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Development of an eco-ideation tool to identify stepwise greenhouse gas emissions reduction options for consumer goods

Bocken, N. M.P. LU ; Allwood, J. M.; Willey, A. R. and King, J. M.H. (2011) In Journal of Cleaner Production 19(12). p.1279-1287
Abstract

Pressure on consumer goods manufacturers to develop new products with significantly less environmental impact is growing, through increased consumer awareness of environmental issues and governments setting ambitious emissions reductions targets. A strategic response to this pressure is to prepare a portfolio of innovative product ideas to meet a range of future emissions reductions targets. However, although extensive work exists on ideation (the generation of novel product ideas) and eco-design (design for reduced environmental impact), eco-ideation (generation of ideas that particularly aim to reduce environmental impacts) has had little attention. The challenge of eco-ideation is to release the creativity of a broad range of... (More)

Pressure on consumer goods manufacturers to develop new products with significantly less environmental impact is growing, through increased consumer awareness of environmental issues and governments setting ambitious emissions reductions targets. A strategic response to this pressure is to prepare a portfolio of innovative product ideas to meet a range of future emissions reductions targets. However, although extensive work exists on ideation (the generation of novel product ideas) and eco-design (design for reduced environmental impact), eco-ideation (generation of ideas that particularly aim to reduce environmental impacts) has had little attention. The challenge of eco-ideation is to release the creativity of a broad range of employees, only few of whom may be familiar with the drivers of environmental impact. This paper proposes a novel tool to facilitate the generation of radical product and process ideas giving step-change reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The features of products and processes that drive greenhouse gas emissions across the product life cycle were characterized with a set of indicators. A simple visual tool was created to show these indicators on a sliding scale between best and worst imaginable performance. A leading question associated with each slider was designed to stimulate lower impact ideas. The tool was iteratively refined and simplified through structured testing with individuals from across a range of roles and differing knowledge of environmental impacts. The final eco-ideation tool used 14 scales, with leading questions for each scale developed to stimulate idea generation. The tool's effectiveness was evaluated through use in a series of 15 individual workshops and compared with the outcomes of an equal number of conventional 12-person group-brainstorming sessions. The comparison suggests that using the simple tool generally leads to a wider range of more radical ideas than emerge from group brainstorming.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Brainstorming, Disruptive innovation, Eco-design, Eco-ideation, Greenhouse gas emissions, Radical innovation
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
19
issue
12
pages
9 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:79958180088
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.04.009
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2c5e187b-7ef5-4668-9333-b4914bfcc782
date added to LUP
2018-04-11 11:01:02
date last changed
2019-01-13 06:11:51
@article{2c5e187b-7ef5-4668-9333-b4914bfcc782,
  abstract     = {<p>Pressure on consumer goods manufacturers to develop new products with significantly less environmental impact is growing, through increased consumer awareness of environmental issues and governments setting ambitious emissions reductions targets. A strategic response to this pressure is to prepare a portfolio of innovative product ideas to meet a range of future emissions reductions targets. However, although extensive work exists on ideation (the generation of novel product ideas) and eco-design (design for reduced environmental impact), eco-ideation (generation of ideas that particularly aim to reduce environmental impacts) has had little attention. The challenge of eco-ideation is to release the creativity of a broad range of employees, only few of whom may be familiar with the drivers of environmental impact. This paper proposes a novel tool to facilitate the generation of radical product and process ideas giving step-change reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The features of products and processes that drive greenhouse gas emissions across the product life cycle were characterized with a set of indicators. A simple visual tool was created to show these indicators on a sliding scale between best and worst imaginable performance. A leading question associated with each slider was designed to stimulate lower impact ideas. The tool was iteratively refined and simplified through structured testing with individuals from across a range of roles and differing knowledge of environmental impacts. The final eco-ideation tool used 14 scales, with leading questions for each scale developed to stimulate idea generation. The tool's effectiveness was evaluated through use in a series of 15 individual workshops and compared with the outcomes of an equal number of conventional 12-person group-brainstorming sessions. The comparison suggests that using the simple tool generally leads to a wider range of more radical ideas than emerge from group brainstorming.</p>},
  author       = {Bocken, N. M.P. and Allwood, J. M. and Willey, A. R. and King, J. M.H.},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Brainstorming,Disruptive innovation,Eco-design,Eco-ideation,Greenhouse gas emissions,Radical innovation},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {1279--1287},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Development of an eco-ideation tool to identify stepwise greenhouse gas emissions reduction options for consumer goods},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.04.009},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2011},
}