Skip navigation.
Home

Operational Sustainability Metrics Assessing Metric Effectiveness in the Context of Electronics-Recycling Systems

TitleOperational Sustainability Metrics Assessing Metric Effectiveness in the Context of Electronics-Recycling Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsAtlee J, Kirchain R
Journal TitleEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume40
Pages4506-4513
AbstractIn the past 15 years corporations and governments have developed a growing appreciation of the need for sustainability. However, there is still little clarity on how to move toward the goal of sustainability or measure improvements. Not only are there currently few operational metrics by which to practically assess progress toward sustainability, there is also little understanding of how to judge the effectiveness of such metrics. This paper presents a pragmatic approach to developingsand evaluatings system-specific performance metrics for sustainability. Electronics recycling is used as a case problem in developing and judging the effectiveness of such metrics. Despite growing concerns about the handling of end-of-life electronics, data availability is inconsistent, and there is still limited understanding of the electronics-recycling system as a whole. To begin to address the need for practical quantitative methods to assess system performance, several indicators were developed and applied to three U.S. electronicsrecycling operations. These metrics were assessed based on the developed criteria that effective measures be useful, robust, and feasible. Results show that the current measure of “mass percent to landfill” is not sufficient to assess system performance. Relevance-weighted mass indicators with varying data requirements can provide additional insights on resource efficiency.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es050935l
Login or register to post comments