Part of the book: Advances in Industrial Design Engineering
This book chapter explores the uptake of environmental sustainability in the front end of an innovation process, and the outcome of this stage: the design brief. The study is based on a content analysis of 80 design briefs from Belgian enterprises, a focus group with representatives from 14 Belgian companies and an in-depth interview with two Belgian chief executives. The results show an overview of the most and least used environmental sustainability strategies in the design brief and demonstrate a remarkable difference in uptake between large enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises. Findings show that companies often deal with sustainability on a hidden and decomposed level. Furthermore, a generic model for the design brief process is presented with the different entry points for sustainability. Crucial factors for integrating environmental sustainability in the design brief are discussed in the last section. The paper concludes with a recommendation to integrate ecodesign targets in the design brief and discussing them with the decision makers in all the stages of the design briefing process. With no environmental commitment in the design brief towards the final product, no time, budgets, and staff will be allocated on this subject during the operational stage.
Part of the book: Design Engineering and Manufacturing