Keywords: environmental management, cleaner production, life cycle design, LCD, upholstered furniture, small companies, small firms, furniture manufacturing, industrial clusters, Brazil, pollution prevention, micro businesses, life cycle assessment, LCA, green manufacturing
Cleaner production and life cycle design of upholstered furniture
This article presents some results of the environmental and organisational aspects that were obtained from a preliminary analysis of the process of manufacturing upholstered furniture at the furniture cluster in the State of Alagoas, Brazil. The method is based on the concepts of pollution prevention and cleaner production that are associated to the concept of product life cycle design. Data were collected through interviews with employees and from direct observation in the company selected for the study case. The results indicate the need for further studies to identify possible modifications in the product and/or in the processes of development of the upholstered furniture produced by the cluster. The partial conclusions suggest the need for the future application of life cycle assessment in one of the upholstered pieces of furniture to broaden the scope of analysis and improve the efficiency of production through cleaner environmental practices. The original character of the study is associated with the dissemination and incentive of the application of life cycle assessment in micro and small businesses in the Furniture Cluster in the town of Arapiraca in the State of Alagoas, in the Northeast of Brazil.