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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Appropriate use of Green Manufacturing Frameworks


Multiple frameworks have been developed for sustainable or green manufacturing systems and products, which can be roughly divided into life cycle assessment methodologies and life-cycle assessment standards. Methodologies include process LCA, input-output LCA, and hybrid LCA; standards include the ISO14044 standard, the US EPA Life-Cycle Engineering Standard, and various emerging greenhouse gas protocols. We discuss in this paper the differences between these frameworks, and define the specific use cases where each framework is best suited. We achieve this by looking at manufacturing systems and processes across spatial and temporal levels of complexity and assess the suitability of existing frameworks at each level. The main questions addressed are: (1) what are appropriate LCA methodologies for different scales of manufacturing? (2) how do existing standards apply across various levels of manufacturing?

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