Leading product-related environmental performance indicators: a selection guide and database

Isabela I. Issa, Daniela Cristina Antelmi Pigosso, Tim C. McAloone, Henrique Rozenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Ecodesign is a proactive environmental management and improvement approach employed in the product development process, which aims to minimize the environmental impacts caused during a product's life cycle and thus improve its environmental performance. The establishment of measurable environmental performance indicators for the product development process is often cited as a successful factor for effective ecodesign implementation, since it enables setting targets and monitoring achievements towards the accomplishment of environmental ambitions. However, companies still face difficulties in the selection and application of environmental performance indicators - a more structured approach is still lacking. This paper presents the efforts made to identify and systematize existing leading product-related environmental performance indicators, based on a systematic literature review, and to develop a guide to support the selection of these indicators by manufacturing companies. From the review, 261 environmental performance indicators were identified and systematized in a digital database. The database supports the application of the environmental performance indicators guide, which proposes a five-step approach to support the selection of indicators. Based on improvement opportunities identified from a case study for theory-testing in Denmark, an improved version of the guide was developed and subsequently applied in a case study in Brazil. The results from both evaluations indicate that the guide supported the studied companies in the selection of environmental performance indicators in the context of ecodesign implementation. This paper presents the results of the literature review, the systematization of environmental performance indicators and the support guide. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Pages (from-to)321-330
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Environmental performance indicators (EPIs)
  • Ecodesign management
  • Product development


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