Decision Support Tools for Sustainability in Product Innovation in a Few Swedish Companies

ICORD 11: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Research into Design Engineering, Bangalore, India, 10.-12.01.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Chakrabarti, A.
Author: Thompson,W.Anthony; Lindahl,Pia; Hallstedt,Sophie; Ny.Henrik; Broman,Göran
Section: Eco-Design, Sustainable Manufacturing, Design for Sustainbility
Page(s): 489-496


Companies are finding that customers increasingly demand “sustainable products” while also noticing economic benefits from eco-efficiency and other sustainability-related design approaches. Employees making product-related decisions need support tools to incorporate sustainability considerations — both at strategic (e.g. regarding product lines to develop) and operational levels (e.g. detailed design). This paper presents the results from a set of interviews that explored where and how sustainability considerations are taken into account in the product innovation processes of six Swedish companies. Results are presented as a map of the overall company operations in relation to a generic product innovation model, followed by a map of the places where sustainability considerations are made in that model. Some of the tools that are used to support those sustainability considerations are also briefly described. The conclusion is that there are some, but not sufficient, tools and methods to support inclusion of sustainability aspects in the product innovation processes of these companies

Keywords: Sustainability, product development, innovation, tools


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