Course contents *
Decision-making theory and environmental decision-making; Systems theory, systems thinking and systems analysis.
The ESA toolbox includes: strategic environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment, life cycle sustainability assessment, material flow analysis, cost-benefit analysis, technology assessment, integrated assessment, position analysis, multi-criteria decision analysis, integrated assessment models.
Intended learning outcomes *
Environmental Systems Analysis is a comprehensive and systematic approach to understand, assess and solve the problems created by human activities on the environment and well-being. It aims at robustly supporting decision-making towards sustainable development. This course provides insights into the suite of quantitative tools that exist for understanding the environmental and social implications of human activities, as well as the appropriateness of the tools to different decision contexts. Furthermore, the course takes an applied focus.
After completing this course, the student should be able to:
• Describe the main characteristics (procedure, type of results, strengths and weaknesses, main applicability) of the most important environmental systems analysis tools, including MFA (Material Flow Analysis), SFA (Substance Flow Analysis), LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), LCC (Life Cycle Costing), EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) and CBA (Cost-Benefit Analysis).
• Describe and explain what types of development trends may be expected in the area of environmental systems analysis.
• Explain and analyze how a specific environmental systems analysis tool or a combined use of two or several tools may contribute to an improved decision-making in a specific decision situation.
• Demonstrate an ability to cooperate in a group task work and together with other students produce a joint report of good quality with respect to formal issues, facts content and analysis.