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Adaptation of eco-design methods for SMEs in India: Experiences from the electronics industry
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents guidelines for how eco-design methods can be adapted to facilitate the introduction of ecologically responsible manufacturing in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Indian electronics industry. It also investigates the major opportunities and obstacles for eco-design to become a natural part of product design. This is urgent both from environmental and economic perspectives since the SMEs pollute a lot in proportion to their share of the total industrial production, and at the same time they are vulnerable for the increasing environmental demands on product design. The European Union recently introduced their directive on the Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) which bans certain hazardous chemicals in electric and electronic device. For many producers that supply to the European market this was a wake up clock to start thinking about environmental aspects related to production.

The study was carried out as an interview and questionnaire study at three SMEs in the electronics industry. Additional interviews were held with informants in different organisations. It was concluded that for SMEs in the Indian electronics industry qualitative and semi-quantitative eco-design methods should be chosen before quantitative methods. Eco-design methods should resemble traditional methods that are already used in the companies. For the product developers to be able to work with eco-design more education and other solutions are needed to raise the environmental knowledge. Support and commitment from top management is also imperative. Methods should be developed to encourage the establishment of multi functional teams and early integration of environmental aspects in design projects.

The external demands on environmentally responsible manufacturing are expected to increase in the future. This will most likely have a positive influence on the environmental awareness in the industry, just as the RoHS directive has had. However, there are still economic and technical barriers that need to be bridged for SMEs in India to be able to work with eco-design. More cooperation and communication between academics, policy makers and the industry is needed to make it happen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tema vatten i natur och samhälle , 2007. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Eco-design, Electronics, SME, India, RoHS
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-9195ISRN: LIU-TEMA/MV-D--07/07--SEOAI: diva2:23798
2007-05-29, K2, Kåkenhus, Norrköping, 09:15
Available from: 2007-06-26 Created: 2007-06-26

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