Production processes are designed to meet requirements of three different natures, quality, cost and time. Environmental concerns have expanded the field of conceptual design through the introduction of sustainability requirements that are driven by the growing societal thoughtfulness about environmental issues. One could say that the major concern has been the definition of metrics or indices for sustainability. However, those metrics usually have some lack of consistency. More than ever, there is a need for an all-inclusive view at any level of decision-making, from the establishing of the design requirements to the implementation of the solutions. According to the Axiomatic Design Theory, sustainable designs are usually coupled designs that should be avoided. This raises a concern related to the very nature of sustainability: the cross effects between the actions that should be considered in the attempt to decouple the design solutions. In terms of production, one should clarify the characterization of the sustainability of production systems. The objectives of this paper are: i) to analyse some trends for approaching the sustainability of the production processes; ii) to define sustainability in terms of requirements for the design of the production processes; iii) to make some proposals based on the Axiomatic Design Theory, in order to establish the principles with which the guidelines for designing production processes must comply; iv) to discuss how to introduce this matter in teaching both manufacturing technology and design of production systems.