The world's water resources are under pressure due to human activities. The challenges surrounding water resources management include enhancing long-term water security and minimizing undesirable economic, social, and environmental impacts, along with the production chain. Since water and wastewater treatment plants are designed to maintain and conserve freshwater provisioning services, understanding how they operate-prior to proposing options for sustainability-is of paramount importance. The diagnostic phase calls for scientifically-based, systemic, and more objective methods to provide information for decision-makers regarding strategic management of water resources. This work applied the FIVE SEctor SUstainability (5SEnSU) model to assess twenty major water and wastewater treatment companies (WWTC) in Brazil, to quantify sustainability levels that allowed ranking procedures, and to establish benchmarks for improvements. On a comparative basis, the results identified the top-three sustainable companies-CORSAN, CASAN, and SANEPAR-which should be considered as examples of best practices. Specifically, the following best-ranked companies in each sector within 5SEnSU should be used as benchmark patterns for more oriented best practices: SANEAGO, sector 1; AGESPISA, sector 2; CORSAN, sector 3; CASAL, sector 4; MA, sector 5. This work contributes toward the advancement of sustainability assessment modeling in human-managed systems (applied in WWTCs in this present study) from systemic- and epistemologically-rooted approaches, avoiding shortcomings and misleading discussions on the sustainability issue. Quantifying sustainability of WWTCs using the 5SEnSU model allows for the identification of those sectors/indicators that require immediate cleaner production practices by decision-makers, to improve overall sustainability, as well as to identify which companies are more aligned with the requirements of UN SDGs. The decision-makers would be able to visualize balanced or unbalanced relationships among all sectors and propose actions that would improve the performance in a given sector, realizing what effects a given action would cause in the other sectors of the system.

Enhancing the Assessment of Cleaner Production Practices for Sustainable Development: The Five-Sector Sustainability Model Applied to Water and Wastewater Treatment Companies / Biagio Fernando Giannetti; F??bio Sevegnani; Roberto R. M. Garc??a; Feni Agostinho; Cec??lia M. V. B. Almeida; Luca Coscieme; Genguyan Liu; Ginevra Virginia Lombardi. - In: SUSTAINABILITY. - ISSN 2071-1050. - ELETTRONICO. - 14:(2022), pp. 4126-4141. [10.3390/su14074126]

Enhancing the Assessment of Cleaner Production Practices for Sustainable Development: The Five-Sector Sustainability Model Applied to Water and Wastewater Treatment Companies

Biagio Fernando Giannetti;Ginevra Virginia Lombardi
2022

Abstract

The world's water resources are under pressure due to human activities. The challenges surrounding water resources management include enhancing long-term water security and minimizing undesirable economic, social, and environmental impacts, along with the production chain. Since water and wastewater treatment plants are designed to maintain and conserve freshwater provisioning services, understanding how they operate-prior to proposing options for sustainability-is of paramount importance. The diagnostic phase calls for scientifically-based, systemic, and more objective methods to provide information for decision-makers regarding strategic management of water resources. This work applied the FIVE SEctor SUstainability (5SEnSU) model to assess twenty major water and wastewater treatment companies (WWTC) in Brazil, to quantify sustainability levels that allowed ranking procedures, and to establish benchmarks for improvements. On a comparative basis, the results identified the top-three sustainable companies-CORSAN, CASAN, and SANEPAR-which should be considered as examples of best practices. Specifically, the following best-ranked companies in each sector within 5SEnSU should be used as benchmark patterns for more oriented best practices: SANEAGO, sector 1; AGESPISA, sector 2; CORSAN, sector 3; CASAL, sector 4; MA, sector 5. This work contributes toward the advancement of sustainability assessment modeling in human-managed systems (applied in WWTCs in this present study) from systemic- and epistemologically-rooted approaches, avoiding shortcomings and misleading discussions on the sustainability issue. Quantifying sustainability of WWTCs using the 5SEnSU model allows for the identification of those sectors/indicators that require immediate cleaner production practices by decision-makers, to improve overall sustainability, as well as to identify which companies are more aligned with the requirements of UN SDGs. The decision-makers would be able to visualize balanced or unbalanced relationships among all sectors and propose actions that would improve the performance in a given sector, realizing what effects a given action would cause in the other sectors of the system.
14
4126
4141
Biagio Fernando Giannetti; F??bio Sevegnani; Roberto R. M. Garc??a; Feni Agostinho; Cec??lia M. V. B. Almeida; Luca Coscieme; Genguyan Liu; Ginevra Virginia Lombardi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1285399
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