Abstract—In order to foster sustainable development in
politics, society, technology (e.g. energy, mobility, industrial
production) and other fields, it is essential to analyze and assess
the sustainability of products, processes, strategies,
organizations and actions regarding these fields. For that
purpose, there are numerous approaches to sustainability
assessment. A growing focus lies on multi-method or combined
approaches. They offer the potential for integrated and holistic
assessments regarding multiple sustainability dimensions, life
cycle phases or input types. The variety of approaches impedes
comparison and selection of the suitable approach for the
respective assessment situation. This can lead to assessment
errors and incredibility of results and thus, delay sustainable
development. Systematization and comparison frameworks are
needed to overcome this gap. This paper provides three main
outcomes. Firstly, a review of existing multi-method
sustainability assessment approaches gives insights into the
status quo and the characteristics of existing approaches.
Secondly, a review of frameworks for systemizing and
comparing assessment approaches provides an overview of
perspectives and criteria for such frameworks. Finally,
considering characteristics of multi-method approaches and
criteria from existing frameworks, a comprehensive criteria-set
is developed. The criteria-set marks the starting point for the
development of a holistic systematization and comparison
framework in future works.
Index Terms—Method combination, multi-method approach, sustainability assessment, systematization and comparison framework.
The authors are with the Cybernetics Lab IMA/ZLW & IfU, RWTH Aachen University, Dennewartstrasse 27, 52068 Aachen, Germany (corresponding author: Jan Bitter; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Jan Bitter, Daniela Janssen, René Vossen, and Frank Hees, "Review on Combined Methods for Sustainability Assessment and Development of Criteria-Set for a Systematization and Comparison Framework," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 9, no. 8, pp. 226-235, 2018.