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Integrating Sustainability in Product Development

An Investigation of Drivers, Challenges, and Decision Support Tools for Sustainability Integration in the Early Phases of Product Development

Written by J. Koski, O. Lindskogen

Paper category

Master Thesis

Subject

Business Administration>Management

Year

2020

Abstract

Master Thesis: Hallstedt's Sustainable Product Development Research Sophie I. Hallstedt is an associate professor at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), and she leads research in the field of SPD. Her research is the main theoretical source of this research. Conducted several interviews with Professor Hallstedt to explain further to understand the content of her research, and obtain the different decision support tools described in her article. Hallstedthas has been conducting research in SPD since 2008, and now she is also mentoring many PhD students of BTH in the area. Wealsohada met with two of the PhD students to obtain more detailed information about their research. Their research is included in the IVA 2020 Top 100 list, which comes from research projects of Swedish universities that focus on sustainability and have great potential to have a positive impact in areas such as business, method development and society as a whole (BTH, 2020 More specifically, Hallstedt's research is about how the strategic social ecological sustainability perspective becomes an indispensable part of organizational strategy, tactics, and operations, with a focus on PD. Her research focuses on working closely with industrial companies to create and develop practical methods to evaluate various aspects of PD sustainability. 2.3.3 Source Criticism Sustainability, especially how to make it an integral part of the organization's PD decision-making model, is a relatively new field of research. Therefore, the found articles focusing on this field are often published in the past ten years (2010-2020). The literature review is relatively new to the field strength of the article because the content is up to date. However, it is not always possible to find documents that support or disagree with previously discovered documents. This is a disadvantage for this study because it gives less detailed results in some cases. This is especially true for the articles written by Hallstedt since 2008, and she has conducted research in SPD. Therefore, finding articles that support or disagree with her article is insufficient. This is one of the reasons why this research aims to provide more materials for research in this field. This is also considered important because the focus on the sustainability of PD is dominated by relatively new literature, which usually expresses the need for future research on the subject. 2.4 Empirical Data The empirical data of this study mainly come from two sources of Seco, namely, directly provided documents and interviews with Seco employees. The two data collection methods are described below. 2.4.1 Collection and qualitative analysis of texts and documents The documents collected from Seco are in the form of PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and scientific articles. These documents are shared using the Microsoft Teams platform. Many interviews and other collaborations are also conducted on the same platform. 3.1 Sustainability This section outlines the sustainability required to understand the concept of sustainability in PD. First, the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is proposed, which is the basis for many concepts and development tools. After that, the Sustainable Development Goals were introduced in more detail. This is followed by the Strategic Sustainability Framework (FSSD), which provides information on the methods used to define sustainable design spaces. Finally, a clear criticism of the concept of sustainable development is proposed, aiming to provide a more nuanced view of the concept of sustainable development. 3.1.1 The triple bottom line TBL was originally proposed by John Elkington (1994). This concept shows that in addition to the traditional bottom line of financial performance, companies must also use two other bottom lines to measure their success (Savitz & Weber, 2014). Therefore, two additional bottom lines of environment and society have been added to the TBL. TBL is usually the origin of different frameworks focusing on sustainability (Mukherjee et al., 2015), as is the case in this study. In this study, two additional bottom-line considerations related to PD will be studied, focusing on the environmental bottom-line. This is done by investigating the drivers and challenges of incorporating these aspects into the PD process, with the ultimate aim of studying the possibility of evaluating and determining the sustainability performance of the concept. In Figure 9, an oversimplification of the TBL and the common metrics contained in each row is shown. Completely excluded. Otherwise, we may ignore some potential challenges in the theoretical and empirical materials of this study. Looking at the two bottom lines related to sustainability, the challenge is usually not to define content, but to measure it (Slaper & Hall, 2011). Elkington (1998) described it as a complex task that will become easier over time because of lessons learned from experiments in sustainability reporting, accounting, and auditing. Even though progress has been made in measuring sustainability since 1998, we believe that the challenges of measuring sustainability still stimulate discussion of trade-offs and make it difficult to consider. Therefore, this research focuses on the sustainability of PD, so this topic will arouse people's interest. 3.1.2 Sustainable Development Goals In 2015, all member states of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the core of the 2030 Agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which all countries urgently need to address. At present, there is only 10 years to achieve these sustainable development goals, and people are looking forward to faster changes in society. PD Corporation plays a key role in achieving sustainable development goals when developing new products and technologies. Read Less