Decision Support Tools for Sustainability in Product Innovation in a Few Swedish Companies

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Anthony Thompson, Pia Lindahl, Sophie Hallstedt, Henrik Ny, Göran Broman
Title: Decision Support Tools for Sustainability in Product Innovation in a Few Swedish Companies
Conference name: International Conference on Research into Design (ICoRD)
Year: 2011
Pagination: 489-496
ISBN: 978-981-08-7721-7
Publisher: Research Publishing
City: Bangalore
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Engineering - Dept. of Mechanical Engineering (Sektionen för ingenjörsvetenskap - avd. för maskinteknik)
School of Engineering S- 371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:,,,,
Language: English
Abstract: Companies are finding that customers increasingly demand “sustainable products” while also noticing economic benefits from eco-efficiency and other sustainability-related design approaches. Employees making product-related decisions need support tools to incorporate sustainability considerations — both at strategic (e.g. regarding product lines to develop) and operational levels (e.g. detailed design). This paper presents the results from a set of interviews that explored where and how sustainability considerations are taken into account in the product innovation processes of six Swedish companies. Results are presented as a map of the overall company operations in relation to a generic product innovation model, followed by a map of the places where sustainability considerations are made in that model. Some of the tools that are used to support those sustainability considerations are also briefly described. The conclusion is that there are some, but not sufficient, tools and methods to support inclusion of sustainability aspects in the product innovation processes of these companies.
Subject: Mechanical Engineering\General
Technoscience Studies\Innovation System and Development
Keywords: Sustainability, product development, product innovation, decision support tools