A special issue of International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management
One definition of sustainable development is "the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs." According to the US National Research Council, it is “the level of human consumption and activity, which can continue into the foreseeable future, so that the system that provides goods and services to the humans persists indefinitely.” Others have argued that any definition of sustainability should include dynamic efficiency throughout the lifecycle of a product, process and service, should consist of total welfare (accounting for intergenerational equity) and should represent consumption of market and non-market goods and services. It is important to understand that sustainability is a global issue.
From the general notion of sustainability, an idea gaining traction in industry is the notion of a “sustainability index” for products. It is clear that the world is moving forward aggressively to achieve sustainable design, and manufacturing with lifecycle considerations. Design engineers of successful enterprises are confronted with the challenges of designing sustainable products, processes and services. Achieving sustainability is no more an option during product development; it has become a part of the design requirement.
To achieve sustainability, products, processes and services should meet the challenges not only related to their functions and performance and but also to environment, economy and social issues. Currently, these challenges are being addressed by researchers from different perspectives using various approaches. Companies interested in developing sustainable products should be sensitive to sustainability related standards, design and manufacturing techniques and tools used for assessing sustainability, and should also have access to case studies from other industries.
Ensuring a sustainable future requires a system of systems approach. Such systems are characterised by interlinked pathways of interaction at various levels. These levels span technical, economic, ecological and societal issues. The interactions within and across these levels are critical to the fundamental understanding of sustainable design and manufacturing, because tackling any one of the issues in isolation can result in unintended consequences along other dimensions.
The primary goal of a systems approach is to capture and formalise descriptions of these processes and interactions. Because of the complexity of these systems, simulation and modelling will also play an important role in understanding the overall impact of changes in any one subsystem. To achieve sustainability, it is important to address these issues holistically by bringing together multidisciplinary knowledge from research scientists, engineers and practitioners working in different research areas.
The aim of this special issue is to solicit the state-of-the-art approaches and suggested methods that address issues outlined above, especially focusing on design of sustainable products, processes and services and sustainable manufacturing. The issue would provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to present their current research results. The special issue is expected to become a source for the latest research knowledge in the area of sustainable design and manufacturing for designers, engineers and managers.
The subject coverage of this special issue includes, but is not limited to, topics that address:
- General notion of sustainability
- Sustainability and innovation
- Design of products, processes, and services
- Multidisciplinary approaches
- Information infrastructures
- Sustainable industries
Paper Submission deadline: 1 February, 2009
Completion of 1st Review Cycle: 1 April, 2009
Resubmission of Revised Papers: 1 May, 2009
Completion of Second Review Cycle: 1 June, 2009
Submission of Final Manuscript: 1 July, 2009