Integrating Environmental Decisions Into The Design Process

Tim C. McAloone, Stephen Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Environmental concerns now have a firm footing in many organisations. With the introduction of new environmental standards we can expect environmental practices to be adopted in much the same way as has been seen with quality issues; with requirements being initiated by the larger organisation and then passed down the supply chain until a broad spectrum of organisations are operating to a set of standards. We are, however, still at the stage where the environment is not fully understood as an issue. Is this issue a problem that must be dealt with (often at minimum inconvenience), or an opportunity from which we can all reap benefits? Organisations are facing the dilemma of making long-term environmental decisions before they can begin to understand the ramifications of their actions. They must also prepare their products and processes to be adaptable to a whole host of issues that may or may not become mandatory. How can an organisation advocate to be working towards sustainable development before they even understand the breadth of the term? Indeed, there are many interpretations of sustainability; how can an organisation hope to be operating to everyone’s expectations? This paper outlines research work that is being carried out by two UK universities and with two electrical/electronic product manufacturers. By gaining a sound understanding of where key decisions are made during the design process, we can address the many environmental issues and attempt to fit them into a model of the design process. It is imperative that the correct level of information is available to the already busy designer, so as to be as useful as possible without being too time consuming to feasibly become part of their daily routine - this issue of is one of the key motivators of the research. The research has been split into two main areas: observation (‘learning by watching’); and implementation (‘learning by doing’). Preliminary findings from the observation research carried out within the companies are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 3rd International Seminar On Life Cycle Engineering : Eco-Performance '96
Place of PublicationZürich
PublisherCIRP, Verlag Industrielle Organisation
Publication date1996
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International Seminar On Life Cycle Engineering - Zürich, Switzerland
Duration: 18 Mar 199620 Mar 1996
Conference number: 3


Conference3rd International Seminar On Life Cycle Engineering

Bibliographical note

Ecodesign; Product life; PD methods; Miljørigtig produktudvikling

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