Sustainability metrics for assessing manufacturing systems: a distance-to-target methodology

Zhengyi Song, Young Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recognizing the importance of sustainability, manufacturers are pursuing the well-being of society by addressing all three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, economic, and societal aspects. Sustainability metrics can measure the progress toward sustainability. However, the existing metrics that assess manufacturing systems’ sustainability patterns suffer from repetitive or subjective measurements, inefficiency in information dissemination, and partial consideration of sustainability. This research created an improved sustainability assessment framework. A comprehensive set of sustainability indicators covering various patterns of manufacturing systems are developed. The distance-to-target methodology is adopted and tailored to aggregate and compute the values of all sustainability indicators. The evaluation results from example cases indicate that the distance-to-target-based sustainability assessment framework is unbiased and reproducible with transparent computation processes and efficient interpretation of the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2811-2834
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Distance-to-target
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Sustainability indicators
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Triple bottom line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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