Abstract Paper aims This paper proposes a method for the assessment of equipment obsolescence, which includes the economic, environmental and social dimensions that compose the triple bottom line. Originality This paper describes a novel method that allows a complete evaluation of the state of use of a machine, besides the traditional economic-functional analysis, as well as its application in a large electric machines manufacturing company. Research method Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multicriteria analysis is used, allowing a comparative and flexible assessment of the equipment. Main findings Even if there is no economic justification for replacing the equipment considering the financial return on investment, the machine can be considered obsolete from a sustainable point of view, due to its inadequate environmental and social performance. Implications for theory and practice Applying sustainability concepts in the manufacturing environment, more precisely in the machines on the shop floor, is very important to ensure cleaner production.