Standard for the measuring of product (un)sustainability which is the environmental, social and economical damage caused in the complete life cycle of a product, from cradle to grave. The means in this standard are quantification of damage, information, certification and market-working. The damage is expressed in Eco Social Cost Units (ESCU’s) in dollars or euro’s. As closely as possible, the ESCU score of a product equals the additional costs which would be required to prevent any of the damage that the product causes during its lifecycle. Together with the financial price of the product the ESCU score represents the real costs of a product.
These preventive costs are obtained by the determination of the globally marginal preventive costs as follows:
- First every issue is divided into impact categories.
- For every (sub)category a goal or standard to be globally reached is determined from international conventions or general principles.
- The available preventive measures for the category, all of which required to reach the goal are listed including their costs.
- The most expensive of these needed preventive measures is the marginal one and sets the ESCU score.
- Later the categories can be subcategorized and produce ever better and more product specific marginal preventive costs.
The Oiconomy Standard consists of a set of criteria which refer to a database.
The database contains the marginal preventive costs for all fundamental types of unsustainability and impact categories per fundamental issue.
A pilot version of the Oiconomy Standard is available here: Oiconomy standard.
Pim Croes is currently carrying out a PhD project at the University of Utrecht further developing the standard and certification systems and determining the data required for the database. We are looking for the input of more universities for this important subject.