Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Manbir Sodhi

Abstract

Over the last decades, there has been an increased interest in sustainability and it has become an important issue in production and manufacturing research. To use the traditional definition provided by the Brundtland Commission, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland p.43). This concept of sustainability might be understood intuitively, but to express and assess specific goals poses an important challenge. As a result sustainability assessment is becoming a rapidly developing area with a growing number of frameworks and tools. However, most of the sustainability assessment tools focus on a national, regional or community level. At this point, the company level has not been considered sufficiently and those tools that are actually used within industry focus mainly on a product level within the organization (Labuschagne et al. 2005). Furthermore, the existing tools require a lot of effort and insight data in order to be completed.

This study presents a tool that overcomes this issues and aims to fill the gap of a missing factory assessment tool. Based on existing integrated sustainability assessment tools a set of indicators is compiled and integrated into a framework that calculates an overall composite index. The developed tool distinguishes itself from other tools, because it is constructed as a user-friendly software that allows the assessment of a factory’s overall sustainability with a minimal time effort. It can be used from an external as well as from an internal perspective and considers the differences between industries. Furthermore, it provides the possibility to compare different alternatives and to assess a factory’s development over time.

Share

COinS