Sustainability Design of Products and Production Systems


Consumers increasingly wish to eat sustainably, and producers therefore wish to produce in an increasingly sustainable manner. We develop methodological frameworks to determine and improve the sustainability of products and production systems. The sustainability of a product or technology is determined on the basis of three dimensions: ecological, social and economic. For each dimension, we use or adapt existing methods to determine the sustainability of the system under review over its entire life cycle.

The life cycle analysis (LCA) is thus used for the assessment of the ecological dimension. For its part, the social life cycle analysis (social LCA) is used to determine social sustainability. Here, the focus is mainly placed on the stakeholders along the life cycle of the system under review. For the assessment of the economic dimension, costs on the side of both producer and consumer can be included. The interaction between sustainability assessment and stakeholder process in a co-creative approach is meant to enable the identification and active addressing of trade-offs between the three dimensions. In this way, decisions are made according to the best of current knowledge.