Going to a Decision Point in Sustainability Analysis
A concept of sustainability was introduced in the Brundtland report known as Our Common Future (Brundtland, 1987). Brundtland report talks about measures that can lead to economic growth with simultaneous progress in the condition of the environment as well as progress towards societal equity. Among various systems differing in types and scales, sustainability of industrial systems is of utmost importance. The dominant way of evaluating a process or a product for sustainability is by making quantitative estimates of values of appropriate indicators or metrics chosen to measure its impacts on the three domains of sustainability, i.e., the environment, society, and the economy. Comparing these indicator values of competing processes gives an estimate of how good a process is, in terms of sustainability, in comparison to its competitors. Information of this type should be an important aid in making decisions for commercialization. The vast number of applicable indicators already available in the literature can be confounding to a user. Even if the users are able to identify an initial set of indicators pertaining to the process system they are considering, coming to a decision on relative sustainability can be cumbersome. In this session we encourage submission of papers on decision making towards sustainability.
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