Environmental Impact Assessment: Closing the Gap Between Scientists and Practitioners

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Environmental Impact Assessment: Closing the Gap Between Scientists and Practitioners

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The environmental science community has worked to engage the private sector with sustainable business practices. In the business sector, impact assessment tools are key to embedding sustainable practices into the organization’s goals and performance metrics. The adoption of the proposed impact assessment tools falls below expectations. This dissertation looks at ways sustainable impact assessment can become more prevalent in lower income countries. The methodologies employed are Five forces analysis of the sugar industry structure, interviews with actors in the food sector, and a literature review and analysis based on the dynamic capabilities framework. I found that the sugar industry promotes expansion by existing actors and deters new actors as well as product differentiation, disincentivizing adoption of sustainable practices. The food sector in Costa Rica showed interest in tools that have the capacity to go beyond diagnosis and wants them to help find a path toward corrective measures. Also, these actors are interested in data that can inform the innovation process. A framework of the innovation process, based on the capacity to assess sustainable impact, is proposed, resulting from the impact assessment and business strategy literature review. In the context of low income countries, sustainable impact assessment is catalyzed by a healthy supply chain structure and its capacity to contribute to business growth. These are areas for future development.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2022. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisors: Michael Boland, Kristen Nelson. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 116 pages.

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Rivera, Lloyd. (2022). Environmental Impact Assessment: Closing the Gap Between Scientists and Practitioners. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/252514.

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