Mission Statement

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 a and b; 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., 1922a. Contribution to the energetics of evolution. Proceedings, National Academy of Science. 8: p. 147 - 151.

Lotka, A.J., 1922b. Natural selection as a physical principle. Proceedings, National Academy of Science. 8: p. 151 - 154.

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

Odum, H.T., 1996. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 370 pp.


Emergy Research

Emergy research is expanding and evolving rapidly...