|Abstract:||Unsustainable development of human society has in recent years caused environmental degradation and great economic and social problems. There are several causes for these problems, the two of them being is the accelerated growth of the world's population and, consequently, even faster growth of the population’s needs. In order to reverse this trend, it is important that current and future investments are as sustainable as possible. Sustainable investments have to be acceptable from economic, environmental and social aspects.
For the right choice between sustainable alternatives, we have to have suitable criteria which offer solutions that reflect the optimum compromise between economic and environmental performance and social justice. In the doctoral dissertation, we present the newly developed sustainable criterion "sustainability profit", which equally balanced includes all three sustainability dimensions. In addition to economic profit, the environmental component equally treats direct burdening and indirect unburdening effects on the environment. The social component covers the effects on employees and local population. All parameters are monetary based, which enables them to easily integrate into the final composite criterion and to be easily understandable by a wider public. The developed sustainability criterion enables the evaluation of the investment from the point of view of the company, the wider region, or the national aspect. As the defining long-term projects is a major challenge, we have upgraded the sustainability profit into the concept of sustainability net present value. In the doctoral dissertation, we have with this newly developed criterion "sustainability net present value" explored the influence of the time component on the evaluation of sustainability. The use of composite criteria allows solving of large-scale synthesis problems since multi-criterion optimization based on mathematical programming changes into a single-criterion one.
To demonstrate the application of newly developed sustainability criteria, we have created a smaller demonstration model of the energy supply network and upgraded the concept of the (bio)chemical supply network. The upgrade of the (bio)chemical supply network into the system-wide supply network is a response to the challenge of implementing an integrated multifunctional synthesis based on sustainable principles using renewable sources from the molecular level to the level of process plants and their links at regional or even global level. In addition to the (bio)chemical supply network, we also included an agricultural and energy supply network. The synthesis of the system-wide supply network with its huge dimensionality and complexity offers practically an unlimited number of possible solutions. Since the synthesis of the supply network system is generally complicated and comprehensive for modeling, we applied effective decomposition techniques and techniques to reduce the size of the model.
In the framework of the doctoral dissertation, we have developed a methodology for the design of new, environmentally friendly processes and products. In connection with the global life cycle assessment, we have developed effective tools for the design and evaluation of new compounds and the synthesis of innovative processes in process industries. Using the mathematical programming for the simultaneous synthesis of system-wide supply networks, the main vision of the concept is to thoroughly transform processes and other systems in order to achieve more sustainable production and consumption, with significant potential for innovation and new discoveries.|