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Lecture 1

‘Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs’
Word commission on environment and development

‘Sustainable solutions involve translating and understanding societal needs into engineering
solutions such as infrastructures, products, practices and process.’
Centre for sustainable engineering: Sustainability education courses in Us engineering
program (Crittenden)

To measure sustainability, we use Human Development Index

Which considers three dimensions Health, Education, Living standards

1) Health dimension
Life expectancy index = (Life expectancy - 20) / (83.2-20)

2) Education dimension
Mean years of schooling index(MYSI) = mean years of schooling(MYS) / 13.2
Expected years of schooling index(EYSI) = Expected years of schooling(EYS)/20.6
Education index = [(MYSI x EYSI)0.5]/0.951

3) The living standards dimension

Income index(II) = (ln(Gross national income (GNI)-ln(100)/ln(107721)-ln(100)))

To calculate the HDI (Human development index) = (LEI x EI x II)1/3

What is wrong with the HDI?
It does not consider resource depletion/ environmental impact
Therefore, this could mean that higher HDI means more resource depletion

Ecological footprint is a measure of sustainability

Intra vs Inter-Generational Equity

Intra generational equity is caring about the generation you are in

Inter generation equity is caring about the sustainability for the later generation

The role of moral frameworks and ethical systems

Moral is within yourself

Ethics is the societal expectation

The marketing of Sustainability

Some products are marketed as being more sustainable than others, but is it?
To determine if the product is sustainable we must analyse unit process in:
-Manufacturing (Including consumption of raw material)
-Design life
-Disposal of product
Lecture 2

Triple bottom line involves


Sustainable development is the balance between the three-triple bottom line.

Typical indicator of Triple bottom line

Compliance with legal obligation
Health and safety of workers and community members
Extent of community involvement and support
Extent of community involvement and support

Taxes paid
Estimated wealth created

Amount of energy consumed and its origin
Volume or mass of material resources use
Solid waste management
Emission to air
Quantity and quality of effluents released

Life cycle analysis is a holistic view of a product from its manufacturing stage until its end of
life disposal stage. Having this holistic view allow for a much better approach in choosing
the correct product.

Steps in a product’s life cycle

Raw material acquisition (RMA) and extraction
Manufacturing processing
Waste Management hierarchy
There is no waste in the natural world
I.e. One system’s outputs = another system’s inputs.

Closed loop industrial ecology aka circular economy or industrial symbiosis

Steps in life cycle analysis

1) Objective
Clearly specify reasons for carrying out the LCA
Eg determine your carbon footprint
Eg determine which lightbulb type to buy to minimize environmental impact
This then helps determine the basis scope and impacts used in rest of analysis

2) Basis
Basis is amount of product or process you will analyse
If comparing two or more products must ensure that each product is compared on the basis
of equivalent service provided or a functional unit.
Ex compare light bulbs based on same amount of light provided over same total time
period. So, one 10w fluorescent bulb that lasts 8000h should be compared with eight 402
incandescent bulbs that each last only 1000h.

3) Scope
Scope specifies the system boundary of the LCA what elements will be included and

If comparing two products for which some lifecycle stages are the same then omit those
common aspects from the analysis

Decide impact types to be analysed

This is the time to draw a flowsheet of the process or product’s lifecycle. Include only those
items within the system boundary.

Sometimes decision on what to include is pragmatic eg if you don’t have any data then don’t
include it or else make some clearly stated assumptions).
4) Inventory analysis

Determine the quantitative amounts of all material, waste and energy flows associated with
the different stages of the lifecycle.

Material flow analysis based on laws of conservation of mass ie mass is neither created nor
destroyed in chemical manufacturing processes.

Accumulation = input - output

5) Impact analysis

Clearly state all assumptions made

Clearly cite sources of all data used
Consider sensitivity analysis