(732d) Reinforced Sustainability Assessment and Decision Making in the Post-COVID-19 Manufacturing Era | AIChE

(732d) Reinforced Sustainability Assessment and Decision Making in the Post-COVID-19 Manufacturing Era


Siddiqui, A. - Presenter, Wayne State University
Huang, Y., Wayne State University
The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in various unprecedented challenges and severely disrupted economic and social systems worldwide. In the U.S., one of the hardest-hit segments by the pandemic is the manufacturing industry. As the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic start to recede, industries look beyond the fog of uncertainty towards long-term changes, and develop strategies for more sustainable and resilient development in the post pandemic era. However, their endeavors have encountered a number of challenges. Answers have been sought to the questions about the effectiveness and completeness of traditional sustainability metrics used in sustainability assessment, and impacts on the decision making process due to a possibly extended sustainability assessment scope as well as sustainability goal resetting.

In this paper, we will review the scope of traditionally practiced metrics in economic, environmental, and social sustainability categories as well as their sub-categories and discuss the insufficiency for the sustainability assessment of systems when experiencing severely uncertain, disruptive events. We will then propose a number of new types of sustainability metrics and a method for necessary consolidation of new and existing metrics to avoid overlapped coverage of measurement aspects. It is conceivable that adoption of a reinforced sustainability metrics system will impact the decision making process, especially due to the involvement of severe uncertainty. We will introduce an Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) based decision-making method to derive more systematic, transparent, and robust decisions. The method is designed for reproducibility. It does not over burden those using the framework, as it gives detailed instructions on the information that is needed. The efficacy of the framework will be demonstrated by the study on small and medium sized electroplating facilities for sustainable development in the post COVID-19 manufacturing era.