(355a) Sustainable System Synthesis  and Analysis using a Novel Sustainability Concept

Authors: 
Jorat, M., University of California Los Angeles
Manousiouthakis, V., University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Sustainable system analysis and synthesis

using a novel sustainability concept

One of the first definitions for sustainability has been introduced by United Nations in 1987, in a report entitled, Our Common Future (also known as the Brundtland report) which define sustainable developments as â??â?¦development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.â? Although this definition captured the essence of the word sustainability but it is very vague in order to be applicable for other organizations. Efforts have been made by researchers to quantify the abstract definitions of sustainability and give it an applicable view. Previous attempts include the ecological footprint (1992, 1996), the use of Fisher information theory (2002), the pressure-state-response model of environmental sustainability (2003), the environmental sustainability index (2005), the sustainability assessment by fuzzy evaluation (SAFE) model (2001-2009), and the AIChE Sustainability Index (2007).

In the current work a novel sustainability concept is put forward, which allows a rigorous quantification of sustainability for a variety of system descriptions. The new concept allows societal and personal input to be incorporated in the sustainability assessment process. Rigorous mathematical criteria are provided for its assessment, involving the global solution of finite dimensional optimization problems. In addition, the proposed concept lends itself to the synthesis of sustainable systems. Case studies for 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional dynamical systems are used to illustrate the introduced new concept, and its applicability to both sustainability analysis and synthesis.