Eco-Balancing and Decision Support Systems

Methods and Tools T3140 Eco-Balancing and Decision Support Systems
Exam Code 3140
Credit Points 5 ECTS
Term Summer
Module Coordination Prof. Johannes Hamhaber
Lecturers Prof. Johannes Hamhaber
Workload (h) 42 Attendance 108 Self-Study


Prerequisites None
Intended Learning Outcome Students are able to distinguish approaches to eco-balancing from a metabolist system view by defining appropriate system limits and indicator systems and performing case study calculationsin order to apply such methodologies in the context of industrial ecology and trade chains.
Content System theory and metabolism

  • Material, information and energy
  • System boundary, subsystems and super-systems and panarchy
  • Material, energetic and information flows

Material flow analysis in traditional and modern societies

Strategies of material efficiency

  • Reuse, recycling, downcycling
  • Cradle-to cradle approach
  • Sustainability concept and regime shifts

Eco-balancing concepts, e.g.

  • Substance and material flows
  • Life-cycle approaches
  • Input-output-analyses
  • Regional material flow
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Ecological Footprint

Concepts of decision support systems

  • Environmental indicator systems
  • Environmental information Management
  • EMS and international standards
Teaching Method Lectures and External Expert Guest Lectures, Students’ Group work on selected case study
Assesment Method Report (100%), (Policy analysis, Country analysis)
Recommended Reading

Braungart, McDonough 2002: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things. North Point.Bringezu, Bleischwitz 2009: Sustainable Resources Management – Global Trends, Visions and Policies.

Burger, E., Giljum, S., Manstein, C. & Hinterberger, F., 2009. Comprehensive ecological indicators for products: Three case studies applying ecological rucksack (MIPS) and ecological footprint. Factor 10 Institute.

Finnveden, Ekvall 1999: Life-cycle assessment as a decision-support tool—the case of recycling versus incineration of paper. Resources, Conservation and recycling, Elsevier.

ICLEI, 2009. International local government GHG emissions analysis protocol (IEAP).

IPCC, 2006: Chapter 2 – Waste Generation, Composition and Management Data. In Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

Larsen, H.N. & Hertwich, E.G., 2009: The case for consumption-based accounting of greenhouse gas emissions to promote local climate action. Environmental Science & Policy, 12(7), pp.791-98.

Mulhall, D., Braungart, M. 2010: Cradle to Cradle. Criteria for the Built Environment. Duurzaam Gebouwd Magazine

UN Habitat 2010: Solid waste management in the Worlds Cities. UN Habitat / Earthscan

ISO 14001 and related standards

Version 30.01.2014


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