Cost and Environmental Impacts in Manufacturing: A Case Study Approach

Document Type


Date of Original Version



According to the Brundtland report, sustainable development “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (United Nations 1987). The 3 pillars of sustainability have been identified as economic development, social development, and environmental protection (United Nations 2005). These components interact and affect each other in any real world application. For manufacturing companies, sustainable manufacturing is one way to decrease the environmental impact of their products. In the literature, there are different approaches to assess sustainability. However, approaches which improve sustainability and reduce costs are difficult to realize, because these goals are often seen as conflictive and cannot be achieved at the same time. An overlap between cost reduction and sustainability can push companies to expend more effort in order to achieve long term business success while decreasing the environmental impact of their products. This case study aims to demonstrate this overlap. Besides an assessment of the current state of manufacturing processes, alternative future state models are determined, which are more sustainable and decrease the costs of production.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Procedia Manufacturing