Keywords

sustainability, impact assessment, openmi, tosia, indicators

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

Sustainability impact assessment (SIA) studies how factors such as policy, management or technology development affect the sustainability of a sector or a chain of value adding processes and helps decision-makers to assess impacts of decision alternatives. The Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA) was developed as a transparent platform for assessing the sustainability impacts of changes in Forest Wood Chains (FWC). The adopted approach is flexible and can thus be applied to other similar domains and the scope of analysis can be defined by the user. Target users of the tool and its assessments include scientists, consultants and policy makers. ToSIA implements SIA by calculating material flows of an interlinked sequence of processes and combining each process’ volume with indicators of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, which can then be aggregated for process groups or the whole FWC. The results are compared to other results derived with alternative assumptions, which produce changes in sustainability indicator values. A change in an indicator result in response to a changed external driver is a quantified impact. Alternatives bring out quantitative differences (impacts) of changing between efficiencies of technologies or of redistributing resources between alternative/competing uses. This paper presents how ToSIA has been implemented from a modeling and software viewpoint. There is a special focus on describing the utilization of the Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI) Standard for ToSIA material flow calculation. The inherent cyclic nature of FWC flows (recycling) is a special issue that was addressed by performing iterations of calculation of carefully specified material flow loops, implemented through the calculation of a diminishing mathematical series. Examples from case studies are used to demonstrate the utilized approach in practice. The future development prospects of the modeling aspect of ToSIA are also discussed.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Utilization of OpenMI for Calculation of Material Flows in the Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA)

Sustainability impact assessment (SIA) studies how factors such as policy, management or technology development affect the sustainability of a sector or a chain of value adding processes and helps decision-makers to assess impacts of decision alternatives. The Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA) was developed as a transparent platform for assessing the sustainability impacts of changes in Forest Wood Chains (FWC). The adopted approach is flexible and can thus be applied to other similar domains and the scope of analysis can be defined by the user. Target users of the tool and its assessments include scientists, consultants and policy makers. ToSIA implements SIA by calculating material flows of an interlinked sequence of processes and combining each process’ volume with indicators of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, which can then be aggregated for process groups or the whole FWC. The results are compared to other results derived with alternative assumptions, which produce changes in sustainability indicator values. A change in an indicator result in response to a changed external driver is a quantified impact. Alternatives bring out quantitative differences (impacts) of changing between efficiencies of technologies or of redistributing resources between alternative/competing uses. This paper presents how ToSIA has been implemented from a modeling and software viewpoint. There is a special focus on describing the utilization of the Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI) Standard for ToSIA material flow calculation. The inherent cyclic nature of FWC flows (recycling) is a special issue that was addressed by performing iterations of calculation of carefully specified material flow loops, implemented through the calculation of a diminishing mathematical series. Examples from case studies are used to demonstrate the utilized approach in practice. The future development prospects of the modeling aspect of ToSIA are also discussed.