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Eco‐efficient products and services through LCA in R&D/design

Staffan Laestadius (KTH, Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK), Stockholm, and)
Lennart Karlson (ABB Corporate Research and KTH, INDEK, Sweden)

Environmental Management and Health

ISSN: 0956-6163

Article publication date: 1 May 2001


Increasing demand for sustainable development during the last decades has expanded the scope of corporate responsibility to include environmental issues in all levels of operations. A number of different environmental management tools have been developed and implemented in companies. One important question is whether the resources spent in environmental management tools are used in an optimal way. Another question is if these resources give more eco‐efficient products as well as increased competitiveness. The aim of this paper is to analyse whether, and to what extent, the environmental management tool LCA is perceived as efficient within ABB. The conclusions to be drawn from this study are somewhat contradictory. On the one hand the technical, economic and environmental benefits from current use of the LCA tool seem to be very modest and LCA activities seem not to be integrated in normal operational activities, nor have they been used frequently in product development projects. On the other hand, there is a very positive opinion about the applicability and future use of the LCA tool. In fact a majority of the respondents believe that the LCA tool will stay and can be useful in the future.



Laestadius, S. and Karlson, L. (2001), "Eco‐efficient products and services through LCA in R&D/design", Environmental Management and Health, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 181-191.




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