Mission Statement

The mission of the Emergy Society is to work toward the general
acceptance and broad application of the concepts of emergy and
transformity for decision-making in the world. To this end we will promote
the exchange of information on research related to emergy and take other
actions that may facilitate the advancement of knowledge and
understanding about emergy and transformity.  

Statement of the Need for the Emergy Society

Emergy and transformity are fundamental quantities of non-equilibrium thermodynamics
that are derived from the 5th law of thermodynamics, otherwise know as the law of energy
hierarchy (Odum 1996). The fifth law, in turn, follows from the fourth law or the maximum
empower principle (Lotka 1922, Odum 1996). A progressive movement toward maximizing
empower (emergy per unit time) was proposed by Odum (1996) as the decision criterion
that guides the evolution of all systems. These ideas arose within the general framework of
Energy Systems Theory (Odum 1994) and they have recently been placed on the strong
mathematical footing (Giannantoni 2000) necessary for a general physical theory to be valid
and widely accepted. Energy Systems thinking, in general, and the ideas of emergy and
transformity, in particular, have the power to increase our understanding of systems on all
scales of hierarchical organization. Emergy methods can be used to improve
decision-making by employing a comprehensive, integrating criterion (emergy) to establish
equivalences among disparate quantities, thereby providing an indispensable tool to help   
address the complex problems facing the world today.


Giannantoni, C., 2000. The Maximum Em-power Principle as the basis for
Thermodynamics of Quality.  SG Editoriali, Padova, Italy. 185 pp.

Lotka, A.J., 1922. Contribution to the energetics of evolution. Proceedings, National.
Academy of Science.  8: p. 147 - 151.

Odum, H.T. 1994. Ecological and General Systems. University Press of Colorado, Boulder,

Odum, H.T., 1996. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision
Making. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 370 pp.
Mission of the Society and Statement of Need

International Society for the Advancement of Emergy Research

The Emergy Society