Sustainability screw: role of relative production and abatement time scales

Jerzy Filar, Jacek Krawczyk, Manju Agrawal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    We postulate that reasonable notions of sustainability must include a time-scale synchronization of both the processes of human development and those of the natural environment. We perform our analysis within a simple system of five differential equations where non-renewable and renewable resources are coupled with production capacities, abatement and human capital as functions of time. A 'sustainability screw' phenomenon is demonstrated describing a spiral like trajectory of three key variables-the non-renewable resources, the renewable resources and the production capital. This spiral may tend to an undesirable steady state, however, by adjusting a ratio of intensity parameters, time scales of production and natural recovery processes can be altered to produce more sustainable trajectories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1259-1269
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • multiple time scale
    • Sustainable optimization systems
    • viability


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