Special Issue "Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019
Several definitions of sustainable development have been proposed over time (Belkadi et al., 2015), characterizing a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, and the orientation of technological development are made consistent with future as well as present needs. Sustainability became one of the most important challenges for managers and scholars, given the great impact of its outcomes on the quality of life and the wide variety of fields in which the concept has been applied (Rosen & Kishawy, 2012; Ma et al., 2018). Markets are increasingly demanding sustainable products and services, as well as additional information about the environmental qualities of the products and services consumers use (Buxel et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2018). To meet such expectations, modern management needs sophisticated tools that can improve the monitoring of the environmental traits of products and services in order to understand how these products and services can be made more sustainable. According to several authors (e.g., Hauschild et al., 2005; Accorsi et al., 2015; Martin et al., 2018), the optimization of the environmental impacts of products and services along their lifecycles, from design to disposal stages, represents the main issue of sustainability. Considering the entire lifetime of products, it can be noticed that their environmental impact is caused not only by industrial processes or product usage, but also by natural traits of raw materials and other inputs, extraction methods, transportation, and storage processes, as well as final disposal (Belkadi et al., 2015). A common key factor of the variety of methods and frameworks designed for a successful sustainability strategy concerns the availability and the sharing of relevant data and knowledge, which must be integrated and managed (Gmelin & Seuring, 2014; Zhang et al., 2017). Creating an integrated product information environment is an important determinant of a company’s capacity to manage the life cycle of their products (Terzi et al., 2010). Despite the pressure for environmental issues incorporation and the consequent growing demand for information, most firms still know very little about the potential environmental and social impacts of their production networks. Therefore, better data and decision support tools are needed to predict and prevent unsustainable practices (de Camargo Fiorini & Jabbour, 2017). Consequently, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become essential as accurate and reliable sources of information to support decision-making and information flow management (e.g., Urwin & Young, 2014; Arsenyan & Büyüközkan, 2016; Favi et al., 2018). Several studies emphasized the role of ICTs, stressing their crucial supporting role for:
- sustainable supply-chain management practices (e.g., Green et al., 2012; Lai et al., 2012; de Camargo Fiorini & Jabbour, 2017);
- sustainable new product development processes (e.g., Kalish et al., 2018; Sinclair et al., 2018);
- (more in general) sustainable lifecycle management (e.g., Borsato, 2014; Gmelin & Seuring, 2014; Belkadi et al., 2015), with particular reference to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions (Pinna et al., 2018).
While the importance of ICTs for the sustainability of products and supply-chains is clear, several unaddressed or poorly addressed research questions remain. Just to cite a few (de Camargo Fiorini & Jabbour, 2017; Notarnicola et al., 2017; Centobelli et al., 2018):
- What is the set of ICTs that could support the individual firms and the entire supply-chain towards energy-efficient and environmental objectives?
- What are the trade-offs in integrating sustainability in New Product Development (NPD) or PLM?
- How can the use of ICTs support environmental practice in the service sector?
- How can ICTs support each of the green supply chain management practices?
- How can the use of ICTs in sustainable supply chain management affect the social performance of organizations?
- How can the customer requirements be mined in terms of sustainability and how can the results be incorporated into product design through PLM solutions?
- How can big data analytics architectures for cleaner manufacturing be developed and implemented?
On such grounds, this Special Issue aims to gather theoretical and practical contributions on the role of ICTs in enhancing supply-chain, product development, and product lifecycle sustainability, thus contributing to extending previous knowledge from both managerial and academic viewpoints. Therefore, we welcome articles regarding, but not limited to, the above-mentioned open research questions.
Accorsi, R., Versari, L., & Manzini, R. (2015). Glass vs. plastic: life cycle assessment of extra-virgin olive oil bottles across global supply chains. Sustainability, 7, 2818-2840.
Arsenyan, J., & Büyüközkan, G. (2016). An integrated fuzzy approach for information technology planning in collaborative product development. International Journal of Production Research, 54,
Belkadi, F., Bernard, A., & Laroche, F. (2015). Knowledge based and PLM facilities for sustainability perspective in manufacturing: A global approach. Procedia CIRP, 29, 203-208.
Borsato, M. (2014). Bridging the gap between product lifecycle management and sustainability in manufacturing through ontology building. Computers in Industry, 65, 258-269.
Buxel, H., Esenduran, G., & Griffin, S. (2015). Strategic sustainability: Creating business value with life cycle analysis. Business Horizons, 58, 109-122.
Centobelli, P., Cerchione, R., & Esposito, E. (2018). Environmental sustainability and energy-efficient supply chain management: A review of research trends and proposed guidelines. Energies, 11, 275.
de Camargo Fiorini, P., & Jabbour, C. J. C. (2017). Information systems and sustainable supply chain management towards a more sustainable society: Where we are and where we are going. International Journal of Information Management, 37, 241-249.
Favi, C., Germani, M., Mandolini, M., & Marconi, M. (2018). Implementation of a software platform to support an eco-design methodology within a manufacturing firm. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 1-18.
Gmelin, H., & Seuring, S. (2014). Determinants of a sustainable new product development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 69, 1-9.
Green Jr, K. W., Zelbst, P. J., Meacham, J., & Bhadauria, V. S. (2012). Green supply chain management practices: impact on performance. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 17, 290-305.
Hauschild, M., Jeswiet, J., & Alting, L. (2005). From life cycle assessment to sustainable production: status and perspectives. CIRP Annals-Manufacturing Technology, 54, 1-21.
Kalish, D., Burek, S., Costello, A., Schwartz, L., & Taylor, J. (2018). Integrating Sustainability into New Product Development: Available tools and frameworks can help companies ensure that sustainability is embedded as a fundamental building block of new product development. Research-Technology Management, 61, 37-46.
Kim, M. K., Sheu, C., & Yoon, J. (2018). Environmental Sustainability as a Source of Product Innovation: The Role of Governance Mechanisms in Manufacturing Firms. Sustainability, 10, 1-14.
Lai, R. S., Hsu, L. L., & Chen, J. C. (2012). Green supply chain management systems: A case study in the textile industry. Human Systems Management, 31, 111-121.
Ma, W., Cheng, Z., & Xu, S. (2018). A Game Theoretic Approach for Improving Environmental and Economic Performance in a Dual-Channel Green Supply Chain. Sustainability, 10, 1-18.
Martin, M., Røyne, F., Ekvall, T., & Moberg, Å. (2018). Life Cycle Sustainability Evaluations of Biobased Value Chains: Reviewing the Indicators from A Swedish Perspective. Sustainability, 10, 547.
Notarnicola, B., Sala, S., Anton, A., McLaren, S. J., Saouter, E., & Sonesson, U. (2017). The role of life cycle assessment in supporting sustainable agri-food systems: A review of the challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 399-409.
Pinna, C., Galati, F., Rossi, M., Saidy, C., Harik, R., & Terzi, S. (2018). Effect of product lifecycle management on new product development performances: Evidence from the food industry. Computers in Industry, 100, 184-195.
Rosen, M. A., & Kishawy, H. A. (2012). Sustainable manufacturing and design: Concepts, practices and needs. Sustainability, 4, 154-174.
Sinclair, M., Sheldrick, L., Moreno, M., & Dewberry, E. (2018). Consumer Intervention Mapping-A Tool for Designing Future Product Strategies within Circular Product Service Systems. Sustainability, 10.
Terzi, S., Bouras, A., Dutta, D., Garetti, M., & Kiritsis, D. (2010). Product lifecycle management- from its history to its new role. International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 4, 360-389.
Urwin, E. N., & Young, R. I. M. (2014). The reuse of machining knowledge to improve designer awareness through the configuration of knowledge libraries in PLM. International Journal of Production Research, 52, 595-615.
Zhang, Y., Ren, S., Liu, Y., Sakao, T., & Huisingh, D. (2017). A framework for Big Data driven product lifecycle management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 159, 229-240.
For any further information, please visit the journal website or contact us.
Eng. Francesco Galati
Prof. Barbara Bigliardi
Prof. Alberto Petroni
Eng. Claudia Pinna
Eng. Monica Rossi
Prof. Sergio Terzi
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- Sustainable product lifecycle
- Product Lifecycle Management
- Green supply-chain
- New Product Development