Oiconomy Pricing

Oiconomy Sustainability Assessment Tool

[availability: see bottom of this page]

The Oiconomy Sustainability Assessment Tool leads the practitioner through all stages of the product life cycle and along all aspects of sustainability. The tool has the following functions:

  1. By means of a questionnaire, it shows the practitioner all aspects of sustainability and questions to be answered to measure the sustainability of the product.
  2. It leads the practitioner in selecting the 80% most relevant upstream supply chains to be included and which suppliers to request ESCU’s from. In principle, all selected suppliers need to provide data, but the tool also shows how to search for the required data in absence of supplier data.
  3. By means of well-specified questions for each sustainability aspect, the tool challenges companies to self-provide their specific (“foreground”) costs to prevent causing harm, or, in other words, the extra costs (without margin) for the sustainable version of the product.
  4. The tool searches an included database of background data, if foreground data are not available, and makes most calculations automatically.

ESCU Scheme


Characteristics of the Oiconomy system

  1. The Oiconomy Standard and the Oiconomy Assessment Tool (questionnaire with calcualation sheets) lead companies through all necessary measurements.
  2. All 3 PPP pillars (Planet, People, Prosperity) are included, covering all 17 UN SDGs. The word “sustainability” therefore includes social and economic responsibility.
  3. (Un)sustainability is determined by the additional costs for a sustainable product version, expressed in “Eco Social Cost Units” (ESCU’s).
  4. ESCU’s are transferred as one total value, but also separately for the 10 aspect categories.
  5. Verification of the reliability of the data by means of certification on the Oiconomy standard.
  6. Information about the sustainabilty performance in the form of ESCU’s is transferred and documented in the value chain like normal prices (without the margins). The Oiconomy System is a bookkeeping system for the yet hidden preventative externalities.
  7. By only transferring information in the form of aggregated ESCU’s, intellectual property remains safe.
  8. The Oiconomy system is a type of “Life Cycle Assessment”, but measured by the value chain actors themselves, instead of afterwards by scientists or NGO’s based on general databases.
  9. Without demonstrable specific data, generic default values from a database are used, but the companies can continuously improve these with their specific data and investment calculations. 

How does it work for a company in the envisioned Oiconomy system?

  1. End-producers or retailers take the lead in applying the Oiconomy assessment.
  2. ESCU’s are requested from suppliers or a selection of suppliers.
  3. Each (selected) value chain partner calculates its own ESCU’s and keeps its own bookkeeping, following the Oiconomy Standard and filling the Oiconomy questionnaire in the tool.
  4. Certification guarantees the trustworthiness of the calculations. All participants agree to cooperate with unannounced audits (when results are communicated externally).
  5. The aggregated information about ESCU’s is transferred to the next value chain actor. The end-producer makes the final calculation. Only end-producers include the ESCU’s for the use- and end-of life-phases of the product.
  6. Retailers can be end-producers (private label) but are mostly considered as supplier of the service of selling the product.

The Oiconomy Standard and Oiconomy Assessment Tool

  1. Oiconomy Assessment Tool (questionnaire with calculation sheets) leads the company along all stages of products and all aspects of sustainability and socio-economic aspects.
  2. It indicates what and how to measure and calculate ESCU’s from the measurements.
  3. Gives default values where companies cannot demonstrate their specific preventative costs.

Aspect categories included in the Oiconomy Standard

  1. Pollution (including GHG’s).
  2. Depletion of scarce materials.
  3. Land use.
  4. Biodiversity and land degradation.
  5. Waste and End of life disposal.
  6. Economic responsibility (fair wage, fair trade, tax, transparency).
  7. Health and Safety (not occupational).
  8. Labor (occupational health and safety, child labor, labor conditions).
  9. Corruption and conflict.
  10. Various social criteria.

Bonus ESCU’s are allocated for activities benefitting the society, under strict rules.



Below, a blocked version of the Oiconomy Assessment Tool is presented.

The working tool can be requested by means of an email to oiconomy@uu.nl

Because we want to know who and for what purposes the tool is used, this mail must include: Name and email address of the requesting person and company (including country and website), purpose of the request, and product(s) to be assessed.

Please find the information on the Oiconomy standard as a downloadable file below:

Oiconomy Standard v2.04.pdf

Please find the underlying assessment tool as a downloadable spreadsheet below (blocked version):

Oiconomy Assessment Tool v1.04 -View version

Academic publications on Oiconomy Pricing are available here

Intellectual property rights

  • Utrecht University and the Oiconomy Foundation remain the owners and shall retain control of the Oiconomy Standard and the Oiconomy Assessment Tool.
  • Changes and/or decisions about adjustments of the Oiconomy Standard and Oiconomy Assessment Tool will be made by Utrecht University and Oiconomy Foundation only.
  • The Oiconomy Standard and Oiconomy Assessment Tool are available for free for any interested party, after registration at this Utrecht University website.
  • Results of applying the Oiconomy Assessment Tool should be communicated to Utrecht University (see email address above) and can only be published in any form with reference to and after informing Utrecht University and Oiconomy Foundation. When publishing any result, users comply to refer to the Oiconomy Standard as “For this publication the Oiconomy Standard v.2.0x and the Oiconomy Sustainability Assessment Tool v.1.0x have been applied, as provided by Utrecht University and Oiconomy Foundation on oiconomy.geo.uu.nl .”
  • Application of the Oiconomy Sustainability Assessment Tool by third parties does not include any approval by Utrecht University and Oiconomy Foundation.