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Engineering LibreTexts

9: Problem-Solving, Metrics, and Tools for Sustainability

  • Page ID
    12065
    • 9.1: Problem-Solving, Metrics, and Tools for Sustainability - Chapter Introduction
      It should be clear by now that making decisions and solving problems in support of greater sustainability of human-created systems and their impact on the natural environment is a complex undertaking.
    • 9.2: Life Cycle Assessment
      “What gets measured gets done” is an oft-quoted saying (attributed to many individuals) that attempts to capture the essential role of quantification in order to understand a system, solve a problem, advance a cause, or establish a policy. Throughout this text a wide variety of measurements are put forth, cited, and discussed in connection with particular concepts including climate change, economics, social well-being, engineering efficiency, and consumer habits.
    • 9.3: Derivative Life Cycle Concepts
      The ideal method to measure sustainability would reflect the three-legged stool paradigm – environmental protection, social equity, and economic benefit. The metrics must make the connection between what the indicators measure and actual sustainability. A useful indicator will reflect changes over time that show whether a system is becoming more or less sustainable, and generally substitutes for something else or represents several measures (Sahely, 2005).
    • 9.4: Sustainability and Business
      The business sector, continually seeking ways to create competitive advantages, has become acutely aware of the general value of adjusting various business models to accommodate consumers’ desires for sustainable products and services.