Points of view

It is very difficult to measure the (un)sustainability of products objectively. By the choice of the preventive costs as the unit of measurement, the Oiconomy Standard achieved a great deal of objectivity.
The most important and most used system of product sustainability measurement is Life Cycle Analyses (LCA). In LCA the damage or impact is measured for all issues separately. Sofar good, but the importance of the different impacts is subjective. Therefore all damage based systems of comprehensively measuring several sustainability issues need a more or less subjective step, weighting the importance of the different issues and impacts against each other. Though the subjectivity usually is reduced by using panels, stakeholder involvement and other ways of collective judgment, these systems remain based on many value choices.

By measuring the preventive costs for all issues, the Oicnomy Standard presents one measure for all issues, namely the costs that are required to avoid any damage of whatever nature. This method has previously been described for environmental issues by Vogtländer e.a., 1999.

However complete objectivity in the measurement of sustainability is impossible, because already the choice of issues may be questioned. Therefore also the Oiconomy Standard has to make make choices on which issues to measure, most of which will be commonly supported or supported by international conventions and agreements, but some of which may be considered subjective.

Where there may be doubts the Oiconomy Standard explains its current point of view: