Company sustainability journeys

A sustainability perspective must be introduced early on in product development if it is to result in cost-effective and long-term competitive solutions.

The research in sustainable product development takes place in close collaboration with industry. Professor Sophie Hallstedt together with PhD Jesko Schulte and PhD Matilda Watz in the sustainable product development research group, support companies making the journey toward sustainable solutions.

“Step by step we are producing a methodology for sustainability implementation. The goal is a sustainable solution, and it is necessary to understand how an individual change affects the whole. Should we replace materials? What waste is created and how do we make the most of it? How should transport be carried out? The method provides guidance on the best global solutions and indicates the right direction”, explains Sophie Hallstedt.

Close collaboration with companies is important in order to have real case studies on which to work.
Jesko Schulte, PhD. in strategic sustainable development, describes how to reinforce the practical application of sustainable product development while developing the theory.

“We connect all parts of the process, sustainability is complex. You have to go through the entire journey from knowledge to concrete design and product choices with life cycle perspectives. Cooperation is necessary to formalise the process and we have that opportunity at BTH”, says Matilda Watz.

We have created the first prototype with digital tools that can be used in companies. This is done within the framework of a Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation agency) project.
“There is a wealth of information and we produce tools to make it usable, among other things to measure a product’s sustainability at an early stage. We call it the product’s fingerprint. It indicates a global perspective and whether you are on the right track”, says Sophie Hallstedt.

5 October 2023

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