A return on investment metric for incorporating sustainability in process integration and improvement projects
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© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. A new approach is proposed for the inclusion of sustainability issues in the assessment and prioritization of process improvement projects. It is based on extending the conventional economic return on investment to include the beneficial or detrimental impacts of a project on sustainability early in the design process. The concept of aggregate sustainability metrics is coupled with economic profitability and process integration targets (benchmarks) to develop a unified metric that evaluates the augmented value of the project profitability and contribution to sustainability relative to the capital investment. Because of the return on investment nature of the proposed metric and because of its augmented inclusion of economic and other sustainability factors, it can be readily incorporated in typical process engineering activities and can be used by decision makers to make informed decisions regarding the viability of the projects and their impact on sustainability.
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