7. Systems Thinking Leads to “Tunneling Through the Cost Barrier”

  1. Nikos Avlonas Founder and President1 and
  2. George P. Nassos Principal2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118787472.ch7

Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage

How to Cite

Avlonas, N. and Nassos, G. P. (2013) Systems Thinking Leads to “Tunneling Through the Cost Barrier”, in Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ. doi: 10.1002/9781118787472.ch7

Author Information

  1. 1

    Center for Sustainability & Excellence

  2. 2

    George P. Nassos & Associates, Inc.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118250440

Online ISBN: 9781118787472

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Keywords:

  • carbon dioxide emissions;
  • system elements;
  • system function;
  • system interconnections;
  • systems thinking

Summary

A simple way to introduce systems thinking is with an ancient story. The behavior of a system cannot be known just by knowing the element of which the system is made. The system must consist of three kinds of things: elements, interconnections, and a function or purpose. The embargo was instituted because of the US support for Israel. About the same time, US oil production peaked as the country had depleted 50% of its oil reserves. This made the United States more concerned about oil imports as US production would start to decrease. The interconnections are all the controls that eventually lead to the production of electricity, which is the purpose or function. However, the production of carbon dioxide is also a “purpose,” albeit a negative one. There are situations where systems thinking is applied to a project that results in a minimum application.