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Proceedings Paper

Environmental aspects in product development: an investigation among small- and medium-sized enterprises
Author(s): Sophie H. Byggeth; Goeran Broman
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Paper Abstract

Small- and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) represent a large part of industry. Environmental considerations during product development in SMEs therefore imply a large potential for reducing society’s environmental impact. Implementing environmentally adapted product development among SMEs has been considered difficult and is uncommon. Our approach is to develop a qualitative Method for Sustainable Product Development (MSPD) that relates both to a framework for sustainability and to the ordinary product development process. The aim is to guide the user to avoid problems related to social and ecological non-sustainability without demanding extensive expertise knowledge. Two surveys in ten Swedish SMEs have been carried out. An initial survey registered their product development procedures and environmental work as well as desired characteristics of a new suggested method for integrating environmental aspects into the product development process. A second survey registered additional desired characteristics and improvement suggestions when testing an early version of our MSPD. The surveys and the structure of our MSPD are presented, and the desired characteristics for a workable method in SMEs, found in our investigation and in literature, are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4193, Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing, (9 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417271
Show Author Affiliations
Sophie H. Byggeth, Univ. of Karlskrona/Ronneby (Sweden)
Goeran Broman, Univ. of Karlskrona/Ronneby (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4193:
Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing
Surendra M. Gupta, Editor(s)

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