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Identifying environmental improvement options by combining life cycle assessment and fuzzy set theory

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Great efforts have recently resulted in increasing the environmental performance of industrial products. However, to obtain more sustainable solutions, environmental properties must meet customer requirements. This paper introduces a novel approach for identifying environmental improvement options by taking into account customer preferences. The Life Cycle Assessment methodology is applied to evaluate the environmental profile of a product, using eco-Indicator99 as the impact assessment method. A fuzzy approach based on the House of Quality in the Quality Function Deployment methodology provides a more quantitative method for evaluating the imprecision of the customer preferences. Experimental membership functions have been obtained directly from users and design team members through an opinion poll. The proposed methodology has been applied to identify environmental improvement options by taking into account customer opinions of an office table and identifying three product components where the environmental performance of the table could be improved.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Technology, Universitat Jaume I, Campus Riu Sec, s/n, E-12071 Castellon, Spain 2: Department of Industrial Engineering, Florida A&M University-Florida State University, 2525 Pottsdammer Street, Tallahassee, FL 32310-6046, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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