At the turn of this century the UN identified Sustainable Development as one of its Millennium Goals. Sustainable Development is to provide the means to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable Manufacturing is the implementation of sustainability in the production and use of chemicals, materials and products and the application of manufacturing industries to enable sustainable development.
The priorities for sustainable manufacturing vary with both geographic location and industry sector. However, there are three common threads:
- Improve living standards: to spread the benefits of modern manufacturing and manufactured products all.
- Use less stuff: to consume nature’s resources at a rate that is lower than that at which they can be replenished.
- Make less waste: to produce waste at a rate with is less than that at which it can be naturally remediated.
The key themes are:
- Feedstocks and raw materials
- Reactions and processes
- Applications and commercialisation
- Recycling and degradation