Special Issue on Design and Manufacturing for Environmental Sustainability
The University of Tokyo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
This is the fifth Special Issue on Design and Manufacturing for Environmental Sustainability. The first Special Issue on this topic was issued in 2009, and the previous one was in 2018. The acceptance of sustainability has been increasing, as evidenced by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), various carbon neutral movements, and, among others, the gradual recognition of potential impacts of the EU’s “Circular Economy,” which promotes circulation-based businesses to increase the employment and market competitiveness of the EU. This increase in acceptance has brought with it increased activity in the research area of design and manufacturing for environmental sustainability, with the result that this fifth Special Issue includes seventeen well-written papers, a significant increase over the six that appeared in the fourth.
The first paper “Potential Impacts of the European Union’s Circular Economy Policy on Japanese Manufacturers” overviews the EU’s Circular Economy and points out key enabling technologies. To approach environmental sustainability, we should promote various technologies related to ecodesign, process technologies, business strategy, and digital technology. At the same time, we must focus on life cycle design and management, an indispensable technology which synthesizes a sustainable circulation system by integrating the technologies mentioned above. Accordingly, this Special Issue covers both aspects, with the seventeen manuscripts in it organized as follows. The first three papers, authored by Y. Umeda et al., K. Halada, and M. Kojima, give overviews and discuss requirements for technological development. The next two manuscripts by K. Fujimoto et al. and Y. Kikuchi et al. discuss modeling, simulation, and assessment of circulation systems. Papers six to eight, written by W.-H. Chung et al., S. Yamada et al., and K. Yoda et al. develop life cycle design methods. The remaining manuscripts advance fundamental technologies. Manuscripts nine to eleven, by R. Yonemoto et al., T. Samukawa et al., and Y. Yaguchi et al., deal with sustainable manufacturing. Finally, six manuscripts by C. Tokoro et al., K. Tsuji et al., A. Ogawa et al., A. Yoshimura et al., T. Hiruta et al., and S. Nasu et al. are about life cycle processes; recycling technologies and product use phase such as car sharing and maintenance.
Most of the papers, revised and extended in response to the editor’s invitations, were originally presented at EcoDesign 2019: the 11th International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing, held in Yokohama, Japan.
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 into design and manufacturing for environmental sustainability.