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Sustainability quantified: The key environmental indicators in sustainable material selection

Author : Samir Jaber, Matmatch

02 June 2021

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a central aspect of our world, particularly within the materials industry.

Multiple sustainability indicators within environmental, economic and social schemes are specifically sought to ensure sustainable production, use, reuse, and disposal of products and materials. However, the challenge lies in the quantification of these indicators and finding the best methods for measuring and reporting their impacts. 

Here, Samir Jaber, Content Writer at Matmatch, explores the most common environmental sustainability indicators in a materials selection process and how they are quantified.

As defined in the Brundtland Report in 1987, “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

Today, sustainability has long passed the association with merely minimising carbon and greenhouse gases. Discussions about sustainability are concerned with various matters of the environment, the economy, and society. These are commonly known as the “three pillars of sustainability”, as they all demand proper management to ensure a sustainable future. 

But one question remains: how can we measure sustainability, quantify its impacts, and set meaningful and appropriate goals?

As more ambitious sustainability targets are being set by governments, organisations and companies alike, the challenge of measuring the impacts and meeting demands has become increasingly difficult, yet ever important. 

No matter what industry you’re in, sustainable material selection has become a fundamental course of action. Accordingly, here are some of the key and most common environmental sustainability indicators that can go into the material selection process.

Read the full article in the June issue of DPA

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