Steelcase is an office equipment manufacturer. The company had already developed a profound knowledge about environmental issues, was familiar with LCA and had released Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for some of their office chairs by then. However, it was clear that integrating LCA into their product development process was a complex and difficult endeavor. A methodology was needed to provide their engineers the right environmental information as a basis for their decisions to be taken through the product development process.
This situation was the starting point for me to give thought about a supportive tool to be used in the early product development stages. The tool should provide LCA data and show the influence of material selection on the environmental performance of the products. At the same time, a life cycle evaluation should be facilitated. The tool was then named Ecodesign Decision Boxes.
You can read more about the theoretical background and results of this project in the following publciation:
- Ostad-Ahmad-Ghorabi, H., Wimmer, W. Ecodesign Decision Boxes – A Systematic Tool for Integrating Environmental Considerations into Product Development. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Design Conference. Marjanovic, D. (editor), 2006, p: 1399-1404, ISBN: 953-6313-78-2.
- Website of Steelcase (external link)