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Advisory Group on Sustainability
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Aims and scope

In August 2011, the SETAC Advisory Group on Sustainability was established to advance the scientific, philosophical and educational foundations of sustainability. The group is an open forum that will serve as a resource to SETAC, environmental scientists and decision makers, and society as a whole on issues pertaining to sustainability. Its aim is to advance the science and philosophy of sustainability and to contribute to policy development, outreach and education within and outside of SETAC.

Within the Advisory Group on Sustainability, varied disciplines in the natural and social sciences are included, such as chemistry, toxicology, ecology, social sciences, environmental economics, decision science and others.


The objectives of the Advisory Group on Sustainability are:

  • Serving as a neutral platform and focal point within SETAC and the larger environmental community for collaborative identification, resolution and communication of sustainability issues;
  • Stimulating critical evaluation and discussion to establish the relevant science within applicable disciplines;
  • Providing guidance and support to promote effective environmental decision-making;
  • Encouraging the incorporation of the relevant sciences, approaches and information into environmental management pertaining to sustainability;
  • Encouraging, to the extent that is reasonable, worldwide harmonization of approaches and methods used to foster sustainability;
  • Providing a forum for organizing sessions at annual meetings, and organizing workshops to address issues emerging within sustainability; and
  • Facilitating communication of scientific, technical, and philosophical advances through journal articles, books, web sites and other mechanisms.

Specific activities undertaken by the Advisory Group on Sustainability include:

  • Preparing technical papers and commentaries to disseminate general information or issue-specific state-of-art, state-of-the-science updates;
  • Maintaining a specific area of the SETAC web site for Advisory Group on Sustainability communication;
  • Maintaining a discussion forum on the SETAC Communities site;
  • Sponsoring sessions at annual meetings;
  • Facilitating targeted (issue-specific) discussion groups at meetings;
  • Conducting short courses on sustainability and associated topics;
  • Sponsoring and organizing SETAC Pellston and other technical workshops on pertinent sustainability topics
  • Supporting presentations to government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), other societies and other groups as appropriate;
  • Sponsoring joint sessions, meetings and workshops with other scientific societies;
  • Communicating updates in the SETAC Globe, SETAC Communities web site and other venues.

The Advisory Group anticipates contributing to the "Berlin Declaration on Sustainability", prepared by the Scientific Committee of the 6th SETAC World Congress, May 2012, in Berlin.


Sustainability is a broadly accepted concept driving environmental policy and programs around the world, both in international debate and within key economic actors and sectors. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development process is one major collaborative framework, and there are numerous other related efforts.

SETAC expertise and activities fit well into the sustainability discussion in specific areas, such as: life cycle assessment, integrated risk assessment, ecosystem services assessment, risk management, risk communication and the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative.

Discussions within SETAC in 2010 - 11 in Seville, Guangzhou, Portland and Milan have helped set the stage for more focused work to define SETAC’s role in and input to the global sustainability debate. These discussions began to address the notion of a SETAC-wide sustainability concept, drawing on discussions and a program of activities.


SETAC Advisory Group on Sustainability is a global Advisory Group open to all the interested scientists and students.

The self-identified members of the Advisory Group on Sustainability members elect the Steering Committee. Presently, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Advisory Group on Sustainability are Tom Seager, Arizona State University, SETAC North America and Paolo Masoni, ENEA, SETAC Europe, respectively. A Steering Committee (SC) supports the chair and co-chair.

Business: Kuanchun Lee, Procter & Gamble, SETAC Asia-Pacific

Larry Kapustka, SLR Consulting, SETAC North America

Cory Robertson, Hewlett Packard, SETAC North America

Academia: Dianne Jolley, University of Wollongong, SETAC Asia-Pacific

Thomas P. Seager, Arizona State University, SETAC North America

Government: Jane Bare, United States Environmental Protection Agency, SETAC North America

Ron McCormick, United States Bureau of Land Management, SETAC North America

Paolo Masoni, ENEA, SETAC Europe

Students: To be Named

Ex Officio: Bruce Vigon, SETAC Staff Member