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ASTM E60 eyes standard for sustainable manufacturing

Source: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.

A proposed standard under ASTM Committee E60 on Sustainability, WK35702, Guide for Evaluation of Environmental Aspects of Sustainability of Manufacturing Processes, will assist users in adopting resource efficiency and environmentally friendly practices into daily operations.

“WK35702 will help identify opportunities in planning, provide guidelines for collecting data, and give insight into how to calculate metrics on which informed decisions can be made,” says E60 member and National Institute of Standards and Technology Mechanical Engineer Paul Witherell. “The public has become increasingly aware, and mindful, of sustainability practices. More and more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on how well a manufacturer is able to adopt more sustainable practices. WK35702 will be a step toward enabling manufacturers to educate their customers.”

Among primary users of the standard, Witherell sees small- and medium-sized enterprises looking to implement more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices into their production. “While other documents may discuss sustainability in generalities, there is currently no standard to provide [these businesses] with technical and measurement guidelines on implementing sustainable manufacturing practices into their process decisions,” he explains. “[They] do not always have access to the tools and in-house expertise that larger corporations have.”

WK35702 is being developed by Subcommittee E60.13 on Sustainable Manufacturing, which invites participation in the development of the guide, plus WK35703, Terminology for Sustainable Manufacturing; WK35705, Guide for Sustainability Characterization of Manufacturing Processes; and, WK38312, Classification for Waste Generated at Manufacturing Facilities and Associated Claims. The proposed standards will be discussed during Committee E60 meetings, October 7-9 in New Orleans.

For additional information: technical contact, NIST’s Paul Witherell, 301/975-3385, paul.witherell@nist.gov; staff liaison, Stephen Mawn, 610/832-9726; smawn@astm.org.