Sustainable Manufacturing is:
The creation of manufactured products that use processes that minimize negative environmental impacts, conserve energy and natural resources, are safe for employees, communities, and consumers and are economically sound.US Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative
Sustainable Manufacturing is a key part of Life Cycle Engineering (impact of products over the entire life cycle) and Life Cycle Assessment (grouping of techniques to measure that impact) disciplines.
Life Cycle Engineering is:
Engineering activities which include: the application of technological and scientific principles to the design and manufacture of products, with the goal of protecting the environment and conserving resources, while encouraging economic progress, keeping in mind the need for sustainability, and at the same time optimizing the product life cycle and minimizing pollution and waste.Jeswiet J. Life cycle engineering: A definition. CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering 2014 pp757-758
Life Cycle Assessment is:
The compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.ISO 14044:2006(E)
Sustainable Manufacturing is commonly but also incorrectly used interchangeably with Life Cycle Engineering. This interchangeable use is likely due to how critical Sustainable Manufacturing is to the impact, i.e. 80% or more of the environmental and sustainability impacts are the result of decisions made during design and manufacturing.
It is important to note that these three related disciplines are still evolving with many different approaches being practised. A more recent area of dispute is the triple bottom line model (environment, society and economy) versus the absolute sustainability model.
Would you like to know more? See the you tube video below for the absolute sustainability model.
- Paper: (Triple Bottom Line based) Mapping and Integrating Value Creation Factors with Life-cycle Stages for Sustainable Manufacturing by P.Bilgea, S.Emeca, G.SeligeraI, S.Jawahirb
- Paper: Advanced Technologies in Life Cycle Engineering by Rainer Starka,b, Hendrik Grossera, Boris Beckmann-Dobrevb, Simon Kindb, INPIKO Collaboration
- URL: Life Cycle Engineering Definition
- URL: UNSW Life Cycle Engineering
- URL: UNSW Sustainable Manufacturing and Life Cycle Engineering
- URL: University of Suttgart Life Cycle Engineering
- URL: Joint German-Australian Research Group Sustainable Manufacturing and Life Cycle Engineering
- URL: CIRP STC A – Life Cycle Engineering and Assembly
- URL: EPA Case for Sustainable Manufacturing
- Publication: OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Tool Kit
- Publication: Life Cycle Assessment: Theory and Practise by Michael Z. Hauschild (Editor), Ralph K. Rosenbaum (Editor), Stig Irving Olsen (Editor)
- Publication: EPA Life Cycle Engineering Guidelines