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Challenges and preconditions to build capabilities for sustainable product design
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Fakulteten för teknikvetenskaper, Institutionen för strategisk hållbar utveckling.
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Fakulteten för teknikvetenskaper, Institutionen för strategisk hållbar utveckling.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-7382-1825
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: DS87-1 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 21ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN (ICED 17), VOL 1: RESOURCE SENSITIVE DESIGN, DESIGN RESEARCH APPLICATIONS AND CASE STUDIES / [ed] Maier A.M.,Skec S.,Salustri F.A.,Fadel G.,Kim H.,Kokkolaras M.,Oehmen J.,Van der Loos M., Design Society , 2017, Vol. 1, nr DS87-1, s. 1-10, artikel-id DS87-1Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

Sustainable product innovation has previously been found to be positively correlated to competitiveness. However, in order to build capabilities for sustainability integration one must first understand companies' current state. The overall aim is therefore to identify common preconditions and challenges for sustainability integration in product innovation. A questionnaire study, targeting employees with roles in product development, was conducted at four medium-sized to large product development and manufacturing companies in Sweden. Results show that capabilities for sustainability integration are perceived as decisive for future company success, but are not considered to be correspondingly high prioritized today. Decision making is focused on material selection and energy efficiency, so no full socio-ecological sustainability perspective is covered. Formal decision support tools are only used by half of respondents and are a main area for improvement. Identified challenges include short-term economic thinking, lack of sustainability criteria and vague management commitment. Based on these findings, seven recommendations for companies are presented and validated.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Design Society , 2017. Vol. 1, nr DS87-1, s. 1-10, artikel-id DS87-1
Nyckelord [en]
Capability, Case study, Ecodesign, Sustainability, Sustainable product development, Decision making, Decision support systems, Energy efficiency, Innovation, Integration, Product development, Sustainable development, Decision support tools, Manufacturing companies, Questionnaire studies, Sustainability criteria, Sustainable product designs, Sustainable products, Product design
Nationell ämneskategori
Annan naturresursteknik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-15517ISI: 000455059100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85029747884OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-15517DiVA, id: diva2:1160091
Konferens
21st International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, Vancouver
Tillgänglig från: 2017-11-24 Skapad: 2017-11-24 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-06-27Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Sustainability Risk Management in Product Development Companies - Motivating Change
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Sustainability Risk Management in Product Development Companies - Motivating Change
2019 (Engelska)Licentiatavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Both the ecological and social system are systematically degrading, resulting in decreasing capacities to support human civilization. Product development and manufacturing companies play a key role in driving society’s transition towards a sustainable path. Besides moral arguments, the motivation for companies can be expressed as a matter of smart risk management, i.e. avoiding threats and exploiting opportunities. Such sustainability risks can be related to, for example, brand and reputation, legislative change, or attracting top-talented employees. But, more importantly, it is about understanding changes that are inevitable on markets to come. Based on Maxwell’s interactive qualitative research approach and following the structure of the Design Research Methodology, this thesis aims to contribute (i) to knowledge by increasing the conceptual understanding of what sustainability risks are; and (ii) to practice by researching decision-support for how sustainability risks can be managed in a product development company context. The first study reviewed existing literature and identified characteristics of sustainability risks, which make them particularly difficult to manage. A following exploratory and descriptive study investigated companies’ current risk management practices and preconditions for sustainability integration. It showed that the effects of uncertainty from the sustainability transition need to be identified, assessed, and managed in relation to how they can affect objectives anchored in both internal and external stakeholder value creation. In parallel, the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development was applied as a lens to understand the implications of the sustainability transition for company risk management. This resulted in a new definition, stating that sustainability risks are threats and opportunities that are due to an organization’s contribution or counteraction to society’s transition towards strategic sustainable development. A questionnaire study then investigated some case companies’ challenges and preconditions to build sustainability capabilities. Finally, a workshop method is proposed that aims to support design teams in early sustainable product development. Future research will leverage on the findings to develop and test decision support for how product development companies can manage sustainability risks on different organizational levels in practice to increase competitiveness, while taking leadership in the transition towards a sustainable society.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019
Serie
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 5
Nyckelord
corporate sustainability, product innovation process, sustainability transition, sustainable design, sustainable product development
Nationell ämneskategori
Miljövetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:bth-17631 (URN)978-91-7295-371-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-03-27, J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Valhallavägen, Karlskrona, 09:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Forskningsfinansiär
KK-stiftelsenVinnovaKK-stiftelsen
Tillgänglig från: 2019-02-22 Skapad: 2019-02-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-03-20Bibliografiskt granskad

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