Investigating the importance of sustainability information in Product Development and Design

DS 71: Proceedings of NordDesign 2012, the 9th NordDesign conference, Aarlborg University, Denmark. 22-24.08.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Assoc. Prof. Poul Kyvsgaard Hansen, Professor John Rasmussen, Assoc. Prof. Kaj A. Jřrgensen, Assoc. Prof. Christian Tollestrup
Author: Aschehoug, Silje Helene; Ringen, Geir; Boks, Casper; Aasland, Knut Einar
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: 1: Aalborg University, Denmark; 2: Design Society, United Kingdom
ISBN: 978-87-91831-51-5


To further improve the sustainability performance of products, a sustainability information framework beyond mere product and process data has been developed. This was done under the assumption that access to and use of such information may increase firm knowledge on sustainability issues as well as firm ability to develop sustainable products, and thus enhance competitiveness by adding value to products beyond functionality, quality, and cost. The present article reports the results from two case studies in the Norwegian furniture industry. Categories of sustainability information which firms find most important and relevant to product development and design has been identified, as well as factors influencing accessibility of such information. Systematically identifying and compiling sustainability information in the way proposed by the framework is suggested useful for developing requirements and specifications, for general decision support, and for generating knowledge that may inspire entirely new product meanings.

Keywords: Product development and design, sustainability, information, knowledge, furniture industry


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