This paper proposes an evaluation framework of sustainable manufacturing (SM) initiatives using the hierarchical structure of sustainability indicators set adopted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (US NIST) in the context of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Evaluating SM initiatives developed by manufacturing firms is crucial for resource allocation, and ensuring that investments enhance the sustainability performance of the firm. This evaluation is a challenge because of the multi-criteria nature of the problem and the presence of subjective criteria for which little or no information on their measurement systems is available. Thus, this study is appropriate due to the following reasons: (1) US NIST provides a comprehensive evaluation model of sustainability with its four-level hierarchy that provides evidence of depth and details of sustainability evaluation, and (2) AHP has the capability to handle multi-level decision-making structure with the use of expert judgments in a pairwise comparison process. A case study of a semiconductor manufacturing firm is presented to illustrate the proposed evaluation framework. Results show that firms must strengthen their financial base through programs that improve efficiency, quality and productivity before carrying out initiatives that address the environment and the immediate community. This work presents a framework that could guide decision-makers, in a way that is simple and comprehensive in their attempt to promote sustainability.
sustainable manufacturing, evaluation, analytic hierarchy process, multi-criteria decision-making
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