Volume 9 Number 8 (Aug. 2018)
IJESD 2018 Vol.9(8): 226-235 ISSN: 2010-0264
doi: 10.18178/ijesd.2018.9.8.1106

Review on Combined Methods for Sustainability Assessment and Development of Criteria-Set for a Systematization and Comparison Framework

Jan Bitter, Daniela Janssen, René Vossen, and Frank Hees
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: jan.bitter@ima-zlw-ifu.rwth-aachen.de).


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.

 General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-0264 (Print); 2972-3698 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Environ. Sci. Dev.
  • Frequency: Bimonthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJESD
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Richard Haynes
  • Managing Editor: Ms. Cherry L. Chen
  • Indexing: Scopus, Google Scholar, CNKI, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc. 

  • E-mail: ijesd@ejournal.net      

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