Categorization of indicators for sustainable manufacturing

Che B. Joung, John Carrell, Prabir Sarkar, Shaw C. Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Scopus citations


The manufacturing industry is seeking an open, inclusive, and neutral set of indicators to measure sustainability of manufactured products and manufacturing processes. In these efforts, they find a large number of stand-alone indicator sets. This has caused complications in terms of understanding interrelated terminology and selecting specific indicators for different aspects of sustainability. This paper reviews a set of publicly available indicator sets and provides a categorization of indicators that are quantifiable and clearly related to manufacturing. The indicator categorization work is also intended to establish an integrated sustainability indicator repository as a means to providing a common access for manufacturers, as well as academicians, to learn about current indicators and measures of sustainability. This paper presents a categorization of sustainability indicators, based on mutual similarity, in five dimensions of sustainability: environmental stewardship, economic growth, social well-being, technological advancement, and performance management. Finally, the paper explains how to use this indicator set to assess a company's manufacturing operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Indicators
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Sustainability indicator
  • Sustainability measurement
  • Sustainability measurement infrastructure
  • Sustainable manufacturing


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