Metrics-based dynamic product sustainability performance evaluation for advancing the circular economy

Buddhika M. Hapuwatte, K. Daniel Seevers, I. S. Jawahir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Creating products that support the circular economy (CE) requires evaluating product sustainability performance (PSP) and planning the production process during the design stage. Evaluating PSP disregarding demand and production variations over the time a product is produced can lead to significant calculation errors, and therefore, misinformed design decisions. This has severe consequences in the CE-focused closed-loop productions. However, current literature on product sustainability and circularity evaluation methods is largely design-specific and explicitly or implicitly assumes a steady-state production. Thus, there exists a gap in the literature concerning PSP forecasting over multi-period productions with closed-loop flows. Therefore, this paper proposes a metrics-based framework that quantifies, simulates, and forecasts the PSP, considering the dynamic variations in demand forecast, closed-loop resource constraints, and end-of-use resource allocations. Accordingly, based on the literature on PSP evaluation as well as production planning, and input from industry experts, a new methodology was formulated to synthesize and develop this framework. A numerical application demonstrates that the PSP significantly varies with the demand curve profile (up to 25% change in certain metrics), even when the product design is constant. Most importantly, this paper introduces the concept of PSP as a “dynamic” measure over the temporal dimension, providing a framework to evaluate it comprehensively and with greater accuracy. Thereupon, this concept transforms how sustainability and circularity are viewed conventionally. When adopted, the concept will offer the designers greater insights that significantly improve the product design and planning process to advance the CE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers


  • Circular economy
  • Closed-loop
  • Multi-period production
  • Product design
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Total life cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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