In this paper, we present experimental results on specific energy consumption (SEC) in a number of manufacturing processes.
Design is a complex activity and can be viewed as a solution to heterogeneous requirements from different stakeholders including customers, markets, regulators and manufacturers. Traditionally, the environment and society have not been considered as stakeholders. However the impact of the design activity on the environment is extensive and often irreversible. Such impact includes resource depletion and degradation, soil, water, noise and air pollution, and increasing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we present experimental results on specific energy consumption (SEC) in a number of manufacturing processes. We propose a process model of sustainable design and manufacture, the various components that form this paradigm, and energy efficiency metrics based on our measurement of various discrete manufacturing processes. Lifecycle analysis, energy efficiency and material innovation and recovery provide major pathways to enable the transition from business as usual to an environmental and societal cost inclusive economic system. We survey the potential impact of the design of appliances, buildings and ICT products on the environment.