27 Feb Sustainable manufacturing process
Over the past few decades, there has been growing interest in sustainability assessment as an essential tool towards sustainable development. The standard definition of sustainable development provided by the Brundtland report (1987) is “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Ness et al., 2007). According to U.S. National Academy of Sciences (Council, 1999), there are three important components of sustainable development; the first component is what to be sustained, the second is what to be developed, and the third is the relation between the first and second components. These components identify three areas to be sustained, which are nature, life support systems and community. In the year 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development marked the introduction of the three dimensions or pillars of sustainable development which are economic development, social development and environmental protection (U. Nations, 2002)
After defining the objective of the assessment, the decision maker should consider the three dimensions of sustainability, which are the environmental, social and economic aspects. Each dimension can be assigned a weight by the policymaker to determine its relative importance. The weight can be assigned to the dimensions by means of subjective methods, i.e. ones that depend mainly on the decision-maker’s preference and judgment (Zhao et al., 2016). They are usually carried out based on experience, survey, MCDM methods such as the Analytical Hierarch Process (AHP) method, or by other methods.
The manufacturing sector has a major impact on the three sustainability dimensions represented by social, economic, and environmental aspects. Most of the work on sustainability assessment in the field of manufacturing is conducted at the product level or for specific processes; mainly machining with a limited number of indicators that do not capture all three dimensions of sustainability (H.Saad et al., 2019).
- Council, N.R. (1999). “Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability”. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, pp. 384.
- Saad, M.; A.Nazzal, M.; M.Darras, B. (2019). “A general framework for sustainability assessment of manufacturing processes”. Ecological Indicators, Volume 97, Pages 211-224.
- Ness, B.; Urbel-Piirsalu, E.; Anderberg, S.; Olsson, L. (2007). “Categorising tools for sustainability assessment”. Ecol. Econ. 60 (3), 498–
- Nations “Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development,” Available 2002, http://www.un-documents.net/aconf199-20.pdf.
- Zhao, R.; Su, H.; Chen, X.; Yu, Y. (2016). “Commercially available materials selection in sustainable design: an integrated multi-attribute decision making approach”. Sustainability 8 (1), 79.