History of Events

Ph.D Seminar: A Foundation for Sustainable Product   Development - Sophie Hallstedt »   

Seminar: Strategiska beslut för hållbarhet, 14 November 2007

Göran Carstedt, Ekonomi och Ekologi, 12 October 2007

Casper Boks & Sophie Byggeth, Ecodesign, 23 November 2006

Bob Willard, Turning Green into Gold, 7 december, 2006

Henrik Ny, Licentiate thesis, 31 October 2006

Göran Carstedt, Ekonomi och Ekologi, 4 October 2006


Ph.D Seminar

A Foundation for Sustainable Product Dvelopment - Sophie Hallstedt.

June 05, 2008



Event summary 

References and Publications



Product development is a particularly critical intervention point for the transformation of society towards sustainability. Current socio-ecological impacts over product life-cycles are evidence that current practices are insufficient. The aim of this thesis is to form a foundation for sustainable product development through the integration of a sustainability perspective into product development procedures and processes. 

To generate products that support sustainable development of society it is necessary to combine sustainability assessments with improvements of technical product properties. An introductory procedure for such sustainability-driven design optimization is suggested based on a case study. For maximum efficiency of a company in finding viable pathways towards sustainability, it is also necessary to coordinate different methods and tools that are useful for sustainable product development and integrate them into the overall decision-making processes at different levels in companies. To find gaps in the sustainability integration in a company's decision system, an assessment approach is suggested based on case studies.

A general conclusion from this research is that the support needed for making sustainability-related decisions are not systematically integrated in companies today. However, this thesis also indicates that it is possible to create generic methods and tools that aid the integration of sustainability aspects in companies' strategic decision-making and product development. These methods and tools can be used to guide the prioritization of investments and technical optimization on the increasingly sustainability-driven market, thus providing a foundation for competitive sustainable product development.

Keywords: backcasting, decision processes, ecodesign, integrated, product development, sustainability principles, sustainable product development, strategic sustainable development.

Event Summary

On Wednesday June 05, 2008, Sophie Hallsted defended her Ph.D thesis: A Foundation for Sustainable Product Development. 

Sophie and Ph.D. Supervisors

Supervisors, faculty opponent and examination committee.

From right to left:

Docent Timothy McAloone, faculty opponent Danmarks Tekniske Universitet. Professors Karl-Henrik Robèrt and Göran Broman supervisors Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sophie Hallstedt and the examination committee: Professor Tobias Larsson, Luleä Tekniska Universitet, Sweden, Tekn. Dr. Mats Ericson, Roxtec International and Professor Magnus Enell, Lunds Universited, Sweden.


Sophie Hallstedt explains Paper VI of her Ph.D. thesis: An approach to assessing sustainability integration in strategic decision systems.








Seminarium: Strategiska beslut för hållbarhet

November 14, 2007

On Wednesday November 14, 2007 we hosted a public seminar on strategic decision-making for sustainability. The seminar was an opportunity for us to share our latest research in this area and hear from our industry partners in the 'Prioritisation Support for Sustainable Product Development' project.

Event Summary


Event Summary

On Wednesday November 14, 2007 we hosted a public seminar on strategic decision-making for sustainability. The seminar was an opportunity for us to share our latest research in this area and hear from our industry partners in the 'Prioritisation Support for Sustainable Product Development' project.

The seminar was an outstanding success. It brought together local business, municipal leaders, media, the general public and funding agences to discuss the critical issue that sustainability represents to all of us today.

The speakers included:

Seminar audience


  • Prof Karl-Henrik Robert
  • Prof Göran Broman
  • Lic Sophie Hallstedt
  • Lic Henrik Ny
  • M.Sc. Pong Leung
  • M.Sc. Pia Lindahl

Hydro Polmers:

  • Dr Jason Leadbitter

Tetra Pak:

  • Katrin Besch
  • Gustav Askman

Dr Karl-Henrik Robert

Prof. Karl-Henrik Robert explains how principles for sustainability can provide guidance in organisational decision-making at all levels - from product development to core business planning.



Dr Jason Leadbitter

Dr Jason Leadbitter explains how Hydro Polymers responded to pressure from Greenpeace about the impacts of PVC. Using The Natural Step framework, industry sustainability challenges were established. Hydro Polymers's response to these challenges is an example of how an organisation addressing sustainability as a core business issue can show leadership and profit. Hydro Polymers is now widely recognised as an industry leader.


Seminar Downloads

Materials from the session are now available. Video recordings from the event are now available.

View the videos here. 


Presentation Materials

Göran Broman: Introduction

Karl-Henrik Robèrt: Hållbar utveckling - En utmaning mer för kompetensen än värderingarna

Jason Leadbitter: Sustainable Developmnet together with Suppliers

Katrin Besch: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) at Tetra Pak

Gustav Askman: Design for Environment (DfE) at Tetra Pak

Pia Lindahl : Hållbarhetsbron - Stödja arbetet med Hållbar Utveckling i regionen

Pong Leung - Sustainability Education at BTH

Göran Broman: Closing presentation



Publications Requested by Attendees

Note: Some of these publications cannot be made available on this website due to journal copyright restrictions. Abstracts and reference information are available on the links below. Please contact us if you would like to to view the full articles.


A method for sustainable product development based on a modular system of guiding questions

Handling trade-offs in Ecodesign tools for Sustainable Product Development and Procurement

Integrating Environmental Aspects in Engineering Education

Sustainability Constraints as System Boundaries. An Approach to Making Life-Cycle Management Strategic

Strategic life-cycle modeling for sustainable product development.



Additional Materials Requested by Attendees


Karl-Henrik Robèrt: Strategic Sustainable Development - presentation with detailed explanatory notes

Biographies of our class of sustainability leaders

The Trunk & Branches Newsletter for the StratLeade Network - our friends and partners in sustainability




October 12, 2007

Göran Carstedt har i år utsetts till hedersdoktor vid BTH. Den 12 oktober kommer han hålla en öppen föreläsning på Wämö Center i Karlskrona.

In English:

Welcome to an open lecture by this year’s Honorary Doctor of BTH. Dr. Göran Carstedt will discuss the role of leadership in creating an environment for change in large organizations, and will share his experiences when leading large companies, such as IKEA in the USA and Volvo in France. In particular, Dr. Carstedt will touch on the importance of business for the sustainable development of society and the importance of sustainability competence among leaders for business success on today’s market.

Dr. Carstedt will give examples of work around the world that contributes to creating a sustainable society. Dr. Carstedt is, among many other things, a leader within the Clinton Initiative against global warming.



November 23, 2006

Time: 9-12

Place: Karlskrona, Campus Gräsvik, BTH Room 2404


Casper Boks, Technical University of Delft:

  • a brief history of ecodesign
  • main activies in industry and academia
  • what have been the drivers and tools used
  • what is the status (quo) in industry and academia?
  • what are future research avenues related to ecodesign operationalisation?

Sophie Byggeth, BTH:

  • handling trade-offs in Ecodesign tools


Bob Willard - Turning Green into Gold: The Business Advantage of Becoming Sustainable

December 7, 2006.


  • DATE Thursday, December 7, 2006
  • TIME Reception 18:30. Lecture begins 19:00
  • VENUE Wamö Center, Bättringsvägen, Karlskrona


Speaker Information:

Bob Willard is a leading expert on the business value of corporate sustainability strategies, and in the last three years he has given over 200 keynote presentations to corporations, consultants, academics, and nongovernmental organizations. Bob applies business and leadership development experience from his 34-year career at IBM Canada to engage the business community in capturing opportunities and avoiding risks associated with sustainability issues.

He is the author of The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a TripleBottom Line (New Society Publishers, 2002) on the business case for sustainability strategies and The Next Sustainability Wave: Building Boardroom Buy-in (New Society Publishers, 2005) on why companies are committed to sustainability.

Bob will discuss how businesses are responding to a combination of market forces from customers, investors, employees, legislators, banks, and insurance companies to embrace social and environmental responsibility.


Henrik Ny, licentiate thesis

October 31, 2006


Thesis Title: Strategic Life-Cycle Modeling for Sustainable Product Development

Ny, H. 2006. "Strategic Life-Cycle Modeling for Sustainable Product Development". Licentiate thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden.

Examiner and assistant supervisor: Dr. Göran Broman, AMT/BTH

Supervisor: Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt, AMT/BTH

Opponent: Dr. Sven-Olof Ryding, Miljöstyrningsrådet / Docent Sven-Olof Ryding, Miljöstyrningsrådet


Decision makers are challenged by complex sustainability problems within the socio-ecological system. In response, a vast range of sustainability-related methods/tools have been developed, each focusing on certain aspects of this challenge. Without a unifying theory it is, however, unclear how these methods/tools can support strategic progress towards sustainability and how they relate to each other. This need for clarity and structure urged some sustainability pioneers to start develop an overarching framework for strategic sustainable development (SSD), often called “The Natural Step (TNS) framework”, from the NGO that has facilitated its development and application, or the “backcasting from sustainability principles (BSP) framework” from its main operational philosophy.

The aim of this thesis is to study if, and in that case how, this framework can aid coordination and further development of various sustainability-related methods/tools, specifically to increase their capacity to support sustainable product development (SPD). Life-cycle assessment (LCA), “templates” for SPD and systems modeling and simulation (SMS) are the methods/tools in focus.

A new strategic life-cycle management approach is presented, in which the main sustainability aspects, LCA “impacts”, are identified through socio-ecological sustainability principles. This creates new opportunities to avoid the reductionism that often follows from traditional system boundaries or from a focus on specific impacts. Ideas of how this approach can inform the studied tools are given. This may eventually lead to a whole integrated toolbox for SPD (a “Design Space”). As part of such a Design Space, a new “template” approach for SPD is developed. A case study of a sustainability assessment of TVs at the Matsushita Electric Group indicates that this approach can create a quick overview of critical sustainability aspects in the early part of the product development process and facilitate communication of this overview between top management, product developers, and other stakeholders. A potential integration between BSP and SMS is also discussed. It is suggested that this should start with BSP to create lists of critical present-day flows and practices, ideas of long term solutions and visions, and a first rough idea about prioritized early investments. After that, SMS should be applied to study the interrelationships between the listed items, in order to create more robust and refined analyses of the problems at hand, possible solutions and investment paths, while constantly coupling back to the sustainability principles and guidelines of the BSP framework.

Decision makers seem to need more of an overview and of simplicity around sustainability issues. A general conclusion is, however, that it is important that this is achieved without a loss of relevant aspects and their interrelations. Over-simplifications might lead to sub-optimized designs and investments paths. Combining the BSP framework with more detailed methods/tools seems to be a promising approach to finding the right balance and to get synergies between various methods/tools.

Göran Carstedt -"Ekonomi och Ekologi"

4 October, 2006.

"Ekonomi och Ekologi - Vi börjar se sambanden, men det behövs ett nytt sätt att tänka"

  • Tid: Samling kl.18.30. Föreläsningen börjar kl. 19.00
  • Plats: Wämö Center, Bättringsvägen, Karlskrona

Dr. Göran Carstedt är ordförande för Det Naturliga Steget och var tidigare en av toppcheferna i Volvo och IKEA. Han är nu rådgivare till flera internationella organisationer och är även medlem i styrelserna för flera stora företag. Dr. Carstedt är känd som en inspirerande och praktisk föreläsare inom ledarskap, organisatorisk utbildning och förändring.

Sophie Hallstedt and Tamara Connell

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