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Environmental impact of manufactured products: A measure inspired by nature



Prabir Sarkar, Sudarsan Rachuri, Hyo Won Suh, Kevin W. Lyons, Ram D. Sriram


Environmental impacts of products are generally determined by using criteria or indicators. There are many criteria or indicators available and during design selecting some of them and assigning weight is difficult. As natural systems are considered to be sustainable, understanding these systems could help developing a method for assessing environmental impact of products. Nature could repeatedly recycle all materials and energies of a certain set of systems to create a similar set of systems. Using analogy from nature we define a minimal impact product as a product that could be made and used remanufactured with the same of amount of material and energies used in the original product. Deviation of a product from its initial product condition is considered as a measure of the environmental impact of that product. This paper describes a method to assess environmental impact of a product based on this mechanism.
Conference Dates
July 6-8, 2009
Conference Location
Bath, UK
Conference Title
The 6th International Product Lifecycle Management Conference


Environmental impact assessment, Eco design, bio-mimicry


Sarkar, P. , Rachuri, S. , , H. , Lyons, K. and Sriram, R. (2009), Environmental impact of manufactured products: A measure inspired by nature, The 6th International Product Lifecycle Management Conference, Bath, UK, -1 (Accessed July 21, 2024)


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Created July 10, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017