Growing environmental awareness leads production engineers to focus increasingly on energy and material efficiency of manufacturing processes. However, only a few holistic approaches have been applied on the manufacturing process level and they often disregard product quality. In this study, sustainability indicators for the discrete manufacturing process of grinding are defined and discussed. Various temporal and spatial boundaries for the sustainability analysis are evaluated with regard to their effect on the results. Selected indicators, here energy and waste intensity, are then used to evaluate different dressing strategies in a case study. This study highlights the challenges in setting the boundaries for a sustainability analysis and stresses the importance of clearly defining these in research papers.