Inderscience Publishers

Planned or experience-based processes for eco-design innovation: exploring product development driven by environmental performance targets

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Eco-design research suggests that environmental considerations should be integrated with product development with no or only minor changes to existing development processes. These processes are expected to be systematic, predictable and thoroughly planned. This paper explores if this assumption is still valid when requirements on environmental performance call for more innovative product development. An analytic model is derived from innovation management literature and used to analyse the development of a new industrial gas turbine, a project for which challenging emission level targets meant that new combustion technology had to be applied. The main conclusion is that the application of new technology is followed by changes of the development process, meaning that development becomes guided by real-time experiences rather than by formal plans.

Keywords: eco-design, innovation management, product development, technology development, industrial gas turbine, development process, green design

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