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Proceedings Paper

Methodology to assess the environmental impact of a product and its processes
Author(s): K. Ravi Kumar; Dongwon Lee; Arvind Malhotra
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Paper Abstract

This study presents a methodology for capturing the environmental impact of a product and its processes throughout the life cycle in discrete part manufacturing. The objectives of the study are to identify opportunities to enhance environmental friendliness of a product in its design stage, and assess whether the environmental impact has actually been reduced or has simply been shifted elsewhere in the life cycle of the product. Using the bill of materials and the process route sheet, we build the environmental status of its operations as a vector of measurable attributes, categorized under the taxonomy of social, ecological, and economic impact that can be aggregated and evaluated at a business unit level. The vector of social impact deals with the effects of materials used and wastes produced on people through the life cycle. The vector of ecological impact consists of effects of recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of a product based on the notion of materials balance. Finally, the vector of economic impact represents the conversion of the previous two vectors into managerially relevant costs to firm expressed in dollar amounts so that managers in any positions visually appraise their operations and communicate each other with the same language.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4193, Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing, (9 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417265
Show Author Affiliations
K. Ravi Kumar, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Dongwon Lee, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Arvind Malhotra, Univ. of North Carolina/Chapel Hill (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4193:
Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing
Surendra M. Gupta, Editor(s)

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