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Sustainability Assessment in Manufacturing under a Strong Sustainability Perspective—An Ecological Neutrality Initiative

Luiz Fernando Rodrigues Pinto (), Glória de Fátima Pereira Venturini (), Salvatore Digiesi (), Francesco Facchini () and Geraldo Cardoso de Oliveira Neto ()
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Luiz Fernando Rodrigues Pinto: Industrial Engineering Post-Graduation Program, Universidade Nove de Julho, Sao Paulo 01504-001, Brazil
Glória de Fátima Pereira Venturini: Industrial Engineering Post-Graduation Program, Universidade Nove de Julho, Sao Paulo 01504-001, Brazil
Salvatore Digiesi: Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Polytechnic University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy
Francesco Facchini: Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Polytechnic University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy
Geraldo Cardoso de Oliveira Neto: Industrial Engineering Post-Graduation Program, Universidade Nove de Julho, Sao Paulo 01504-001, Brazil

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 21, 1-40

Abstract: The concept of strong sustainability establishes ecosystem conservation as the basis for socioeconomic development. Despite the increase in the number of studies on this subject, the qualitative approach used in studies on strong sustainability makes the introduction of this theme difficult in the industrial context. The absence of a model of sustainability evaluation in manufacturing based on the concept of strong sustainability was the gap identified by this research. The objective of this study was to develop a model that embeds strong sustainability within the sustainability assessment of manufacturing companies. The research used survey methodology to obtain the opinion of experts on the relevance of sustainability metrics. Information collected from experts was used to calculate the weights of indicators and of the participation of each dimension in strong sustainability. The results indicated that strong sustainability consists of 48% of environmental, 29% of social, and 23% of economic factors. The model has been applied in a study of multiple cases in factories in the automotive sector, two in Brazil and two in Italy. The results revealed that the four companies were rated regular in the strong sustainability scale. However, the sustainability performances of the companies showed different patterns over five years. Furthermore, analysis of the individual performance of the dimensions showed that the economic growth of the two Brazilian factories was superior to the socio-environmental development. The result of the Italian units emphasized different priorities. A firm reached the best result in environmental performance and the other one on the social dimension.

Keywords: strong sustainability; sustainability assessment; automotive sector; multiple case study; ecological neutrality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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