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Inclusion of sustainability aspects in product development – two industrial cases from Sweden
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Industriell Produktion. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Industriell Produktion. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2552-3636
2018 (engelsk)Konferansepaper, Publicerat paper (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

Knowledge on how to include sustainability aspects in product development has increased during the last 25 years. Research has contributed with literature reviews, case studies, and the development of supporting methods, frameworks and guidelines. Despite the large amount of knowledge generated on how to include sustainability aspects in product development, there are few studies that focus on describing how manufacturing companies, in real life, include sustainability aspects in their product development. The aim of this paper is to describe how two manufacturing companies include sustainability aspects in their product development, make a comparison between them, and relate findings with prior studies. To fulfil the aim, a multiple case study at two large Swedish manufacturing companies was conducted. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and by analyzing sustainability reports. This paper provides two novel context-dependent descriptions of how large manufacturing companies include sustainability aspects in their product development. There are several similarities identified between the two companies in this study and descriptions inprior studies of how manufacturing companies include sustainability aspects in their product development. For example, there are manufacturing companies that systematically include sustainability aspects in product development; however, what is systemized differs between the companies.This research suggests that the easier an aspect can be related to the design of the product the more likely the aspect will be considered by actors in the product development function, such as design engineers. Additionally, this research indicates that the product owner is an important internal actor who affects the inclusion of sustainability aspects in product development, and especially the inclusion of sustainability aspects in product requirements. Further studies are suggested on how product owners elicit and prioritize sustainability aspects, how these aspects are formulated in product requirements, as well as how, and how commonly, marketing and sales elicit sustainability aspects from customers.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Swedish Design Society , 2018.
Emneord [en]
ecodesign, design for environment, environmentally conscious design, design, case study, practice
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151687ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-151687DiVA, id: diva2:1252192
Konferanse
NordDesign 2018 - Design in the era of digitalization, August 14-17, 2018, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-10-01 Laget: 2018-10-01 Sist oppdatert: 2019-03-29bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. Inclusion of sustainability aspects in product development at manufacturing companies
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Inclusion of sustainability aspects in product development at manufacturing companies
2018 (engelsk)Licentiatavhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Due to current consumption and production patterns of products, pressure on already constrained natural resources, an increasing global population, increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduced access to clean water globally, studying manufacturing companies’ inclusion of sustainability aspects in their product development becomes important.

The aim of this thesis is to expand current knowledge on the inclusion of sustainability aspects in product development at manufacturing companies. More specifically, the expansion of current knowledge covers how manufacturing companies include sustainability aspects in product development, the challenges manufacturing companies may face when including sustainability aspects in product development, and the reasons for these challenges.

To fulfil this aim, a literature study and a multiple case study were conducted at two international, listed, manufacturing companies in Sweden. Empirical data was collected using semi-structured interviews with two employees at each company and by analyzing the companies’ latest sustainability report.

Empirical results include two context-dependent descriptions of how manufacturing companies include sustainability aspects in product development, 21 challenges the companies face, and 14 reasons for those challenges.

Conclusions include: (1) the role of conventional methods when including sustainability aspects in product development has been largely ignored in prior research; (2) a company’s product owner influences the inclusion of sustainability aspects in product development, and in product requirements in particular; (3) the following three challenges are proposed incorporated in a comprehensive framework of challenges that has been developed in prior research:

  • Making suppliers fulfil the sustainability requirements that are placed on them.
  • Transforming sustainability aspects, or general goals, into measurable requirements that contribute to reduced environmental impact from products while at the same time contributing to competitive profit.
  • Identifying how to reach economic goals more efficiently with a more sustainable initiative or solution than other initiatives.
sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. s. 108
Serie
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Licentiate Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1828
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153234 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-153234 (DOI)9789176851524 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-12-20, ACAS: Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-12-19 Laget: 2018-12-04 Sist oppdatert: 2019-10-12bibliografisk kontrollert

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