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Making Right Choices: A Framework for Sustainability Assessment of Technology (SAT)


Making Right Choices: A Framework for Sustainability Assessment of Technology (SAT) Surya Prakash CHANDAK Senior Programme Officer United Nations Environment Programme – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Making Right Choices: A Framework for Sustainability Assessment of Technology (SAT)

Making Right Choices A Framework for
Sustainability Assessment of Technology (SAT)
  • Surya Prakash CHANDAK
  • Senior Programme Officer
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
  • International Environmental Technology Centre

Structure of Presentation
  • About SAT Methodology
  • Key Characteristics of SAT methodology
  • Use of SAT
  • Key elements
  • Methodology / Decision making process of SAT

Why integrate Sustainable Development in
Technology Assessment?
  • Technology plays an important role in Development
  • The dominant system of decision making in
    technology selection, focuses on economic
    considerations and tends to disassociate social
    and environmental factors
  • A fragmented approach in making technology
    choices has implications on efficiency and
    sustainability of technology
  • Integration of Economic, Social and Environmental
    considerations ensures Resource (Economic and
    Environmental) Efficiency and Social Acceptability

Sustainable Assessment of Technology (SAT)
  • SAT Methodology
  • Integrates Environmental, Social and Economic
  • Focuses on environment and development together
    and puts them at the centre of the economic and
    political decision making process
  • ... Can be adapted to country specific parameters
    and constraints

SAT Some Key Characteristics
  • It Undergoes progressive assessment (Tiered)
    procedure (screening, scoping and detail
    assessment) thereby optimizing information
  • It operates on strategic as well as operational
  • It is a quantitative procedure allowing objective
    assessment, sensitivity analyses and
    incorporation of scenarios
  • It incorporates Continuous improvement through
    Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle
  • It is not an automated process thereby making
    country specific adaptation possible

Use of SAT
  • Policy and Government Level

For Strategic Planning and Policy making
  • Financing Institution Level

For Assessing projects for funding
  • Operational Level

For assessment of alternative technologies
  • Community and Cluster Level

For assessment and comparison of collective
alternative technologies
  • Community / Enterprise Level

For comparing technology options
Application of SAT
  • The application areas include
  • Environment and health related programs
  • Provision of basic infrastructure such as roads,
    power, water etc.
  • Bio-diversity management
  • End-of pipe water and waste management
  • Water and waste recycling programs
  • Process technology modernization at shop floors
    and at industrial clusters

SAT Methodology
Examples of problems related to waste
agricultural biomass
  • The availability of WAB is widely dispersed as
    most of it is generated in fields, except for the
    WAB like rice husk and bagasse which are
    generated in processing facilities. Large scale
    implementation of WAB2E projects requires
    collection of WAB from wide areas and
    transporting it to a common WAB2E facility.
    Because of huge transportation distance coupled
    with low bulk density of WAB, this becomes a
    costly affair and cost of generating energy from
    WAB does not remain competitive
  • One option to meet the above challenge could be
    to set up a number of small sized WAB2E
    facilities. Apart from issues related to
    management of such large number of facilities,
    this also poses other challenges

Examples of problems related to waste
agricultural biomass
  • such as loss of economies of scale, lack of
    opportunity of using advanced technologies which
    are usually designed for larger sizes, limited
    opportunity for large scale application of
    energy, issues related to grid stability in case
    WAB2E facilities generated electric power and
    supply it to the grid etc.
  • The WAB availability and quality varies from crop
    to crop which in turn varies from season to
    season. This requires that facilities be designed
    to use different type of WAB which poses a big
    technical and economic challenge. Further, due to
    lack of continuous availability, WAB2E facilities
    need to make provisions for storing WAB for use
    in lean seasons.

SAT Methodology Situation Analysis
  • Situation Analysis and Defining Targets
  • The Situation Analysis includes
  • Baseline data collection
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Mapping and analyses
  • These two Steps help to identify issues, assess
    their significance and leads to setting of
    targets that should be addressed by proper
    technology intervention.

SAT Methodology Strategic Level Assessment
Strategic Level Assessment
  • Strategic level assessment
  • This is done by planners, decisionmakers,
    elected representatives through participatory
  • The outcomes are important as it
  • Helps to develop customized criteria and
    indicators for operational level from generic
  • Facilitates short-listing and identification of
    suitable options
  • Provides leads to future scenario building (e.g.
    population growth, tighten legal requirement)
    there by putting more light on technology choice.

SAT Methodology Operational Level Assessment
Operational Level Assessment
  • Operational level assessment
  • Engineers and technical staff assess the
    available technology options
  • In community or enterprise level, operational
    level assessment can be the first step.
  • The level of expert opinion and technical
    information is very important.

SAT Methodology - Three -Tier Assessment
Customized Criteria and Indicators considering
environmental, social and economic considerations
Detailed Assessment
SAT Methodology - Screening
  • In this Step
  • The short listed systems from Operational level
    Assessment, undergoes objective YES/NO type
  • Options which do not qualify one or more
    conditions, are eliminated.

Operational level assessment - Generic Screening
Heading Criteria Notes
Compliance Compliance with local environmental laws The technology must comply with environmental laws of the city, municipality, district and/or province, such as air pollution or landfill regulations.
Compliance Compliance with national environmental laws The technology must comply with national environmental laws, in particular, air pollution, wastewater, and solid waste disposal laws, and healthcare waste or hazardous waste management regulations. Some countries or local governments have banned incineration. Others specify only approved technologies for the treatment of one or more classifications of healthcare waste.
Compliance Compliance with multilateral environmental agreements Many countries are parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, The technology should be consistent with this guidance and the countrys National Implementation Plans.
Other requirements Meeting the objectives of 3R programs Many local governments promote reduce-reuse-recycling programs. The technology should meet the objectives of these local environmental programs.
Other requirements Other basic criterion Include other basic criterion from the stakeholder consultation workshops. Examples that might be raised during a consultation are proven technology, good environmental performance, no smoke stack or visible smoke, etc.
SAT Methodology - Scoping
  • It is a Comprehensive and Qualitative type
    (High/Medium/Low) assessment
  • Various technology options are assessed against
    generic or customized criteria and indicators
    with use of computational methods such as
  • The weighted sum technique
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) By Expert
    choice, a software using Analytical Hierarchy
    Process (AHP) to carry out MCDM

Operational level assessment General Scoping
A. Technical Suitability A. Technical Suitability
Criteria Notes
Preference for locally manufactured technologies Can the equipment be manufactured locally to reduce cost and support local employment
Availability of spare parts and usage of local materials To minimize downtime, consumable items and spare parts should be readily available. If there are no locally manufactured technologies, preference could be given to technologies that make use of locally made accessories, consumable items, and spare parts.
Availability of local expertise It would be essential to have the necessary local expertise for commissioning as well as operation, maintenance and repair of the technology. If local expertise is not available, preference could be given to vendors that are willing to train local operators and technicians to run and maintain the technology.
Compatibility with existing technology or management system In some cases, it is possible that the new technology system would build upon some existing system. As such, it is essential that the new system is compatible with the existing infrastructure/ technology systems as well as the organizations management systems.

Operational level assessment General Scoping
B. Environment (Resources and Emissions) B. Environment (Resources and Emissions)
Criteria Notes
Air emissions Some technologies,have low air emissions while others release significant air contaminants that require air pollution abatement.
Liquid effluents Liquid effluentssuch as wastewater with high biochemical oxygen demand, or contaminated effluents from scrubbersare released in varying amounts and impact the environment differently.
Solid residues Some residues, such as ash may require adequate disposal.
Noise Hammer mills and some shredders may generate unacceptable levels of noise especially if the treatment plant is adjacent to the community.
Operational level assessment General Scoping
C. Economic/financial aspects C. Economic/financial aspects
Criteria Notes
Capital cost of the technology The capital costs should include shipment, customs, installation, start-up, testing, and commissioning costs could vary widely for different technologies. Particularly in developing countries, the capital cost could be an important consideration.
Capital costs of all accessories and related equipment The capital costs of all necessary accessories and related equipment should also be considered. These accessories could include containers, bins, trolleys, weighing scales, conveyors, bin loaders , transport vehicles, computer controls, water treatment systems, air pollution control systems, wastewater treatment systems, etc.
Operation and maintenance costs The main operating costs are labor, fuel (diesel, gas, etc.), electricity, water, consumables (personal protection equipment), sewage, and landfill disposal costs, as well as preventive maintenance and repair costs including replacement parts.
Installation requirements If installation costs are not included in the capital cost of the technology, they should be estimated based on vendor information, technology fact sheets and expert opinions. Installation includes site preparation, foundation, construction or renovation of the space where the treatment technology will be located

Operational level assessment General Scoping
D. Social/cultural aspects D. Social/cultural aspects
Criteria Notes
Community acceptance of the technology Some technologies are easier to understand than others. For example, anaerobic digestion is well understood and may find easy community acceptance. On the other hand if there were a bad experience with odor hen there might be stiff resistance.
Income generation potential Job potential may be an important consideration in the community. The job potential can be assessed primarily by referring to vendor information, technology fact sheets and expert opinions.
Visible or aesthetic impact Many communities are opposed to the sight of flue gas stacks and visible smoke.
SAT Methodology - Detailed Assessment
  • The options with best overall ratings from
    Scoping are selected for detailed assessment
  • The Assessment level is situation specific and
    requires detailed and quantitative information.
  • The outcome is a list of technology options
    ranked as per their scores

Composite Star Diagram for Detailed Assessment
Technical knowledge requirements
Process stability
Level of automation
Person-power requirements
Estimated useful life
Fuel consumption
Odour levels
Noise levels
805.5, 922.5, 1008
Safety risk for workers and communities
Electricity consumption
Savings in energy
PPE requirement for staff
Capital investment
Secondary contaminant generation
O M costs
Financial incentives
Payback period
SAT Methodology - Anticipating Future Scenario
  • In order to check the robustness of selected
    technology options, same methodology with
    simulated future scenarios to be applied so at
    to confirm that the technology stands the test of

SAT Methodology - Preferred Technology Options
  • Before discarding low scoring options and/or
    final decision on selection of technology one
    must keep in mind
  • Highest score technology option for current
    scenario needs to be carefully reviewed for
    different scenarios as it may not be equally
    eligible as feasible option in other scenarios
  • On the other hand, the technology options with
    less score may qualify for different scenarios
    with suitable technology transfer/capacity
    building efforts.

SAT Methodology - Implementation and Monitoring
  • Once the decision on Suitable Option is made,
    this step covers the following
  • Engineering design
  • Tendering
  • Actual construction and commissioning
  • Evaluation of technology during operational
    phase ensures meeting of desired objective
    against criteria considered in SAT process

SAT Methodology Reporting, Monitoring and
  • Reporting the outcome of monitoring and
    evaluation to stakeholders, govt. agencies and
    decision makers acts as basis for situation
    analysis for future projects and helps in making
    informed decisions
  • It helps refine and build the Methodology by -
  • Inclusion of additional criteria
  • Disqualification of technology in future for
    similar situations due to negative experiences.

THANK YOU For further informationhttp//www.un
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