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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol.
73, No. 8, pp. 1273-1276 (2001)
Pure and Applied
Vol. 73, Issue
Sustainability metrics for vehicles*
John L. Sullivan
Ford Research Laboratories, MD/3083 SRL, Dearborn,
MI 48124, USA
Abstract: The public has growing concerns about the effects
of human activity on the environment for both themselves and future
generations. The concept being developed to address these environmental
concerns, along with economic and social-equity considerations, is called
"sustainable development". The business community has already
started to address their contribution to environmental issues through
collaborative efforts under organizations such as the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development. That work has focused primarily
on industrial and corporate environmental and economic performance through
the development of eco-efficiency metrics, which are a measure of resources
and materials consumed per unit output of product, sales, or value-added.
While this development is important, it is not enough. Clearly, the
environmental performance of the entire product system must also be
elucidated. Otherwise, one might forget, for example, the power plant
emissions of his or her so-called "zero-emission" vehicle.
The metrics required to characterize sustainable practices and systems
have yet to be developed. The set will include economic, environmental,
and social-equity metrics. Because of their system-oriented environmental
performance representation, life-cycle assessment metrics are certainly
going to be included in such a set. A discussion of some potential life-cycle
*Lecture presented at the IUPAC CHEMRAWN
XIV Conference on Green Chemistry:Toward Environmentally Benign Processes
and Products, Boulder,Colorado, USA, 9-13 June 2001. Other presentations
are published in this issue, pp.1229 1330.
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