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Proceedings Paper

A methodology to incorporate life cycle analysis and the triple bottom line mechanism for sustainable management of industrial enterprises
Author(s): Ling Wang; Li Lin
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Paper Abstract

Since 1970’s, the environmental protection movement has challenged industries to increase their investment in Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing (ECM) techniques and management tools. Social considerations for global citizens and their descendants also motivated the examination on the complex issues of sustainable development beyond the immediate economic impact. Consequently, industrial enterprises have started to understand sustainable development in considering the Triple Bottom Line (TBL): economic prosperity, environmental quality and social justice. For the management, however, a lack of systematic ECM methodologies hinders their effort in planning, evaluating, reporting and auditing of sustainability. To address this critical need, this research develops a framework of a sustainable management system by incorporating a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of industrial operations with the TBL mechanism. A TBL metric system with seven sets of indices for the TBL elements and their complex relations is identified for the comprehensive evaluation of a company’s sustainability performance. Utilities of the TBL indices are estimated to represent the views of various stakeholders, including the company, investors, employees and the society at large. Costs of these indices are also captured to reflect the company’s effort in meeting the utilities. An optimization model is formulated to maximize the economic, environmental and social benefits by the company’s effort in developing sustainable strategies. To promote environmental and social consciousness, the methodology can significantly facilitate management decisions by its capabilities of including “non-business” values and external costs that the company has not contemplated before.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 February 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5262, Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing III, (27 February 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.516027
Show Author Affiliations
Ling Wang, Univ. at Buffalo (United States)
Li Lin, Univ. at Buffalo (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5262:
Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing III
Surendra M. Gupta, Editor(s)

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