McGinnis, Sean Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Last reviewed:February 2018
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- Green engineering, published May 2017:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Green engineering, published June 2008:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Environmental issues
- Systems engineering
- End of life
- Life-cycle assessment
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The design of products, processes, and systems with explicit consideration of potential environmental impacts. Green engineering does not set environmental objectives as higher priorities than other design requirements, but it does require them to be considered explicitly. Like traditional engineering, green engineering solutions must meet design constraints as well as optimize objectives. Unlike traditional engineering, this new approach looks beyond performance and costs and adds the objective of minimizing environmental impacts (see illustration). This design balance is difficult, and many environmentally focused products have failed in the marketplace because of poor performance, higher safety risks, or unreasonable costs.
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