Special Issue "Environmentally Sustainable Design and Product Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michele Germani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: Eco-design; sustainable manufacturing; life cycle assessment; virtual prototyping; configuration
Dr. Marta Rossi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131, Ancona, Italy
Interests: environmental sustainability; life cycle assessment; sustainable manufacturing; design for environment; eco-design
Dr. Alessandra Papetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: sustainable manufacturing; environmental sustainability; user centered design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental sustainability represents a key concept in our lives. A large number of normative methodologies, tools, standards, and regulations promote the implementation of its principles at different levels (e.g., raw material producers, manufacturer, and consumers). In the industrial sector, environmental sustainability is, in principle, a widely accepted strategy; it is recognized as a crucial business opportunity, although not yet widely practiced. In this regard, there should be a focus on the identification of strategies that will lead to the effective implementation of environmental sustainable strategies inside design departments. The growing attention on circular economy and waste management strategies also requires reflection on how to support manufacturing companies on these items during their daily design activities. The purpose of this Special Issue, starting from the broad literature on barriers related to the implementation of environmental sustainability strategies in corporate contexts, is to address this gap by proposing methodologies, tools, and/or case studies covering these topics. We welcome empirical papers in which real case studies are presented and quantitative results could be derived.

Prof. Dr. Michele Germani
Dr. Marta Rossi
Dr. Alessandra Papetti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Product environmental sustainability
  • Eco-design
  • Environmental methodology and tool
  • Interoperability and integration
  • Product end-of-life strategy
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Resource efficiency (renewable and non-renewable)
  • Company sustainable transition
  • Reduction of product environmental impacts

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Managing Choice Uncertainties in Life-Cycle Assessment as a Decision-Support Tool for Building Design: A Case Study on Building Framework
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5130; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125130 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 579
Abstract
To establish a circular economy in society, it is crucial to incorporate life-cycle studies, such as life-cycle assessment (LCA), in the design process of products in order to mitigate the well-recognized problem of the design paradox. The aim of the study was to [...] Read more.
To establish a circular economy in society, it is crucial to incorporate life-cycle studies, such as life-cycle assessment (LCA), in the design process of products in order to mitigate the well-recognized problem of the design paradox. The aim of the study was to provide means in a structured way to highlight choice uncertainty present in LCA when used as decision support, as well as to mitigate subjective interpretations of the numerical results leading to arbitrary decisions. The study focused on choices available when defining the goal and scope of a life-cycle assessment. The suggested approach is intended to be used in the early design phases of complex products with high levels of uncertainty in the product life-cycle. To demonstrate and evaluate the approach, a life-cycle assessment was conducted of two design options for a specific building. In the case study two types of building frameworks were compared from an environmental perspective by calculating the global warming potential, eutrophication potential, acidification potential, stratospheric ozone depletion potential and photochemical oxidants creation potential. In the study, a procedure named the Decision Choices Procedure (DCP) was developed to improve LCA as an effective tool for decision support concerning design alternatives when less information is available. The advantages and drawbacks of the proposed approach are discussed to spur further improvements in the use of LCA as a decision-support tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Design and Product Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Green Product Design Based on the BioTRIZ Multi-Contradiction Resolution Method
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104276 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
The impacts on the environment of many commercial products have not been fully considered in past years. For the sustainable development of Earth’s resources, future product design should move towards not only innovation, but also fundamentally in the green direction. Currently, the BioTRIZ [...] Read more.
The impacts on the environment of many commercial products have not been fully considered in past years. For the sustainable development of Earth’s resources, future product design should move towards not only innovation, but also fundamentally in the green direction. Currently, the BioTRIZ method may provide a satisfactory solution for a single contradiction of green product design. However, if there are multiple contradictions existing due to multiple operational fields, difficulty in implementing design aspects may be posed. For this reason, this paper develops a BioTRIZ multi-contradiction resolution method targeting a green product design, which can find the crucial contradictions and thus achieve the necessary invention principles (IP). By summarizing the green factors and further dividing operational fields, the deduced matrix table becomes highly effective in the design. Accordingly, designers can be assisted to quickly find the operational fields under multiple contradictions. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified using a product example of a window-cleaning robot design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Design and Product Development)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Ecodesign—A Review of Reviews
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010315 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 657
Abstract
With the intent of summing up the past research on ecodesign and making it more accessible, we gather findings from 106 existing review articles in this field. Five research questions on terminology, evolution, barriers and success factors, methods and tools, and synergies, guide [...] Read more.
With the intent of summing up the past research on ecodesign and making it more accessible, we gather findings from 106 existing review articles in this field. Five research questions on terminology, evolution, barriers and success factors, methods and tools, and synergies, guide the clustering of the resulting 608 statements extracted from the reference. The quantitative analysis reveals that the number of review articles has been increasing over time. Furthermore, most statements originate from Europe, are published in journals, and address barriers and success factors. For the qualitative analysis, the findings are grouped according to the research question they address. We find that several names for similar concepts exist, with ecodesign being the most popular one. It has evolved from “end-of-pipe” pollution prevention to a more systemic concept, and addresses the complete life cycle. Barriers and success factors extend beyond the product development team to management, customers, policymakers, and educators. The number of ecodesign methods and tools available to address them is large, and more reviewing, testing, validation, and categorization of the existing ones is necessary. Synergies between ecodesign and other research disciplines exist in theory, but require implementation and testing in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Design and Product Development)
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