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Sustainability assessment

Competence

Sustainability or sustainable development is a multidimensional concept that can be considered in terms of three elements: environment, economy, and society. All three are interconnected; with impacts in one field often creating consequences in another. Because of the interconnected nature of sustainability issues, an integrated research approach applying multidisciplinary methods is required. Sustainability assessment is a combination of different tools, and the exact content of the assessment is planned on the basis of the project in question.

VTT’s strong technical competence and understanding of industrial processes and systems supports the development work. We have experience in applying sustainability assessment in the context of several product and technology development projects. Other areas of expertise include development of sustainability indicators for various industries and many sectors’ products. Development of assessment methods and indicators is one of the main areas of research.

Challenges

When new products, materials, and technologies are being developed, it is important to incorporate the principles of sustainability and life cycle thinking into the early stages of the research. The development of new assessment methods that can include information from all three areas of sustainability, and include both quantitative and qualitative data, is a key issue and future challenge.

Communication of research results to various stakeholders is an area that requires more and more effort, because of increased public interest in sustainability issues. Sustainability is an integral part of corporate responsibility, and development of communication material for business-to-business and business-to-customer communication is one of the current research and development areas.

Benefits

The following are among the benefits offered:

  • Support for sustainable product and technology development and for life-cycle design
  • Comprehensive information about sustainability of products and technologies
  • Understanding of a product’s potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats from a sustainability point of view
  • Identification of future challenges and development needs
  • Material for sustainability-related communication

References


Additional information

Tiina Pajula
Principal Scientist, Team leader
+358 20 722 7480