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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/su8010005

Development of Manufacturing Sustainability Assessment Using Systems Thinking

Department of Technology and Management, Gjøvik University College, 2815 Gjøvik, Norway
Department of Engineering Design and Materials, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 19 December 2015 / Accepted: 20 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2469 KB, uploaded 22 December 2015]   |  


The existing body of knowledge in sustainability assessment of manufacturing indicates that although extensive research is going on, significant shortcomings remain unsolved. In this paper, the specific needs of a new sustainability assessment system are discussed. Systems thinking is suggested as an alternative to the reductionist approach which is commonly applied to sustainability assessment. Although previous research has recognized the potential of systems thinking applied to sustainability assessment, few practical examples have been demonstrated. Therefore, this article focuses on a practical application of systems thinking to the development of a sustainability assessment system of a manufacturing organization. A framework for development is proposed employing systems thinking. It is suggested that systems thinking reveals several aspects usually not addressed by the reductionist approaches. It is demonstrated that a combination of tools like analysis of multiple viewpoints, conceptagon, seven samurai, and model-based systems engineering can enhance a development of a suitable assessment systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: manufacturing organization; system-based methods; development framework; model-based systems engineering; sustainability assessment system manufacturing organization; system-based methods; development framework; model-based systems engineering; sustainability assessment system

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Moldavska, A.; Welo, T. Development of Manufacturing Sustainability Assessment Using Systems Thinking. Sustainability 2016, 8, 5.

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