Sustainability Assessment (SA) debate had undergone a dramatic transformation in response to global policy changes, i.e. Kyoto Protocol, trade liberalization, Doha negotiations. The purpose of this paper was to review the body of literature relevant to Sustainability Assessment functional methods in engineering. To shed light on the current standing of sustainability assessment (SA) this paper reviewed and compared up to fifty five (SA) tools. These include descriptive, quantitative and qualitative measures, or indices. In order to achieve a unified approach integrating the needs of society and the natural system, the application and spatial implication of these tools in engineering were considered within the bounds of systems theory. It was found that whilst progress has been made in the development of assessment tools, definitional ambiguities remains evident (i.e. indicators and criteria). Furthermore (SA) exhibited a skewed alignment towards the triple bottom line theory i.e. economic, social, environmental objectives with baseline conditions. Therefore, there is a pressing need for further research into engineering (SA) sustainability assessment frameworks and their ultimate objectives, direction and magnitude, particularly whether the engineering professional can afford to endorse scores of tools.
|Keywords:||Sustainability Assessment (SA), Technology, Social, Economic|
Senior Lecturer, Engineering and Health, Faculty of Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
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