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Designing for the Future: Integrating Sustainability into the Design Process of Electrolux

Kronberg, Elias LU and Låftman, Charlotte (2015) MMK820 20151
Product Development
Abstract
The purpose of this paper was to research how environmental concerns and sustainable thinking could be integrated into the design process of Electrolux, a Swedish home appliance manufacturer. The research will hopefully help the Electrolux industrial design department improve in the area and prove as a good case study for other companies or academic institutions.
Electrolux conducts much research aiming to optimize energy usage of its products. The industrial design department, however, is not involved in the work to improve environmental performance of said products. The focus of the project was to investigate if the industrial design department of Electrolux could contribute to this work, and if so, how this should be done.
The... (More)
The purpose of this paper was to research how environmental concerns and sustainable thinking could be integrated into the design process of Electrolux, a Swedish home appliance manufacturer. The research will hopefully help the Electrolux industrial design department improve in the area and prove as a good case study for other companies or academic institutions.
Electrolux conducts much research aiming to optimize energy usage of its products. The industrial design department, however, is not involved in the work to improve environmental performance of said products. The focus of the project was to investigate if the industrial design department of Electrolux could contribute to this work, and if so, how this should be done.
The research was conducted through a literature survey, informal interviews, review of internal documents, an employee survey and in-depth semi structured interviews.
It was found that the employees of the department generally were positive to the idea of integrating environmental concerns into their work, but that there was a clear lack of knowledge in relevant fields to do so. To successfully integrate such concerns the highest priority should be education of employees with respect to their different work roles and tasks. Setting up common goals with strategies and milestones for reaching them was also found to be of great importance, as was communication of the initiatives taken to other parts of the organization. Using innovation as a means for motivating sustainable thinking was also found to be a key aspect for success.
In the light of the findings a set of recommendations were suggested, starting off with a new mission for the design department:
“Use sustainability as a driver for design innovation to explore new business opportunities and support Electrolux’ global sustainability agenda”.
The strategic guidelines suggested to accomplish the new mission were
• Increase knowledge of sustainability and eco-design among employees
• Use research as a means to improve innovative sustainable thinking
• Increase collaboration across Electrolux departments
• Commonly document sustainable findings, ideas and solutions
Suitable short and long term actions for how these strategies can be realised were also suggested. (Less)
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author
Kronberg, Elias LU and Låftman, Charlotte
supervisor
organization
course
MMK820 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
7763729
date added to LUP
2015-08-19 12:55:16
date last changed
2015-08-19 12:55:16
@misc{7763729,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this paper was to research how environmental concerns and sustainable thinking could be integrated into the design process of Electrolux, a Swedish home appliance manufacturer. The research will hopefully help the Electrolux industrial design department improve in the area and prove as a good case study for other companies or academic institutions.
Electrolux conducts much research aiming to optimize energy usage of its products. The industrial design department, however, is not involved in the work to improve environmental performance of said products. The focus of the project was to investigate if the industrial design department of Electrolux could contribute to this work, and if so, how this should be done.
The research was conducted through a literature survey, informal interviews, review of internal documents, an employee survey and in-depth semi structured interviews. 
It was found that the employees of the department generally were positive to the idea of integrating environmental concerns into their work, but that there was a clear lack of knowledge in relevant fields to do so. To successfully integrate such concerns the highest priority should be education of employees with respect to their different work roles and tasks. Setting up common goals with strategies and milestones for reaching them was also found to be of great importance, as was communication of the initiatives taken to other parts of the organization. Using innovation as a means for motivating sustainable thinking was also found to be a key aspect for success.
In the light of the findings a set of recommendations were suggested, starting off with a new mission for the design department: 
“Use sustainability as a driver for design innovation to explore new business opportunities and support Electrolux’ global sustainability agenda”.
The strategic guidelines suggested to accomplish the new mission were
•	Increase knowledge of sustainability and eco-design among employees
•	Use research as a means to improve innovative sustainable thinking
•	Increase collaboration across Electrolux departments 
•	Commonly document sustainable findings, ideas and solutions
Suitable short and long term actions for how these strategies can be realised were also suggested.},
  author       = {Kronberg, Elias and Låftman, Charlotte},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Designing for the Future: Integrating Sustainability into the Design Process of Electrolux},
  year         = {2015},
}