What is sustainability-based decision making?

by Dan Power


Considering criteria related to sustainability when making routine or complex decisions can be termed sustainability-based decision making. One means of insuring that sustainability is considered when making routine decisions that have a sustainability component is to require use of model-driven decision support that include relevant sustainability criteria. The model may be a multi-criteria model or an algebraic or optimization model.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "Sustainability requires meeting the needs of the present population without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To manage the environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability, decision makers will have to make decisions under highly complex and uncertain conditions. Models, methods, frameworks, and guidance for sustainability-based decision making are needed." The EPA web page lists seven "decision-support tools from sustainability researchers".


Schatsky, D. "Better Decision Making for Sustainability," March 21, 2012, URL

"Sustainability-Based Decision Making," EPA

Last update: 2014-05-28 03:15
Author: Daniel Power

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