Tools for Sustainability Assessment

Description: Lecture, three hours. Recommended preparation: introductory course in industrial ecology, ecological economics, environmental economics, business and management, or public policy analysis. Public discourse about implications of current patterns of production and consumption of energy and various goods and services suggests such patterns are unsustainable. What is meant by sustainability and how is it quantified? Focus on concepts and tools to assess sustainability at micro-level of individuals, products, or firms using various techniques, including lifecycle assessment, input-output analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. Exploration of sustainability at macro-level for one entire economy or nation. Discussion of usefulness and limitations of various metrics as guide for public and private decision making. S/U or letter grading.

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