Design and Production for Sustainability

The operations manager’s greatest opportunity to make substantial contributions to the company’s environmental objectives occurs during product life cycle assessment. Life cycle assessment evaluates the environmental impact of a product, from raw material and energy inputs all the way to the disposal of the product at its end-of-life. The goal is to make decisions that help reduce the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life. Focusing on the 3Rs—reduce, reuse, and recycle— can help accomplish this goal. By incorporating the 3Rs, product design teams, process managers, and supply-chain personnel can make great strides toward reducing the environmental impact of products—to the benefit ...

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