Environmental sustainability is central at Berkshire Publishing and the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability is the ultimate resource of students and citizens, written by 1,000 experts from around the world.

“Everyone who is ready to get serious will profit from this robust, comprehensive, diverse collection of cutting edge thinking from some of the smartest members of our species.” 

—Denis Hayes, principal organizer of the first Earth Day

Featuring entries written by international leaders in environmental sustainability selected by a distinguished board of consulting editors, the second edition of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability is in progress.

The first edition appeared in topical volumes, sold separately or as a set. No other reference so thoroughly and dynamically surveys the history, current research, and developments that are of vital interest to students, professionals, and general readers. It is available now.

No library can be called complete without it.

Vol. 1: The Spirit of Sustainability

Vol. 2: The Business of Sustainability

Vol. 3: The Law and Politics of Sustainability

Vol. 4: Natural Resources and Sustainability

Vol. 5: Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

Vol. 6: Measurements, Indicators, and Research Methods

Vol. 7: China, India, and East and Southeast Asia: Assessing Sustainability

Vol. 8: The Americas and Oceania: Assessing Sustainability

Vol. 9: Afro-Eurasia: Assessing Sustainability

Vol. 10: The Future of Sustainability

Advance articles from the new edition are listed below, and details in Chinese can be downloaded (3 pages) here.

“Assuming we’re wise enough to heed the warnings of scientists, this will have to be the century of sustainability. And this comprehensive set of volumes will help form the core of a library for informed citizens.”

Bill McKibben, Third Act

“This is an ocean of information. Nowhere else is there so much knowledge and wisdom to be found as within these encyclopedias. This last volume is the icing on the cake. Every university, every school, and every library will be enriched with this treasure of knowledge.”

Satish Kumar, Resurgence

“The call we made in Our Common Future, back in 1987, is even more relevant today. Having a coherent resource like the Encyclopedia of Sustainability, written by experts yet addressed to students and general readers, is a vital step, because it will support education, enable productive debate, and encourage informed public participation as we join, again and again, in the effort to transform our common future.”

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Chair, World Commission on Environment and Development

“The strength of this magnificent series lies not just in its comprehensive coverage but also in the quality of the individuals who have contributed to it. It will be an enormously large and valuable resource for a growing world community of environmental interest and concern. I highly recommend it.”

James Gustave Speth, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

“It’s past time for proponents of sustainability to move beyond empty slogans and baby steps. Everyone who is ready to get serious will profit from this robust, comprehensive, diverse collection of cutting edge thinking from some of the smartest members of our species.”

Denis Hayes, Principal organizer of the first Earth Day

“On our endangered planet, the term ‘sustainability’ is code for survival. The remarkable ten volume Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability has become a go-to source-book for ecological—no, make that human—survival in the new millennium. . . . If you want one collection on sustainability that does it all, one source that facilitates the creation of a more just and greener world, then start with Volume 10 of the Berkshire Encyclopedia [of Sustainability] and read your way back to Volume 1.”

Benjamin R. Barber, Rutgers University

“The 21st century will be the age of sustainability or bust. As the journey becomes imperative, there is no better vade mecum than the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability—informative, lively, and comprehensive in its scope.”

Isabel Hilton, chinadialogue.net

“Sustainability is one of the most important concepts of the 21st century yet remains elusive in implementation. This set of authoritative volumes provides an ‘operator’s manual’ for the long-term sustainability of the human enterprise on planet Earth.”

Will Steffen, Australian National University Climate Change Institute

“This is undoubtedly the most important and readable reference on sustainability of our time.”

Jim MacNeill, Secretary-General of the Brundtland Commission; lead author of Our Common Future

“Nothing is more important to humanity than sustainability, and the Berkshire Encyclopedia [of Sustainability] is a wonderful resource for all those who wish to understand its multiple dimensions. Well-written and up-to-date, it is a pleasure to browse in.”

Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University

“The Enlightenment of the 18th century had its famous encyclopedia that catalyzed dramatic improvements in science, society, and governance . . . the dawning Ecological Enlightenment of the 21st century now has its encyclopedia to light the way forward to a durable and decent future for humankind . . . a compass for a long, perilous journey through an unknown territory.”

David W. Orr, Oberlin College

“Sustainability will be the defining discipline of the 21st century. Making sense of the sprawling body of sustainability knowledge and insights—to help make it available for a growing audience—is a massive challenge. Berkshire’s Encyclopedia of Sustainability has risen to that challenge with flair, imagination and commanding authority.”

Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future

“The Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability makes a timely and unique contribution to understanding and professionalizing the concept of sustainability to which Rio 20 is dedicated.”

Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit

Available online from Oxford Reference as well as other major ebook vendors and JStor.

Advance Articles

The articles listed here have been accepted for publication in the second edition of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability. They have been peer-reviewed, copyedited, and reviewed by the author/s, and we would under normal circumstances be putting them into pages for a print edition. The closure of colleges and libraries during the pandemic has changed our plans, and of course delayed some of the work on the publication, which has contributions from experts around the world. We are therefore offering a sample of the new contents as Advance Articles at this website. Please refer to them as forthcoming, and if quoting or linking to them, ensure that you include the full citation. The first edition is hosted by Oxford Reference, and individual volumes are available from major ebook platforms including Amazon, ProQuest, and EBSCO.


Biosphere Reserves

Author/s: Maureen G. REED, School of Environment and Sustainable Development, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Citation: [AUTHOR/S (Forthcoming). “TITLE”] in Anderson et al. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 2nd ed. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.


Advance publication date as per post date

Category: Ecosystems


UNESCO Biosphere Reserves were first established under the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO in the 1970s. Their mandate has expanded beyond conservation to include sustainable development and local capacity enhancement. As institutions under UNESCO, they also work on “building peace” by seeking to reconcile relations between peoples, and between people and the natural world.

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The Impact of Bitcoin and Other Blockchains on the Environment

Author/s: Alex DE VRIES, Digiconomist.net

Citation: [AUTHOR/S (Forthcoming). “TITLE”] in Anderson et al. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 2nd ed. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.


Advance publication date as per post date

Category: Technology


While many new technologies carry the promise of creating a better world, they often have unintended consequences. The promise of blockchains is trust-minimizing and immutable peer-to-peer interactions, but early blockchain platforms have faced a great deal of skepticism regarding their environmental sustainability, and continue to cast their shadow over the technology’s potential today.

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Environmental Justice

Abstract: While the term environmental justice has different nuances of meaning for activists, academics, and politicians, most agree that it encompasses the need for a healthy environment for all with the same degree of protection from environmental risks and with equal access to environmental goods. This is in line with sustainability goals to fulfill the needs of the present without compromising the future. Research is currently underway to define and assess how environmental justice will be incorporated into the future of sustainability practices.

Author/s: Francesca ROSIGNOLI, Stockholm University; Larissa BASSO, Stockholm University

Citation: [AUTHOR/S (Forthcoming). “TITLE”] in Anderson et al. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 2nd ed. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.


Any figures or illustrations or illustrations included here are not finalized for publication. Advance publication date as per post date. Copyright Berkshire Publishing Group.

Category: Business & Economics

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Impact Investing

Author/s: Vivek BHANDARI, Former Director, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), India; Aastha DHANDHIA, Startup Oasis, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (IIM-A), India

Citation: [AUTHOR/S (Forthcoming). “TITLE”] in Anderson et al. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 2nd ed. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.


Advance publication date as per post date

Category: Business & Economics


The term “impact investing” describes the work of companies, organizations, and funds seeking to achieve measurable social and environmental gains while also generating financial returns. This sector has struggled with how to measure—quantitatively and qualitatively—the impact of investments. The past decade has witnessed the emergence of formal institutions that have achieved some success in addressing this challenge, while the sector also works to reconcile its profit motive with an enduring commitment to sustainability.

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Railways and Sustainability

Author/s: Anthony PERL, Simon Fraser University; Alex Jürgen THUMM, Independent Scholar

Citation: [AUTHOR (2021). “TITLE”] in Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 2nd ed. Anderson et al. Forthcoming 2021.


Advance publication date as per post date

Category: Business & Economics


Railways for passengers and freight offer strategic advantages in terms of energy efficiency and the ease of adaptation to electric mobility. The relatively small infrastructure footprint of modern rail also facilitates integration into densely developed spaces like city centers. These advantages and other benefits—such as the economic revival of regions left behind by globalization—fit well with current imperatives to lower carbon emissions while advancing sustainable mobility.

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