Eco Design Implementation Across the British Product Design Industry
Our understanding of the effects that human production and consumption has on our planet and its resources has challenged us to think differently when developing new products. In response to these problems, Eco Design has been developed over the last few decades. Eco Design is a process integrated into product and engineering design that aims to lower the environmental impact of products across their life cycle, whilst not hindering design brief criteria such as function, price, performance, and quality. Research in Eco Design has focused mainly on the development of new tools and ways to implement Eco Design in industry. However, there is still little empirical knowledge today regarding the state of Eco Design implementation and practices in industry; in addition to the prerequisite needs and factors to successfully implement Eco Design. The aim of this research has been to review the level and type of Eco Design in the British Product Design industry and to identify recurrent themes helping or hindering implementation. This was achieved through the use of a pilot study followed by a two stage case study design, involving 20 cases and 57 participants across 65 interviews. The investigation and its analysis produced 12 confirmed themes, each generating their own drivers and barriers to Eco Design implementation. This research into Eco Design implementation provides a unique contribution and a timely insight into the Eco Design practices of the British Product Design industry today. The research also provides the novel contribution of identifying the drivers and barriers to implementing and sustaining Eco Design, as well as an understanding of the strengths and shortfalls of the current Eco Design processes and tools. These contributions to knowledge in the field of Eco Design will help future research formulate better solutions to implement Eco Design processes in the Product Design industry.
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