Sustainability assessments (SA) of products, processes, organizations, strategies, etc. aim at providing a basis for decision-making towards (more) sustainable practices and principles. An extensive variety of SA approaches as well as a wide diversity of assessment situations exist, making situation-specific approach selection a complex issue. However, well-founded selection is crucial, as selecting unsuitable approaches for respective assessment situations can lead to incorrect, inconclusive, insignificant, implausible or vulnerable results. Structured, situation-specific selection processes for SA approaches can reduce these effects. However, there is a lack of respective concepts, criteria, guidelines or frameworks for decision-, i.e. selection-support. Based on this, the goal of this work is to develop a systematization and comparison framework, which facilitates structured selection of situation-specific SA approaches. In previous works, Bitter et al. (2018a, 2018b, 2019) proposed a requirements-set for SA approaches, a criteria-set for a systematization and comparison framework as well as respective spectra and specifications for the criteria. In this work, these elements are combined and implemented in form of a meta framework. By means of the criteria-set, SA approaches are characterized and subsequently quantified using the criteria-spectra. Thus, via an extensive rule base, the “fit” of SA approaches to situation-specific requirements, i.e. desired characteristics can be calculated. Based on these calculations within the meta framework, structured decision-support towards the situation-specific selection of suitable SA approaches is provided. For future works, the developed systematization and comparison framework can be used to systematically investigate the influence – nature and extend – of approach selection on assessment results.
Jan Bitter, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Daniela Janssen, Institute for Management Cybernetics, Germany
Frank Hees, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
This paper is part of the IICSEEHawaii2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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