IPAT Equation


Impact= Population X Affluence X Technology

– This equation, which emerged as a result of a discussion between scientists, Commoner, Ehrlich and Holdren, “describes the
multiplicative contribution of population (P), affluence (A) and technology (T) to environmental impact (I).” In other words environmental impact is influenced and can be loosely calculated by the totality of these three factors. However, an increase in any single factor does not necessarily mean that there will be a negative environmental impact; the other factors can work as counter-weights.

-“Environmental impact (I) may be expressed in terms of resource depletion or waste accumulation”

-Population (P) is self evident

-“Affluence (A) refers to the level of consumption by that population”- N.B. this is not just food related

-“Technology (T) refers to the processes used to obtain resources and transform them into useful goods and wastes,” or the level of intensity involved in the production of affluence- It involves creating, transporting and disposing of the
goods, services and amenities used

For more information of this you can see: http://www.sustainablescale.org/ConceptualFramework/UnderstandingScale/MeasuringScale/TheIPATEquation.aspx

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