Problems, Needs, and Challenges of a Sustainability-Based Production Planning

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Climate change, air and sea pollution, and social inequality are examples of current challenges for global sustainability strategies. Manufacturing enterprises supplying the globalized demand for products significantly contribute to these problems since they are responsible for several environmental and social issues (e.g., greenhouse gases, waste, and poor working conditions). Researchers have widely addressed these issues and warned politicians and society about the risk of the collapse of ecosystems. Despite these warnings, enterprises still experience difficulties in improving the sustainability of their production processes. Therefore, new technologies are required to support them, so as to help them determine their production processes’ sustainability status considering multiple aspects (economic, environmental, and social). The research presents a fuzzy decision support system and a case study for sustainability-based production planning. For this approach, systematic literature reviews were performed, analysing concepts methods for sustainability-based production management and planning. The results show, among other things, that current methods for sustainability-production planning are focused on single aspects of sustainability (e.g., energy or waste planning). Therefore, a fuzzy decision support system was developed, simultaneously evaluating social, environmental, and economic aspects. The decision support system’s model identifies the most significant opportunities in improving the production program’s sustainability and provides recommendations on how to change it. The decision support system was tested and validated in a case study in the production-planning laboratory at the University of Applied Sciences Emden. The case study results elucidate problems, needs, and challenges affecting sustainability-based production planning. Moreover, opportunities for future research were identified based on the limitations of the case study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4092
Number of pages19
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2022


  • decision support systems
  • fuzzy logic
  • Industry 4.0
  • modeling and simulation
  • production planning
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable manufacturing


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