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Companies that compete globally are progressively more required to commit to and report on the overall sustainability performances of operational initiatives, i.e. undertaken projects or technological innovations. A prerequisite for aligning these operational initiatives with the principles of sustainable development is a clear understanding of the various life cycles that are involved and the interactions between these life cycles. Tools are also necessary to evaluate the sustainability of these integrated life cycles. A detailed examination has shown that the current indicator frameworks that are available to measure overall business sustainability do not effectively address all aspects of sustainability at project and technology management level. A new framework to evaluate the sustainability of projects and technologies in the manufacturing sector is subsequently introduced. An approach to develop indicators that are relevant for the criteria of the sustainability assessment framework are subsequently proposed in the context of the South African process industry. Furthermore, case studies are described whereby these indicators are currently being tested. The way forward to achieve truly sustainable life cycle management (LCM) in the manufacturing industry is therefore outlined.