Institutional Repository
Technical University of Crete
EN  |  EL



My Space

Bridging barriers in sustainability research: a review from sustainability science to life cycle sustainability assessment

Troullaki Aikaterini, Rozakis Stylianos, Kostakis Vasilis

Full record

Year 2021
Type of Item Review
Bibliographic Citation K. Troullaki, S. Rozakis, and V. Kostakis, “Bridging barriers in sustainability research: a review from sustainability science to life cycle sustainability assessment,” Ecol. Econ., vol. 184, June 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107007.
Appears in Collections


Sustainability science (SS) has emerged to foster inter- and transdisciplinary research practices and the creation of new, robust, actionable knowledge for navigating sustainability transitions. However, whether the research paradigm of the emerging transdisciplinary SS has permeated the relevant research body to integrate with the subfield of sustainability assessment (SA) is an open question. Aiming to investigate and enhance interdisciplinary communication in SS theory and practice, we comparatively study three literature bodies: SS, SA and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). By combining conceptual analysis, bibliometric and social network analysis, and systematic content review, we explore how these research fields are and can be further interrelated. Our analysis indicates that the research paradigm of SS has hardly been embraced by SA scholars. There are however few SAs that have attempted to put SS concepts into practice and perform SAs that are both scientifically- and socially-robust. Extensive applications are needed to address current limitations and understand the feasibility and the outcomes of SS-inspired SA. Reflecting on the few empirical studies, we conclude that LCSA as currently applied cannot be a holistic and transdisciplinary framework for sustainability. An integration of life cycle- and other methods into robust, transparent and socially-embedded SA frameworks is needed, which will be enabled through communication and collaboration among SS and LCSA/SA scholars. Our paper gives insights towards this direction.