Meeting The Challenges Of Environmentally Conscious Product Design By Taking An Economic Life-Cycle View

Tim C. McAloone, Stephen Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Incorporating environmentally sound decisions into product design is a new challenge for designers. Designers are practiced in cost-based decision-making in order to produce high quality products that are on-time to market and cost effective, but until recently have not had cause to consider the environmental consequences of their products. If environmental concerns are to be successfully brought into the product design process they must be quick and simple to incorporate; if the method of embodiment of environmental concerns into design is alien to the designer or cumbersome to carry out, it will not be adopted. The concept of Life-Cycle Economics (LCE) is explored in terms of how it can be used to aid designers to choose where to begin reducing the environmental impact of a product, whilst still retaining a sound economical balance during design. The mechanism for carrying out the analysis is described. A case study is illustrated where LCE considerations were applied in the electrical/electronic domestic appliance industry to assess the negative environmental impact of a product. Recommendations are made of how the negative environmental impact of the product could be reduced, whilst also reducing its production and in-service costs and increasing its profitability at end-of-life.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number05/06
Pages (from-to)76-80
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Ecodesign; Product life; PD methods; Decision making; Lifecycle; Strategy implementation

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