Special Issue on Design and Manufacturing for Environmental Sustainability
The University of Tokyo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
This is the fourth special issue on design and manufacturing for environmental sustainability. While Japanese manufacturers are not so active in this field, the trend of integrating sustainability into manufacturing activities and management of companies is becoming dominant. We can point out three epoch-making instances: namely, United Nations’ ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’ which consists of 17 goals to be achieved by 2030, covering not only environmental sustainability but also social and human sustainability; EU’s ‘Circular Economy,’ which promotes various routes for resource circulation (e.g., reuse, remanufacturing, maintenance, and recycling) for increasing employment and market competitiveness of EU and resource efficiency; and ‘Paris Agreement’ on climate change, which enforces reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases to zero by the end of this century.
This special issue includes six well-written papers, all of which are deeply related to these three policies. The first four papers focus on product life cycle or even multiple product life cycles. This aspect is an inherent feature of design and manufacturing for environmental sustainability, which was not considered in traditional design and manufacturing. The keywords of these four papers are life cycle CO2 emission evaluation of electric vehicles, life cycle simulation of reuse among multiple product life cycles, disassembly part selection based on the idea of life expectancy, and personalization design aiming at avoiding mass production and mass disposal. The latter two papers are rather fresh in this journal. The fifth paper deals with customer preferences in Indonesia. Focusing on life styles in developing countries is a very important topic emphasized in SDGs. The last paper deals with food waste, which is emphasized in both SDGs and Circular Economy.
Most of the papers, revised and extended in response to the editor’s invitations, were originally presented at EcoDesign 2017: the tenth International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing, held in Tainan, Taiwan.
The editor sincerely thanks the authors and reviewers for their devoted work in making this special issue possible. We hope that these articles will encourage further research on design and manufacturing for environmental sustainability.