Sustainability research implementation in product development - learnings from a longitudinal study

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Hallstedt, Sophie I. (1); Nylander, Johanna W. (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Section: Responsible design
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Industry is a main stakeholder when it comes to realising the transition towards a sustainable future. Academia, with its, knowledge and methods, needs to support the industry on this journey. This paper, focuses on the practical learnings on how to implement sustainability research from an industrial perspective. It aims to share some lessons learnt from a longitudinal case study and a development journey in implementing sustainability research in the product innovation process at GKN Aerospace Engine System. The paper gives an overview, based on a literature study, of what is required to successfully implement sustainability in product development. It also provides a summary of the different research projects at the company with learnings from practical and academic perspectives, and the main learnings and changes in relation to different development phases in the sustainability journey. Although, this journey began over ten years ago, and shows the importance of long-term collaboration, it provides key-factors that can be applied also in short term collaborations and for faster implementation of research in general and sustainable product development research in particular.

Keywords: Sustainability, Longitudinal study, Case study, Integrated product development, Implement


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