Sustainable product development through a life-cycle approach to product and service creation: An exploration of the extended responsibilities and possibilities for product developers

Timothy Charles McAloone, Adrian Ronald Tan

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


Over recent years, a few companies have begun to take control over (and accept responsibility for) a larger portion of their products’ life-cycles. Where there are examples of companies taking control over larger product life areas for reasons other than environmental, there are a handful of examples where environmentally-based product-life ‘takeovers’ have been with environmentally-founded goals in mind. Thus the practice of Product-Service-System (PSS) development is born. This paper describes PSS development, an approach to new business definition and development that gives a number of new possibilities to the company, ranging from the re-invention of core business, through gaining customer loyalty, expanding the customer base, and importantly, to the possibility of removing some of the traditional environmental problems connected to the consumption behaviour of users. PSS is new as an industrial practice and as a research discipline, and we still lack overview in order to be able to understand how to design a PSS. For example, who should sit in the project team for the creation of PSS concepts? No longer merely a team of engineers… A PSS requires an orchestration of a complex network of stakeholders, both in- and outside of the company, in order to deliver an augmented product to the customer in a satisfactory manner – and to be able to sustain this satisfaction throughout the whole company-customer relationship. We can prepare ourselves for a significant change in the way that traditional product manufacturing companies deliver their product to their customers – especially in the western world, where companies no longer can expect to compete on a global market with respect to cost, quality or time. It is our hypothesis, that if carried out correctly (aided by professional methods and approaches) the shift from the development, sales and provision of discrete, physical products, to the practice of functional sales, provided as a product of PSS-development, will give radical environmental improvements. This paper will make first suggestions about a set of methods and approaches towards PSS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Eco-X Conference : Ecology and Economy in Electronix
Place of PublicationVienna, Austria
PublisherKERP, Austria
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventEco-X : Ecology and Economy in Electronix - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


ConferenceEco-X : Ecology and Economy in Electronix
CityVienna, Austria
Period01/01/2005 → …


  • Consumer behaviour
  • PSS
  • Product/service-systems
  • Market trends
  • Ecodesign
  • Product life
  • PD methods
  • Communities
  • Product development
  • Product/Service-Systems


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