Read our April issue

Investing in water infrastructure frequently overlooks interacting risks and impacts on the poor and local context, as highlighted in the paper by Barbour and colleagues pictured here. 

Announcements

  • As a result of the significant disruption that is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we are aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the timelines associated with our peer review process during normal times. Please do let us know if you need additional time. Our systems will continue to remind you of the original timelines but we intend to be highly flexible at this time.

  • Batteries are crucial to move towards a more sustainable energy supply. This Focus highlights recent advances on battery technology research that has embedded sustainability principles in different components and at different life cycle stages.

  • We are currently looking for an editor with a strong quantitative background in environmental engineering, ideally with expertise in pollution remediation, Life Cycle Analysis, recycling methods or closely related topics.

Nature Sustainability is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.

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  • The increasing demand for technological products across the world pushes further the consumption of most metals, resulting in growing sustainability concerns. This study examines a yearly cohort of 61 extracted metals over time and estimates their lifetimes and losses throughout their life cycles.

    • Alexandre Charpentier Poncelet
    • Christoph Helbig
    • Guido Sonnemann
    Analysis
  • Wood is one of the most renewable materials with applications in construction and other industries. The authors show a process that gives low-value wood and biomass residuals a new life by transforming them into materials with mechanical properties comparable to metals and other structural elements.

    • Xiaofei Dong
    • Wentao Gan
    • Orlando J. Rojas
    Article
  • Accurate models of pro-environmental behaviour can inform interventions to foster sustainability. This study estimates the extent to which psychological factors like attitudes and personal norms explain greenhouse gas emissions from clothing purchasing across four countries.

    • Kristian S. Nielsen
    • Cameron Brick
    • Wencke Gwozdz
    Brief Communication
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a range of human activities, but its effect on land management is less clear. This study finds an increase in fires inside Madagascar’s protected areas during periods when management stopped due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

    • Johanna Eklund
    • Julia P. G. Jones
    • Andrew Balmford
    Article
  • Nearly half of drifting fish aggregating devices in the Indian and Atlantic oceans becomes abandoned, lost or discarded. However, a substantial portion of this pollution passes near major ports, hence port-based recovery presents a promising strategy to reduce fishing-related marine pollution.

    • Taha Imzilen
    • Christophe Lett
    • David M. Kaplan
    Article
    • Sustainable recycling is necessary for wood to maintain its capacity to store CO2 and to smooth the transition towards a circular economy. Now, an innovative approach offers a promising perspective on second- and third-life applications for ‘waste’ wood.

      • Guido Panzarasa
      • Ingo Burgert
      News & Views
    • In the global transition to sustainable development, policy coherence is key. A new study highlights the equal importance of policy dynamism over time — how policymakers must anticipate national advances in sustainability to meet shifting strategic needs.

      • Tiffany H. Morrison
      News & Views
    • Renewable electricity-powered CO2 electroreduction offers a sustainable route to transform the chemical industry. Here the authors overview four CO2 electrolysis pathways that could be immune from carbonate formation, a major technological barrier.

      • Adnan Ozden
      • F. Pelayo García de Arquer
      • David Sinton
      Review Article
    • This article reviews the past decade of literature reporting the application of resilience science in sustainable development practice. Although innovative complexity-oriented practices have emerged, the article shows that dominant applications diverge substantially from the science.

      • Belinda Reyers
      • Michele-Lee Moore
      • Maja Schlüter
      Review Article
    • Despite interventions, the widespread decline in plant biodiversity continues. Urban conservation gardening—that is, the cultivation of declining native plant species in public and private green spaces—can offer a viable approach to plant conservation, complementing traditional measures.

      • Josiane Segar
      • Corey T. Callaghan
      • Ingmar R. Staude
      Perspective
  • Debates about the need to avert environmental disasters and to help the most vulnerable are marred by economic and energy security concerns. They shouldn’t be, as the only path to success is a green and equitable one.

    Editorial
  • We need consensus to accurately evaluate the performance and potential of emerging water production technologies, such as solar evaporation and atmospheric water harvesting. Here we recommend practices that would allow a fair basis to compare different studies, and help to align research input with actual demand.

    • Yaoxin Zhang
    • Swee Ching Tan
    Comment
  • A panel of leading global experts working at the forefront of battery research and applications shares insights into how further development of this critical energy technology can effectively integrate sustainability principles.

    Editorial
  • Having transformed our way of life, rechargeable batteries are poised for exponential growth over the coming decade, notably due to the wider adoption of electric vehicles. An international expert panel proposes a combination of vision, innovation and practice for feasible pathways toward sustainable batteries.

    • Christian Bauer
    • Simon Burkhardt
    • Shengming Xu
    Comment
  • Most cities lack holistic monitoring and green infrastructure to mitigate pollution in urban runoff. We call for systematic characterization of runoff and more widespread treatment to protect biodiversity and human health. This challenge requires data-driven, adapted, low-cost and sustainable solutions for dense urban centres.

    • Mathieu Lapointe
    • Chelsea M. Rochman
    • Nathalie Tufenkji
    Comment
  • Deciding on an equitable, inclusive, sustainable development path globally, instead of business as usual, is the only way out of the current crises and to avert future crises.

    Editorial