Sustainability is gaining prominence among the priorities of large companies, and engineers have taken on the eco-efficiency challenge,
optimizing the functionality and minimizing the negative environmental impacts of our products and technologies. Although impressive
improvements in efficiency can be demonstrated in many local cases, increases in population, affluence and consumption create an opposite
trend that we need to factor in when we address sustainability of our technological developments in an absolute sense. The paper discusses
absolute boundaries for environmental sustainability, metrics for gauging our solutions against these boundaries and the need and possibilities
of expanding our focus from efficiency to effectiveness.
Michael Z. Hauschild Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Department of Management Engineering, Division of Quantitative Sustainability Assessment, Produktionstorvet Building, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Copyright:© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license