From Advanced Civil Infrastructure Materials: Science, Mechanics and Applications

7.3 Sustainability

Definitions as to what the words sustainable, sustainability and so on mean abound. The concept of sustainability was brought to prominence by the then Prime Minister of Norway, Mrs Gro Harlem Brundtland in the World Commission for Sustainable Development which defined sustainable development as 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Bruntland, 1987). 'Living within the means of the planet.' Value for impact. 'The concept of striving for sustainable development is not so much a "destination" at the end of a road but like life, more a "manner of travelling".' (CICA, 2002). We can say, however, we are succeeding when our footprint is reduced, when trends are reversed such as the level of CO 2 in the atmosphere and when water quality, sanitation and other benchmark measures improve.

Sustainable materials and processes are all relative. Something that is sustainable in one context may not be in another; what is sustainable today may not be tomorrow and so on. We can, however, always compare our efforts towards sustainability to nature. Natural processes [4] are usually as a whole balanced, integrated and efficient, all major features of sustainable processes. Some aspects of sustainability are easier to understand than others. One thing is clear however. To live more sustainably we must reduce the impact of our activities on the earth's systems by what I call the techno-process described on page 284.

[4]See www.biomimicry.org

Copyright Woodhead Publishing Limited 2006 under license agreement with Books24x7

Products & Services
Instrument and Computer Power Connectors
Instrument power connectors and computer power connectors are used to connect a computer’s power supply to a hard disk, floppy disk, compact disk (CD), digital video disk (DVD), or other type of disk drive.
Grounding Straps
Grounding straps are anti-static devices that are used to protect people and electronic equipment from electrostatic discharges (ESD) by routing the electric current to a safe ground.
Hookup Wires
Hookup wires are used in low current, low voltage (under 1000 V) applications within enclosed electronic equipment. They are also used in control panels, meters, computers, business machines, and appliances.
Thermal Cutoffs and Thermal Protectors
Thermal cutoffs and thermal protectors are nonresetting, thermally sensitive devices designed to protect domestic electrical appliances and industrial equipment from fire. They are sometimes described as thermal one-shot fuses.
Multiconductor Cables
Multiconductor cables contain two or more conductors. Each conductor consists of a single wire or a combination of wires.

Topics of Interest

7.4 The Earth's Natural Systems The planet has well-connected natural systems. Carbon dioxide emitted in one country is rapidly mixed throughout the atmosphere; pollutants released into the ocean in...

Dr. Gi-Dae Choi, LG Chemicals Ltd. Tech Center EP Team Daejeon, Korea (Rep.) Introduction Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin is a semicrystalline thermoplastics polyester derived from...

A series of snap-in light-emitting diode (LED)–based panel-mount indicators includes high-brightness versions suitable for viewing under daylight conditions. Also included in the 559 series are...

An FDA-registered facility uses liquid injection molding, transfer molding, and compression molding to produce components for medical devices. Medical- and implant-grade silicones are used...

Chapter List Chapter 5: Polyacetals Chapter 6: Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Resin Chapter 7: Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) Chapter 8: Thermoplastic Polyetherimide (PEI) Chapter 9:...