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A framework of criteria for the sustainability assessment of nanoproducts
Marco Cinelli, Stuart R. Coles, Omowunmi Sadik, Barbara Karn, Kerry Kirwan

Published: 01 July 2016 by Elsevier BV in Journal of Cleaner Production
Elsevier BV, Volume 126; 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.118
Abstract: Highlights•The knowledge of 119 experts of sustainable nanotechnology was examined.•A framework of 68 sustainability assessment criteria for nanoproducts is proposed.•Six main reliable areas of nanoproducts sustainability criteria are advanced.•A ranking of sustainability assessment criteria for nanoproducts is identified.•The correlations between the sustainability assessment criteria are also analysed. AbstractNanotechnology applications (nanoproducts) have entered the market or are expected to do so in the near future. Robust and science-based criteria are required to appraise and manage their sustainability. This paper describes the approach used to develop a comprehensive and reliable framework of criteria, which was missing until now, for evaluating the sustainability of nanoproducts. A literature review of the frameworks and tools employed to assess nanoproducts sustainability implications was firstly performed to select an initial set of criteria. A survey of experts in the sustainable nanotechnology domain was then conducted to elicit their knowledge in terms of completeness, reliability and validity of the criteria set. Ranking and correlation analyses completed the research by identifying the parameters of major interest as well as the links and dependencies between them. A total of 54 and 65 experts replied to the pilot and main survey, respectively. The reliability and validity of the criteria was assessed with the responses from both questionnaires, whereas the answers from the main survey were used to calculate the relative index of the criteria as well as their correlations. This research resulted in a framework composed of 68 criteria, which are structured into six main areas: (i) economic performance; (ii) environmental impacts, (iii) environmental risk assessment; (iv) human health risk assessment; (v) social implications and (vi) technical performance. This study helps to broaden the understanding on the identification of criteria for sustainability assessments. It also provides those interested in evaluating nanotechnology implications with the basis for real case studies, possibly by integrating available information with the stakeholders using tools that support decision-making. Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slide
Keywords: sustainability assessment, decision-making, Nanoproducts, nanotechnology, criteria, survey, Np(s), Nanoproduct(s), Econ, Economic Performance Criteria, Envimp, Environmental Impacts Criteria, Eram, Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Criteria, Hram, Human Health Risk Assessment and Management Criteria, Si, Social Implications Criteria, Technical Performance Criteria
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