Sustainable design performance evaluation with applications in the automobile industry: Focusing on inefficiency by undesirable factors
Design for the environment (DfE) has been recognized as one of the most important practices for achieving sustainability. One major challenge in DfE implementation is how to effectively deal with the mix of the both the desirable outputs (to maintain or improve traditional product attributes) and the undesirable outputs (to reduce environmental impacts) in the design process. In this paper, we develop a new Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model for DfE performance evaluation where the simultaneous increase of desirable outputs and decrease of undesirable outputs are considered with a focus on identifying inefficiency as a result of higher levels of undesirable performance. We show that our proposed method is capable of establishing a benchmark with lower undesirable outputs for an inefficient decision making unit (DMU) than other models in the existing literature. We also use empirical data to demonstrate the applications of our DEA model in evaluating the sustainable design performances of different vehicle designs for the automobile industry. By treating the undesirable factors as the dominating factors in evaluating a DMU's sustainable design performance, our model can help identify the most eco-efficient way to improve the performance attributes of a product while minimizing its various negative impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and solid wastes, on the natural environment.
Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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