Product development is a particularly critical intervention point for the transformation of society towards sustainability. Current socio-ecological impacts over product life-cycles are evidences that current practices are insufficient. The aim of this study is to form a foundation for sustainable product development through the integration of a sustainability perspective into product development procedures and processes.
Literature reviews and theoretical considerations as well as interviews, questionnaires, observations, testing and action research through case studies in various companies have indicated gaps in current methodology and have guided the development of a new general Method for Sustainable Product Development (MSPD).
This method combines a framework for strategic sustainable development based on backcasting from basic sustainability principles with a standard concurrent engineering development model. A modular system of guiding questions, derived by considering the sustainability principles and the product life-cycle, is the key feature.
Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Author: Sophie Hallstedt