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Dr. Richard Hardiman

Without detracting from the importance of the efforts made to mitigate climate change, the public and governing authorities worldwide misses a critical point related to the environmental sustainability of the earth while preserving the essentials of mankind’s modern ways of life. It is proposed that products, processes and materials that impact directly or indirectly upon the environment be classified into a Sustainability Index (SI) based upon the summation of their carbon, energy and water footprints. The SI will induce increased efficiency in production and transport and reduce the anthropogenic impact on the environment. Each material and material combination will be identified by its carbon, water and energy footprint required for its production and completion. The footprints will be summated to provide an SI of the product. If the product is used in renewable energy or to improve efficiency of energy use, then the amount of energy that the product will save or will produce during its life time will be deducted from the SI. The SI will provide a guide for global WTO tariffs for materials and commodities and will vary from country to country depending upon production methods.