The Sustainability Babel Fish
5 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2011 Last revised: 30 May 2014
Date Written: May 24, 2011
We introduce a unifying language to quantify sustainability across multiple domains. The use of scarce resources is translated into their energy equivalents, by including upstream losses, conversion efficiencies, and externalities. We aim at developing intuition regarding both magnitude and cost to facilitate decision-making. Our basic unit of measure, called Energy Points (EP), is based on the energy content in a gallon of gasoline. EP computations rely on existing data streams such as bills and thus, easily measured, monitored, and verified. The framework captures local variation, reflects embodies energy, and is conveniently linked to economic measures through prices.
Keywords: energy efficiency, sustainability, climate change, environmental behavior
JEL Classification: Q4, Q2, H4, D81
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation