Calls for papers


International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management
International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management


Special Issue on: "Developing Sustainable Products, Processes and Services"

Guest Editors:
Dr. Sudarsan Rachuri and Dr. Prabir Sarkar, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA
Dr. Dimitris Kiritsis, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Dr. Masaru Nakano, Keio University, Japan

One definition of sustainable development is "the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs." According to the US National Research Council, it is “the level of human consumption and activity, which can continue into the foreseeable future, so that the system that provides goods and services to the humans persists indefinitely.” Others have argued that any definition of sustainability should include dynamic efficiency throughout the lifecycle of a product, process and service, should consist of total welfare (accounting for intergenerational equity) and should represent consumption of market and non-market goods and services. It is important to understand that sustainability is a global issue.

From the general notion of sustainability, an idea gaining traction in industry is the notion of a “sustainability index” for products. It is clear that the world is moving forward aggressively to achieve sustainable design, and manufacturing with lifecycle considerations. Design engineers of successful enterprises are confronted with the challenges of designing sustainable products, processes and services. Achieving sustainability is no more an option during product development; it has become a part of the design requirement.

To achieve sustainability, products, processes and services should meet the challenges not only related to their functions and performance and but also to environment, economy and social issues. Currently, these challenges are being addressed by researchers from different perspectives using various approaches. Companies interested in developing sustainable products should be sensitive to sustainability related standards, design and manufacturing techniques and tools used for assessing sustainability, and should also have access to case studies from other industries.

Ensuring a sustainable future requires a system of systems approach. Such systems are characterised by interlinked pathways of interaction at various levels. These levels span technical, economic, ecological and societal issues. The interactions within and across these levels are critical to the fundamental understanding of sustainable design and manufacturing, because tackling any one of the issues in isolation can result in unintended consequences along other dimensions.

The primary goal of a systems approach is to capture and formalise descriptions of these processes and interactions. Because of the complexity of these systems, simulation and modelling will also play an important role in understanding the overall impact of changes in any one subsystem. To achieve sustainability, it is important to address these issues holistically by bringing together multidisciplinary knowledge from research scientists, engineers and practitioners working in different research areas.

The aim of this special issue is to solicit the state-of-the-art approaches and suggested methods that address issues outlined above, especially focusing on design of sustainable products, processes and services and sustainable manufacturing. The issue would provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to present their current research results. The special issue is expected to become a source for the latest research knowledge in the area of sustainable design and manufacturing for designers, engineers and managers.

Subject Coverage
The subject coverage of this special issue includes, but is not limited to, topics that address:
  • General notion of sustainability. What is the current general notion of sustainability (eco-design, design for environment, design for sustainability, sustainable design, designed sustainability, industrial ecology, and total lifecycle management) among researchers and practitioners in different countries? How should sustainability be assessed? How are environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability related to one another and what role do they play in achieving product as well as corporate level sustainability?

  • Sustainability and innovation. How can successful innovation lead to achieving sustainability? How does innovation in technology, social system, transportation, global policies affect sustainability? How to support designers to develop creative yet sustainable products?

  • Design of products, processes, and services. How to design sustainable products, processes and services? What are the available techniques and tools for sustainable design? How to develop sustainable enterprise? What are the current methods and suggestions for developing a successful and sustainable service?

  • Manufacturing. What are the system approaches for achieving sustainability in manufacturing?

  • Tools. What are the available methods, guidelines and tools for assessing sustainability and what are their limitations? What are the different theories that these tools are based on? How these tools help achieve sustainability from both macro (enterprise) and micro (product and processes) level? How can these methods and tools be successfully implemented in companies? How to map PLM with LCA tools and what are the issues regarding interoperability? How have various aspects of LCA, material information been incorporated in the databases of these tools and how generic are these tools?

  • Standards. What are the applicable and proposed standards related to sustainability and in what phase of product development are they applicable? What standards are related to design, management, domain and how generic are these standards?

  • Multidisciplinary approach. How to develop sustainable strategies and support by using knowledge of sustainability from different engineering and science disciplines? What are the issues that are required to be addressed while developing tools for designing sustainable systems that requires knowledge of several engineering disciplines? How to integrate consumer/user and related societal aspects in such a multidisciplinary approach?

  • Information infrastructure. What models and model driven approaches are currently available to enterprises to help them become more sustainable? What are the issues regarding implementation of sustainability factors at the enterprise level, such as scalability, database interoperability and semantic limitations?

  • Industry. Case studies from sustainable industries explaining how sustainability is achieved.

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Paper Submission deadline: 31 March, 2009 (extended)

Completion of 1st Review Cycle: 1 June, 2009

Resubmission of Revised Papers: 1 July, 2009

Completion of Second Review Cycle: 1 August, 2009

Submission of Final Manuscript: 1 September, 2009