theories underlying sustainability, but more importantly how theories are translated into practice and the difficulties of achieving this in the world in which we live. This pragmatic focus gives students a greater understanding of the practice of sustainability and highlights the challenges involved. Models and theories are illustrated throughout with real world examples to help students move away from the abstract and connect with genuine issues. The text begins by focusing on sustainable production and consumption and how they are related. The role of tools such as modelling and sustainability indicators are explored, and extended into the fields of stakeholder participation, livelihoods and evidence-based policy. The final chapter explores the interconnections between apparently disparate subjects and the importance of taking an interdisciplinary perspective.
Bell S and Morse S (editors) (2018). Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators and Indices. Routledge, London.
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This handbook provides researchers and students with an overview of the field of sustainability indicators (SIs) as applied in the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development. The editors have sought to include views from the center ground of SI development but also divergent ideas which represent some of the diverse, challenging and even edgy observations which are prominent in the wider field of SI thinking.
Morse S and McNamara N. (2020). Pesticide residues in seed yams produced using the adaptive Yam Minisett Technique. Journal of Crop Improvement
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This paper provides the results of the first research designed to test for pesticide residue analysis conducted on seed yam ( Poir) tubers produced via the Adaptive Yam Minisett technique (AYMT). AYMT uses a pesticide-based water dip to treat setts (~75 g) cut from a yam tuber, and these setts are planted to produce healthy seed yams. While the dip is known to be effective in terms of sett survival in the field along with quantity and yield of seed yams produced, one potential issue is the carry-over of chlorpyrifos from treated setts into the seed yams. The research reported here describes the results from an experimental plot established in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria designed to address this issue. A total of 54 seed yam tubers (18 seed yams from each plot) were analyzed from control (untreated), half-dose and full-dose pesticide dip treatments and results show that there is no carryover of chlorpyrifos from treated setts into the seed yams. There may also be potential to significantly reduce pesticide concentration in the dip, although this requires further research before a new recommendation can be developed.
Dioscorea rotundata
Zhang D, Hao M, Chen S and Morse S (2020). Solid Waste Characterization and Recycling Potential for a University Campus in China. Sustainability 12(8), 3086
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Waste characterization is the first step to a successful waste management system. This paper explores the trend of solid waste generated on a university campus (Longzi Lake Campus of Henan Agricultural University) in China and the factors that influence the potential for recycling of the waste. Face-to-face interviews were carried out for 12 consecutive months on a campus in central China, and 416 interviewees were questioned. It was found that 7.32 tonnes of solid waste were generated on the campus each day, of which 79.31% were recyclable. The characterization of major waste streams are discussed, and the results are compared with comparable data from five universities in a range of other countries (Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia). The annual growth of GDP per capita in China over the past five years before the research appeared to play an important role in the increasing of food waste on university campus, and the proportion of food waste is found to have a positive influence on recycling potential.
Cerbaro M, Morse S, Murphy R, Lynch J and Griffiths G (2020). Information from Earth Observation for the management of Sustainable Land Use and Land Cover in Brazil: An Analysis of User Needs. Sustainability 12, 489
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Brazil has some of the world’s most important forest and natural ecosystem resources and their sustainability is of global importance. The expansion of agriculture for livestock, the extractive industries, illegal logging, land conflicts, fire and deforestation are pressures on land use and drivers of land use change in many regions of Brazil. While different institutions in Brazil have sought to use Earth Observation (EO) data to support better land use management and conservation projects, several problems remain at the national and state level in the implementation of EO to support environmental policies and services provided to Brazilian society. This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of the key challenges in using EO data in land management in Brazil and summarises them in a conceptual model of the factors influencing EO data use for assessing sustainable land use and land cover in Brazil. The research was based on a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews (43) and structured interviews (53) with key stakeholders who make use of EO data across different locations in Brazil. The major challenges identified in the complex and multifaceted aspects of using this information were associated with access to, and with the processing of, raw data into usable information. The analysis also revealed novel insights on a lack of inter-institutional communication, adequate office infrastructure and personnel, availability of the right type of EO data and funding restrictions, political instability and bureaucracy as factors that limit more effective use of EO data in Brazil at present. We close this analysis by considering how EO information for the sustainable management of land use and land cover can assist institutions as they respond to the varied political and economic instabilities affecting environmental governance and deforestation levels
Andries A, Morse S, Murphy RJ., Lynch J and Woolliams ER (2019). Seeing Sustainability from Space: Using Earth Observation Data to Populate the UN Sustainable Development Goal Indicators. Sustainability 11, 5062.
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In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. However, substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality and quantity to populate these indicators efficiently. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue is to use Earth observation (EO). The research reported here updates our original work to develop a Maturity Matrix Framework (MMF) for assessing the suitability of EO-derived data for populating the SDG indicators, with a special focus on those indicators covering the more social and economic dimensions of sustainable development, as these have been under-explored in terms of the contribution that can be made by EO. The advanced MMF 2.0 framework set out in this paper is based on a wide consultation with EO and indicator experts (semi-structured interviews with 38 respondents). This paper provides detail of the evolved structure of MMF 2.0 and illustrates its use for one of the SDG indicators (Indicator 11.1.1). The revised MMF is then applied to published work covering the full suite of SDG indicators and demonstrates that EO can make an important contribution to providing data relevant to a substantial number of the SDG indicators.
Andries A, Morse S, Murphy R, Lynch J, Woolliams E and Fonweban J (2019). Translation of Earth Observation data into Sustainable Development Indicators: An analytical framework. Sustainable Development 27(3), 366-376
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In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators that are based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. Substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality, especially in developing countries, given the often limited resources available. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue of data availability is to use Earth observation (EO). This paper presents the results of research to develop a novel analytical framework for assessing the potential of EO approaches to populate the SDG indicators. We present a Maturity Matrix Framework and apply it to all of the 232 SDG indicators. The results demonstrate that although the applicability of EO‐derived data do vary between the Sustainable Development Goal indicators, overall, EO has an important contribution to make towards populating a wide diversity of the Sustainable Development Goals indicators.
Mendes MM., Darling AL., Hart KH., Morse S, Murphy R and Lanham-New SA (2019). Impact of high latitude, urban living and ethnicity on 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: A need for multidisciplinary action? The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 188, 95-102.
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The effects of urban living on health are becoming increasingly important, due to an increasing global population residing in urban areas. Concomitantly, due to immigration, there is a growing number of ethnic minority individuals (African, Asian or Middle Eastern descent) living in westernised Higher Latitude Countries (HLC) (e.g. Europe, Canada, New Zealand). Of concern is the fact that there is already a clear vitamin D deficiency epidemic in HLC, a problem which is likely to grow as the ethnic minority population in these countries increases. This is because 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status of ethnic groups is significantly lower compared to native populations. Environmental factors contribute to a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in HLC, particularly during the winter months when there is no sunlight of appropriate wavelength for vitamin D synthesis via the skin. Also, climatic factors such as cloud cover may reduce vitamin D status even in the summer. This may be further worsened by factors related to urban living, including air pollution, which reduces UVB exposure to the skin, and less occupational sun exposure (may vary by individual HLC). Tall building height may reduce sun exposure by making areas more shaded. In addition, there are ethnicity-specific factors which further worsen vitamin D status in HLC urban dwellers, such as low dietary intake of vitamin D from foods, lower production of vitamin D in the skin due to increased melanin and reduced skin exposure to UVB due to cultural dress style and sun avoidance. A multidisciplinary approach applying knowledge from engineering, skin photobiology, nutrition, town planning and social science is required to prevent vitamin D deficiency in urban areas. Such an approach could include reduction of air pollution, modification of sun exposure advice to emphasise spending time each day in non-shaded urban areas (e.g. parks, away from tall buildings), and advice to ethnic minority groups to increase sun exposure, take vitamin D supplements and/or increase consumption of vitamin D rich foods in a way that is safe and culturally acceptable. This review hopes to stimulate further research to assess the impact of high latitude, urban environment and ethnicity on the risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Berg T., Bell S. and Morse S. (2019). Using rich pictures outside of soft systems methodology: A case study analysis. International Journal of System of Systems Engineering 9(3), 257-276.
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The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly we will highlight how a problem structuring tool, namely the Rich Picture, is being used across many disciplines outside of the soft system methodology which has historically been its home. Secondly, we highlight the controversial presence of non-conforming Rich Picture research and an apparent reluctance to publish from the systems community. In this paper we provide examples of rich picture research used independent from methodology and focus on one case study that uses a novel method of content analysis to appreciate the significance of the stories within their pictures. We demonstrate the theoretical justification and efficacy of an innovation in the assessment of the Rich Picture and its use as a tool to discern issues of importance across mixed groups. We discuss the responses to this work and the implications for innovation within soft OR research. We propose that the Rich Picture should not be seen as sacrosanct just because it derives from a well-established and much respected methodology. We argue that the Rich Picture can be a flexible space where any practitioner can negotiate shared understanding without methodological constraint
Bell S., Berg T. and Morse S. (2019). Towards an Understanding of Rich Picture Interpretation. Systemic Practice and Action Research 32(6), 601-614.
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This paper considers the value of the Rich Picture (RP) as a means to capture data from multiple groups exploring a question, problem or issue. RPs emerge from group work by unravelling and integrating understandings, but to date there have been no attempts to consider ways in which the RPs from different groups analysing the same question can be, or indeed should be, objectively compared. The aim of this paper is to investigate the maximum learning potential from the RP, and we develop and use a form of Content Analysis (CA) called Eductive Interpretation (EI) specifically for RPs. The paper illustrates the process of EI by drawing upon a series of RPs created by groups in the Lebanon. The groups were all working on issues involved in coastal zone management, and the resulting analysis presents some of the insights that were gained. The paper finally discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of EI applied to RPs.
Zhang D, Morse S and Qiaoyun Ma Q (2019). Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development in China: Current Status and Future Perspectives. Sustainability 11(16), 4392
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With a long history, large population, rapid economic growth, and major social transformation in recent years and the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, China has increasingly become an important global player. However, the negative social and environmental consequences of such a fast and extensive economic expansion are becoming significant. A series of measures have been taken to tackle the current problems faced by the country, including the issuing of new laws and regulations, and the most recent is China’s ban on plastic waste imports. However, there is a significant gap between Chinese laws and their implementation. Therefore, more people are putting their hope in a combination of legislation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to help address the current social and environmental problems faced by the country. This paper discusses the drivers of CSR in China and compares them to the drivers of CSR in the West. The paper also explores the extent to which CSR can make a contribution to solving the sustainable development challenges faced by China and discusses possible solutions if the current CSR pattern fails. Finally, the paper makes suggestions for future research on CSR in China.
Morse S (2018). Focusing on the extremes of good and bad: Media reporting of countries ranked via index-based league tables. Social Indicators Research 139(2), 631–652.
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The paper provides the first published evidence for a ‘U’ shaped relationship between country ‘league-table’ ranking based on the Human Development Index and Corruption Perception Index and media reporting. The results suggest that the Extremity Hypothesis proposed by Heath (Glob Environ Change 21(1): 198–208, 1996) applies to such data rather than the alternative of the Centrality Hypothesis. In the Extremity Hypothesis people are more likely to transmit information regarding extremes, perhaps because people value ‘surprisingness’ or think that others do so, and the inevitable polarity of league-tables would appear to invite greater attention on those countries that rank high and low. This is an important finding as it suggests that countries at these extremes could act as exemplars. However, this is not to say that at more regional scales the media may pick-up on differences between ‘peer group’ countries ranked towards the middle of the league-table. Much more attention needs to be given by researchers to the use of indicators and indices and what helps to influence this, especially as it would help inform further development of existing indicators/indices and the creation of new ones.
Morse S (2018). Analysis of yam minisett technique adoption in Nigeria. Journal of Crop Improvement 32(4), 511-531
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White yam ( Poir.) is an important tuber crop grown throughout West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Propagation of the crop is primarily vegetative, through the use of small whole tubers (seed yams) and cut pieces of tuber (setts) planted to produce the larger tubers (ware yams) that households consume and sell. The Yam Minisett Technique (YMT) was introduced in Nigeria in the late 1970s as a means of increasing the production of seed yams. The YMT is different from many other agricultural technologies in that it requires farmers to do something – cut their tubers into small pieces – which they feel based on experience is potentially damaging as it causes rot. Indeed, the existing literature suggests that adoption of the YMT tends to be low and variable. However, to date there has been no systematic analysis of the existing literature on YMT adoption designed to explore which factors are reported to be the most important and why. Hence, the objective of this paper is to analyze the YMT adoption studies published to date to explore which factors are particularly important, and how this may help guide future research in YMT adoption. The results suggest that uncertainty – risk and ambiguity aversion – as perceived by farmers is a key consideration in YMT adoption and needs to be considered in future work.
Dioscorea rotundata
Bell S and Morse S (2018). Sustainability Indicators Past and Present: What Next? Sustainability 10(5), 1688
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This paper discusses the current state of thought amongst the Sustainability Indicator (SI) community, what has been achieved and where we are succeeding and failing. Recent years have witnessed the rise of “alternative facts” and “fake news” and this paper discusses how SIs fit into this maelstrom, especially as they are themselves designed to encapsulate complexity into condensed signals and it has long been known that SIs can be selectively used to support polarized sides of a debate. This paper draws from chapters in a new edited volume, the “Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators and Indices”, edited by the authors. The book has 34 chapters written by a total of 59 SI experts from a wide range of backgrounds, and attempts to provide a picture of the past and present, strengths and weaknesses of SI development today. This paper is an “analysis of those analyses”—a mindful reflection on reflection, and an assessment of the malign and benign forces at work in 2018 within the SI arena. Finally, we seek to identify where SIs may be going over the coming, unpredictable years.
Miah J. H., Griffiths A, McNeill R, Halvorson S, Schenker U, Espinoza-Orias N. D., Morse S., Yang A., and Sadhukhan J. (2018). Environmental management of confectionery products: Life cycle impacts and improvement strategies. Journal of Cleaner Production 177(10), 732-751.
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This paper presents the first environmental life cycle analysis for a range of different confectionery products. A proposed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach and multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was developed to characterise and identify the environmental profiles and hotspots for five different confectionery products; milk chocolate, dark chocolate, sugar, milk chocolate biscuit and milk-based products. The environmental impact categories are based on Nestle's EcodEX LCA tool which includes Global Warming Potential (GWP), Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP), ecosystems quality, and two new indicators previously not considered such as land use and water depletion. Overall, it was found that sugar confectionery had the lowest aggregated environmental impact compared to dark chocolate confectionery which had the highest, primarily due to ingredients. As such, nine key ingredients were identified across the five confectionery products which are recommended for confectionery manufacturers to prioritise e.g. sugar, glucose, starch, milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk liquid, wheat flour and palm oil. Furthermore, the general environmental hotspots were found to occur at the following life cycle stages: raw materials, factory, and packaging. An analysis of five improvement strategies (e.g. alternative raw materials, packaging materials, renewable energy, product reformulations, and zero waste to landfill) showed both positive and negative environmental impact reduction is possible from cradle-to-grave, especially renewable energy. Surprisingly, the role of product reformulations was found to achieve moderate-to-low environmental reductions with waste reductions having low impacts. The majority of reductions was found to be achieved by focusing on sourcing raw materials with lower environmental impacts, product reformulations, and reducing waste generating an aggregated environmental reduction of 46%. Overall, this research provides many insights of the environmental impacts for a range of different confectionery products, especially how actors across the confectionery supply chain can improve the environmental sustainability performance. It is expected the findings from this research will serve as a base for future improvements, research and policies for confectionery manufacturers, supply chain actors, policy makers, and research institutes towards an environmentally sustainable confectionery industry.
Morse S and McNamara N. (2018). Agronomic and economic performance of seed yam production using minisetts in the middle belt of Nigeria. Journal of Crop Improvement 32(1), 90-106.
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White yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is an important tuber crop of West Africa and the Caribbean, and one of the key limiting factors in its production is the availability of good quality planting material. The Adaptive Yam Minisett Technique (AYMT) was designed to help overcome this constraint. The paper presents an analysis of agronomic and economic data collected across four years (2013 to 2016) of AYMT plots planted in two areas within the middle-belt of Nigeria. Of the 136 plots that were established, 11% were lost to flooding and damage from Fulani cattle. Mean yield was 13.16 t/ha, 17,747 tubers/ha and the mean tuber weight was 0.73 kg. Plot yield declined with an increase in planting time, while plots owned by female farmers were on average planted later than those owned by their male counterparts; this helps explain the effect of gender noted in a previous study. Differences in yield were also noted between the two areas, which could also partly be explained by differences in planting time. The plots were profitable, with a mean cost over the four years of Naira 915,196/ha, revenue of Naira 3,197,786/ha and gross margin of Naira 2,282,591/ha (equivalent to US$4,039, US$14,319 and US$10,280 respectively). The main factor influencing costs and revenue was year, with no effect of gender. There is a need for more research on planting time in AYMT and how it interacts with factors, such as yam variety.
Morse S. and McNamara N. (2018). Factors influencing the agronomic performance of the adapted yam minisett technique in Nigeria – planting date and gender of the farmer. Experimental Agriculture 54(1), 1-15.
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This paper describes the results of 3 year's data from farmers using the Adaptive Yam Minisett Technique (AYMT) to produce seed yams in Nigeria. A total of 30 sites were established each year between 2013 and 2015 in the Idah area (Kogi State) of Nigeria and 58 plots in the Amoke area (Benue State) in 2015. Each site had yam setts (80 to 100 g) untreated and treated with a pesticide ‘dip’ prior to planting and farmers (male and female) were free to select the variety and manage the sites as they wished. In line with previous research, the results suggest that treatment does increase the weight of tubers produced by a sett but not necessarily the number of tubers. Varietal differences were also observed. For the first time, the results suggest that the time of planting does have a significant impact on seed tuber weight, with later planting leading to small tubers. Also, the gender of the farmer had an impact on some of the agronomic variables, with male owners of the site generally producing more and larger tubers per sett planted and sprouted than female owners. Various mechanisms for the latter are discussed in the paper.
Zhang D, Zhaorui Zhang Z and Morse S. (2018). Motives for corporate social responsibility in Chinese food companies. Sustainability 10(1), article number 117.
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This paper explores the connection between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and food safety and how best to promote CSR in Chinese food companies by comparing two groups of food companies, one which had food safety incidents in the previous three years and one which had no food safety incidents during the same period. Managers of 498 food companies in 17 regions of China were surveyed. It was found that companies where the senior management gave higher levels of support and commitment to CSR and companies that had higher levels of CSR engagement had lower food safety incident rates. Motives for CSR engagement by food companies are the expected benefits that might accrue to the company including helping to achieve strategic objectives, improving daily management, ensuring food safety, improving internal cooperation, enhancing food quality, improving employees’ skills at work, increasing employee benefit and improving their morale, and maintaining business integrity. It was also found that the external factors for CSR engagement are consumer demand, as well as pressures from the government and from other companies in the supply chain. Finally, the paper makes a number of suggestions for improvements in policy.
Morse S (2018). Relating environmental performance of nation states to income and income inequality. Sustainable Development 26(1), 99-115
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This paper explores a number of ways in which environmental quality can be represented by indicators within empirical attempts to look for a relationship between environmental performance, income and income inequality. A total of 16 environmental performance indicators were selected where data were available at the national scale (180 countries), all of which were components of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) published in early 2016, and included as dependent variables with income/capita (GDP/capita) and distribution of income (Gini coefficient) spanning nearly 20 years as independent variables. Data were analysed using principal component regression. The results generate a rather complex picture, whereby some of the EPI component indicators, notably those in the Environmental Health category, have a relationship with income and income distribution, while others, especially those centred on Ecosystem Vitality, do not. The paper provides some of the first published evidence for a relationship between environmental performance and income distribution and discusses some of the possible causal factors.