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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

An Vercalsteren

In Belgium, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are not very aware of the possibility of integrating the life cycle concept in the development of products. “Ecodesign

Abstract

In Belgium, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are not very aware of the possibility of integrating the life cycle concept in the development of products. “Ecodesign” is more a topic of interest for larger companies. In this context, the Flemish Government, more specifically the Public Waste Agency of the Flemish Region (OVAM), launched a demonstration project, which aimed to check whether SMEs are capable of taking account of the environmental aspects of their products over the entire life cycle and creating more environment‐friendly products. The results of this project in the participating companies were fairly positive. However, the project also showed that there are several factors that influence the failure or success of ecodesign in a company. To screen the ecodesign potential of a company, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (Vito) developed a tool, called the “Quick Scan”. Another conclusion of the demonstration project was that a very important success factor for an ecodesign project is the tool the company applies to analyse the environmental impacts of the product over the entire life cycle. Anticipating this problem, Vito developed a selection scheme that allows a company to select the most appropriate tool for the environmental analysis of their products, based on a number of criteria.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Prashant Kumar Singh and Prabir Sarkar

The main purpose of this research is to understand the priorities of designers for an ecodesign support, while developing environmentally sustainable products. Also, this…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this research is to understand the priorities of designers for an ecodesign support, while developing environmentally sustainable products. Also, this study identifies the requirements of the designers for managing the environmental quality of products.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is conducted in two phases of survey. In the first phase, various requirements of designers are collected, refined and segregated under certain well defined characteristics of the ecodesign support. In second phase, the designers are asked to rank each characteristic of the ecodesign support in a questionnaire. The responses obtained from the designers are analyzed separately for engineering designers and design researchers by using Henry Garrett ranking technique to identify the priorities of designers for an ecodesign support.

Findings

Results show that there is a contrast between the perspective of engineering designers and design researchers, and their priorities for an ecodesign support are opposite to each other. Thus it can be understood that the features which are added by design researchers in ecodesign support may not be adequate for engineering designers to manage the environmental quality of products.

Originality/value

The designers play a key role in the development of environmentally benign products through the use of different ecodesign supports (i.e. tools or methods). Therefore, it is important to understand the desired characteristics of the ecodesign support from designer's perspective. Also, the priorities of designers from academia (design researchers) and industry (engineering designers) must be understood because they are the two stakeholders indulged in the development and usage of various ecodesign supports for environmentally conscious product development (ECPD).

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Cassiano Moro Piekarski, Fábio Neves Puglieri, Cristiane Karyn de Carvalho Araújo, Murillo Vetroni Barros and Rodrigo Salvador

The purpose of this paper is to report on a life cycle assessment (LCA)-based ecodesign teaching practice via university-industry collaboration in an industrial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a life cycle assessment (LCA)-based ecodesign teaching practice via university-industry collaboration in an industrial engineering undergraduate course.

Design/methodology/approach

A new course was designed and taught in the Industrial Engineering undergraduate course of a Federal University in Brazil. The course comprised explanatory lectures and a practical project developed in a partnership between the university and an industry partner where students had to develop Ecodesign proposals based on LCA to improve the environmental profile of both solid and reticulated paint brushes. To that end, students used the LCA software tool Umberto NXT v.7.1.13 (educational version), where they modeled the life cycle of four plastic brushes and assessed it using the impact categories of climate change and resource consumption, and the Ecoinvent v.3.3 database. After course completion, students, professors and industry collaborators were asked to provide feedback on the project performance and expectations.

Findings

The course design used was welcomed by both students and the industry partner. Students found the novel approach intriguing and useful to their future careers. The results also exceeded the industry partner’s expectations, as students formulated valuable insights. Professors observed that learning was made easier, as content was put into practice and internalized more easily and solidly. The approach was found to be a win-win-win.

Practical implications

Students acquired a fair share of knowledge on sustainability issues and potential existing trade-offs, which is valuable to industrial practices. The industry noticed the valuable contributions that academia can provide. The university profited from providing students with a real case challenging traditional teaching methods.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first case studies to show how LCA and ecodesign teaching practice can support sustainability learning in an industrial engineering undergraduate course.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Fabien Brones, Eduardo Zancul and Marly M. Carvalho

This study discusses the application of Insider Action Research to the systematic integration of an environmental perspective into industrial product innovation processes…

Abstract

Purpose

This study discusses the application of Insider Action Research to the systematic integration of an environmental perspective into industrial product innovation processes and projects. Applying Insider Action Research, it aims at a broader integration between top-down and bottom-up and soft and hard perspectives in the intersection of ecodesign and innovation and project management disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is based on action research and specificities from Insider Action Research to capture the change and transition aspects involving two main action research cycles. The longitudinal five-year research was carried out within a Brazilian cosmetics company. The outcomes of these cycles are analysed including customisation of ecodesign tools and related application, and views of different stakeholders of the challenge for the transition.

Findings

This paper describes an action research application aiming at faster learning loops in the field of sustainable innovation management. As a second contribution, an Ecodesign Transition Framework (ETF) is proposed, combining both technical and soft sides. The proposed framework is structured in three levels (strategic, tactical and operational), with two complementary perspectives of a mature ecodesign pattern and a transition pathway.

Practical implications

The action research led to the intended outcomes both on the applied side, with increased diffusion of ecodesign in the company, and on the research side, with the ETF formulation and application. Practitioners interested in sustainable innovation can follow the ETF procedures, challenges faced, lessons learnt and conclusions.

Originality/value

The Insider Action Research addressed the literature gap to better relate the recommendations in the field to business reality. The resulting ETF brings a novel perspective for integrating environmental considerations in the product innovation process of a company. It organises the soft issues to be considered for the necessary transition towards such integration, consolidating and advancing previous theoretical views of ecodesign, with associated new practical implications.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Silviya Atanasova Topleva and Tsvetko Velchev Prokopov

The ecological footprint of the food industry and the requirements of the bio-based economy result in the need for deepening the concept of corporate sustainability. CSR…

1399

Abstract

Purpose

The ecological footprint of the food industry and the requirements of the bio-based economy result in the need for deepening the concept of corporate sustainability. CSR provokes the implementation of eco-innovation with high value added. A main source of value added and sustainability is the integrated implementation of ecodesign practices . The purpose of this paper is to systemize an integrated model for the product ecodesign implementation, which combines not only the industrial and process ecodesign but also the overall organizational and socio-economic context of SMEs in food industry, reflected in CSR and value added for stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology for implementation of business model for sustainability of the SMEs in the food industry through ecodesign is based on vertical and horizontal integration of well-known self-relevant environmental, social and economic tools such as corporate social responsibility, life-cycle assessment, MET matrix, ecolabelling and stakeholder approach for production and marketing of high-value-added eco-products.

Findings

This study proposes an algorithm for implementation of an integrated business model for SMEs sustainability in the food industry, focusing on high-value-added delivery for stakeholders, based on corporate social responsibility, functional innovation and eco-efficiency. The ecodesign based on CSR business practice in food industry allows simultaneous optimization of environmental aspects and cost structure of products in conditions of improved quality and functionality. Thus, ecodesign contributes to the diversification not only of the company’s product portfolio, but also to opening of new marketplaces and the implementation of new market strategies by increasing the value added.

Practical implications

The research identifies actions, which SMEs in food industry can follow to achieve ecological redesign of their business and production processes that simultaneously enhance product functionality and resource efficiency.

Originality/value

The academic and the social value of the research is the focus on ecodesign and its implementation in SMEs in the food industry as a tool for creation of multidimensional high value added for stakeholders in bio-based economy.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Glenn Johansson

On the basis of a literature review, 20 factors essential for successful integration of ecodesign in product development are presented in this paper. The success factors…

4101

Abstract

On the basis of a literature review, 20 factors essential for successful integration of ecodesign in product development are presented in this paper. The success factors are structured according to six areas of concern: management, customer relationships, supplier relationships, development process, competence and motivation. By relating the factors to a number of product development elements that are generally claimed to be important for product development success, it is indicated that the integration of ecodesign to a great extent are related to the same elements. A few factors seem to be specific for the integration of ecodesign. These factors are related to competence and motivation. As many of the ecodesign integration success factors relate to those elements that are acknowledged to affect product development success, this implies that a company that manages product development well increases the likelihood of being successful when integrating ecodesign into product development.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 February 2009

Tomohiko Sakao

This paper aims to propose the application of quality engineering in the early phase of environmentally conscious design (Ecodesign).

1010

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose the application of quality engineering in the early phase of environmentally conscious design (Ecodesign).

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing the Kano model and willingness to pay, the paper presents a framework for classification of environmental characteristics of products/services (i.e. offers) in two dimensions. The framework is connected to design management, i.e. design itself and external communication, where strategies for companies are given. The integration of the classification and the strategies is applied to three environmental characteristics against Japanese markets.

Findings

The classification framework was proved to be effective as it generates much richer implication than other existing methods. In addition, it works well especially for environmental characteristics. Generation of strategies was also found to work effectively. They suggested some potential of using quality‐engineering oriented methods/tools to deal with customer perception in the early phase of Ecodesign.

Research limitations/implications

The results imply the needs for research on further utilizing quality‐engineering approach and methods in the early stage of Ecodesign. This would be effective as how customers perceive offers has been neglected in the research and practice of Ecodesign and the focus of Ecodesign has been rather in its technical aspects. This research, in a broader sense, exists in integration of marketing and design disciplines.

Originality/value

This paper has brought light into the arena where customer aspects in Ecodesign are addressed and has some potential for quality‐engineering approach and method to tackle the aspects.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Rosalind Malcolm

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the Ecodesign Directive and the extent to which it provides a regulatory framework for life‐cycle assessment approaches which…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the Ecodesign Directive and the extent to which it provides a regulatory framework for life‐cycle assessment approaches which underlie integrated product policy (IPP), thus providing a horizontal approach to product legislation as a new approach to regulating pollution.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on academic commentary as well as official papers, European communications and legislation.

Findings

The development and application of the Ecodesign Directive is highlighted along with the different regulatory approach it poses which is shown to result from the application of life‐cycle assessment and IPP.

Practical implications

The impact on the development of products will be extensive in that they will be required by mandatory rules to be designed with a view to the reduction of their whole life environmental impacts.

Originality/value

The approach is to highlight a new paradigm for regulating pollution and environmental impacts.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Gunilla Ölundh Sandström and Johan Tingström

The purpose of this paper is to explore the driving forces for taking environmental considerations to a higher level in a project involving radical innovation.

1905

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the driving forces for taking environmental considerations to a higher level in a project involving radical innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative case study is based on ten in‐depth interviews with respondents from the development team for the DryQ project at ABB.

Findings

In order to achieve substantial environmental benefits, radical product development is essential. Radical product development has attributes that differ from those of incremental product development. It is important that these differences be acknowledged when preparing to manage environmental challenges in development projects. In radical product development, environmental considerations should be taken into account very early on, at the strategic level of the design process. Setting challenging environmental targets and rewarding environmental improvements was crucial to the outcome of the project presented in this paper.

Research limitations/implications

The research presented here describes one case in one manufacturing company. Readers can, however, learn from this case and apply the insights gained to their own research or use the findings to promote new thinking in their own organisation.

Practical implications

Suggestions are made about how to manage environmental considerations in radical product development.

Originality/value

Few studies combine ecodesign and radical innovation theories, as is done here. Yet this is not a theoretical paper but an industry‐based study of eco‐innovation, from which researchers and practitioners can learn.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Katja Lähtinen, Dora Alina Samaniego Vivanco and Anne Toppinen

The purpose of this paper is to identify links between the components involved in ecodesign orientations (EDOs) and the integration of ecological criteria into…

1263

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify links between the components involved in ecodesign orientations (EDOs) and the integration of ecological criteria into Scandinavian wooden furniture industries. The purpose of identifying these links is to recognize possibilities and gaps in wooden furniture product development and branding opportunities to deepen customer engagement with the Scandinavian country-of-origin (COO) brand.

Design/methodology/approach

The application of ecodesign in Scandinavian wooden furniture industries was studied using survey data gathered from Nordic wood furniture designers. Factor analysis was used to identify the general types of Scandinavian design styles (SDSs) and EDOs implemented in the Scandinavian wooden furniture industry. The SDS and EDO impacts on the integration of ecological design criteria were modelled using logistic regression analysis.

Findings

The integration of ecological criteria by Nordic designers influences both the perspectives on material and process optimization and the end use of wooden furniture as well as the recycling of these products. In contrast, our results showed no statistical evidence of connections between different SDS types and the integration of ecological criteria in design. Recognition of special needs of customers valuing both high Scandinavian design and EDO could provide strategic opportunities for wooden furniture industries to recognize new global market potential and enhance their competitiveness.

Practical implications

Developing business opportunities for wooden furniture marketed under the Scandinavian COO brand, and forming a better understanding of customer expectations on the ecological information related to different wooden furniture SDS types, is needed. This would support developing new ecodesign strategies across the whole industry and enhancing value proposition of Scandinavian wooden furniture within different customer groups.

Originality/value

Research findings on the intersection of industrial brand design and ecodesign are still scarce, especially with a special focus on strategic management and sustainability marketing of companies. The results of our study provide entirely new insights on the topic especially in the context of Scandinavian wooden furniture industry.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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