Technology sensitive indicators of sustainability

  • Andrzej Wasiak


The idea of sustainable development was introduced as a remedy that should improve the situation of environment, should balance living conditions for human beings in various countries and continents, and finally should lead to rational exploitation of natural resources.

The contradiction between needs and ambitions of human societies and the need for conservation of environmental resources can only be, at least partially, removed by change of technologies being used in industrial processes. Only use of modern technology can assure growth of production with simultaneous reduction of consumption of energy, raw materials and reduction of environmental damage.

A number of sustainability indicators have been already proposed and recommended by several international organizations. It should be considered, however, that even those quantitative ones have to be considered as variables consisting s. c. affine space. It means that having two or more states, described by appropriate values of the indicators, we cannot determine distances between those states. From this point of view it is also clear that changing some of the variables we are unable to determine distance between the old and a new position of particular state.

Consequently an attempt should be made to constitute s. c. metric space of variables that would describe, at least most important aspects of sustainable development.

In the second step a trajectory that could be considered as at least approximate realization of sustainability, should be defined. Preliminary attempts and discussion of possible formulations of the model will be presented in the paper.


Sustainable Development Life Cycle Assessment Affine Space Sustainability Indicator Time Dependent Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Wasiak
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Bialystok Technical UniversityBialystokPoland
  2. 2.Supreme School of EconomicsBialystokPoland

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