Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 691–702 | Cite as

The triple value model: a systems approach to sustainable solutions

  • Joseph Fiksel
  • Randy Bruins
  • Annette Gatchett
  • Alice Gilliland
  • Marilyn ten Brink
Original Paper

Abstract

The unintended environmental impacts of economic development threaten the continued availability of ecosystem services that are critical to human well-being. An integrated systems approach is needed to characterize sustainability problems and evaluate potential solutions. The Triple Value Model is an innovative framework that depicts the dynamic linkages and resource flows among industrial, societal, and environmental systems. The U.S. EPA has begun using this model to support transdisciplinary research projects that focus upon water resources, communities, and other broad sustainability themes. One recent application addresses opportunities for mitigation of nutrient impairment in the Narragansett Bay watershed, and has produced a policy simulation tool that enables evaluation of alternative sustainable solutions.

Keywords

Sustainability Systems thinking Triple value model Integrated assessment 

References

  1. Binswanger HC, Chakraborty RN (2000) Economics of resource management. Paper commissioned by the European Commission, University of St. Gallen, Institute for Economy and the Environment, October 2000Google Scholar
  2. Bruins RJF, Munns WR et al (2010) A new process for organizing assessments of social, economic, and environmental outcomes: case study of wildland fire management in the USA. Integr Environ Assess Manag 6:469–483Google Scholar
  3. Brundtland Commission of the United Nations (1988) Report of the world commission on environment and development: our common future. Oxford University Press, Oxford. www.un-documents.net/a42-427.htm. Accessed 15 June 2013
  4. Cimren E, Bassi A, Fiksel J (2010) T21-Ohio, a system dynamics approach to policy assessment for sustainable development: a waste-to-profit case study. Sustainability 2:2814–2832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eason T, Garmestani AS, Cabezas H (2013) Managing for resilience: early detection of catastrophic shifts in ecological systems. Clean Technol Environ Policy. doi:10.1007/s10098-013-0687-2
  6. Fiksel J (2006) A framework for sustainable materials management. J Mater 58:15–22Google Scholar
  7. Fiksel J (2007) Sustainability and resilience: toward a systems approach. IEEE Manage Rev 35(3):5–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fiksel J (2009) Design for environment: a guide to sustainable product development. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Fiksel J (2012) A systems view of sustainability: the triple value model. Environ Dev 2:138–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fiksel J, Low J, Thomas J (2004) Linking sustainability to shareholder value. Environ Manag 71:19–25Google Scholar
  11. Fiksel J, Graedel T, Hecht A, Rejeski D, Sayler G, Senge P, Swackhamer D, Theis T (2009) EPA at 40: bringing environmental protection into the 21st century. Environ Sci Technol. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es901653f. Accessed 15 June 2013
  12. George EPB, Norman RD (1987) Empirical model-building and response surfaces. Wiley, New York, p 424. ISBN 0471810339Google Scholar
  13. Hecht AD, Fiksel J, Fulton SC, Yosie TF, Hawkins NC, Leuenberger H, Golden J, Lovejoy TE (2012) Creating the future we want. Sustain Sci Pract Policy 8(2):62–75Google Scholar
  14. Holling CS (2001) Understanding the complexity of economic, ecological, and social systems. Ecosystems 4:390–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. National Environmental Policy Act (1969) 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. http://epw.senate.gov/nepa69.pdf. Accessed 15 June 2013
  16. National Research Council (1983) Risk assessment in the federal government: managing the process. National Academy Press, Washington, DC (known as the Red Book)Google Scholar
  17. National Research Council (2009) Science and decisions: advancing risk assessment. National Academy Press, Washington, DC (known as the Silver Book) Google Scholar
  18. National Research Council (2011) Sustainability at the EPA. National Academy of Sciences Press, Washington, DC (known as the Green Book)Google Scholar
  19. Odum H (1994) Ecological and general systems: introduction to systems ecology. Colorado University Press, NiwotGoogle Scholar
  20. OECD (2003) OECD environmental indicators: development, measurement and use. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  21. Rockstrom J et al (2009) A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461:472–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sterman JD (2000) Business dynamics—systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. McGraw-Hill, BostonGoogle Scholar
  23. UNEP (2011) Toward a green economy: pathways to sustainable development and poverty eradication. www.unep.org/greeneconomy. Accessed 15 June 2013
  24. UNEP/GRID-Arendal, DPSIR framework for State of Environment Reporting, UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library. http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/dpsir_framework_for_state_of_environment_reporting. Accessed 15 June 2013
  25. Yee SH, Rogers JE, Harvey J, Fisher W, Russell M, Bradley P Concept mapping ecosystem goods and services. In Moon B, Hoffman R, Novak J, Canas A (eds) Applied concept mapping: theory, techniques, and case studies in the business applications of Novakian concept mapping (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Fiksel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Randy Bruins
    • 1
  • Annette Gatchett
    • 1
  • Alice Gilliland
    • 1
  • Marilyn ten Brink
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of Research and DevelopmentU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Resilience at the The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations