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postgraduate thesis: Sustainability of products: frameworks reviewand case study

TitleSustainability of products: frameworks reviewand case study
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chang, C. [鄭志偉]. (2012). Sustainability of products : frameworks review and case study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4854283
AbstractSustainability is a hot topic for years and sustainability assessment has been generally used as an approach to assess the level of sustainability. For the effect of general products to the development of sustainability, there are existing assessment frameworks in use. However, they are either environmental-focused, or relied mainly on life cycle assessment approach, which has many deficiencies especially in the social aspect. In this paper, history of development of sustainability and relevant principles related to sustainability are extensively reviewed. Those relevant in the context of product assessment, like the nested model of sustainability, strong sustainability, precautionary principle, design of environmental sustainability and sustainability assessment and measurement principles (BellagioSTAMP), are chosen as the foundation theories of development of the new product sustainability assessment framework. Even though the focus is put into assessment of social aspect of sustainability, the framework is designed for the assessment of overall sustainability. The framework comprises of a list of guiding principles, vision and goals and an assessment process. It is suitable for the evaluation of any product, no matter it is in conceptual stage, design stage or already in the market. It can be used for company in any level of maturity in sustainability assessment through allowing them to define their own position and targets. A standard list of measurement is defined and can be used for any product, while product-specific measurement can be defined within the process. A case study is done using iPad2and every step in the process is gone through. The pilot study proves that the framework is logical, easy to use and practical enough to help identifying what needs to be done to contribute into sustainability. Issues are identified in the process of pilot study, including the lifecycle for some products is too short for a meaningful review and remediation follow up; social impacts could be associated with the whole series of product or the general technology instead of specific product under assessment; the comment given by participants in survey or focus group meeting may come from perceived impact instead of actual impact; knock-on effect to other existing products and services may be neglected; and the potential for companies to pretend they are contributing to sustainability but actually not. Nevertheless, these issues are not difficult to be resolved. Future research agenda includes handling of cumulative effect from sales of the product, formalizing the professional qualification of sustainability assessor and improving the practicality of economic and environmental sustainability assessment through the proposed framework. Through this paper, with the creation of a new and practical product sustainability assessment framework, it is believed that the effect of products on sustainability can be evaluated and actions can be identified for them to contribute into sustainability development.
DegreeMaster of Science in Environmental Management
SubjectProduct life cycle - Environmental aspects.
Sustainability.
Dept/ProgramEnvironmental Management

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChang, Chi-wai.-
dc.contributor.author鄭志偉.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationChang, C. [鄭志偉]. (2012). Sustainability of products : frameworks review and case study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4854283-
dc.description.abstractSustainability is a hot topic for years and sustainability assessment has been generally used as an approach to assess the level of sustainability. For the effect of general products to the development of sustainability, there are existing assessment frameworks in use. However, they are either environmental-focused, or relied mainly on life cycle assessment approach, which has many deficiencies especially in the social aspect. In this paper, history of development of sustainability and relevant principles related to sustainability are extensively reviewed. Those relevant in the context of product assessment, like the nested model of sustainability, strong sustainability, precautionary principle, design of environmental sustainability and sustainability assessment and measurement principles (BellagioSTAMP), are chosen as the foundation theories of development of the new product sustainability assessment framework. Even though the focus is put into assessment of social aspect of sustainability, the framework is designed for the assessment of overall sustainability. The framework comprises of a list of guiding principles, vision and goals and an assessment process. It is suitable for the evaluation of any product, no matter it is in conceptual stage, design stage or already in the market. It can be used for company in any level of maturity in sustainability assessment through allowing them to define their own position and targets. A standard list of measurement is defined and can be used for any product, while product-specific measurement can be defined within the process. A case study is done using iPad2and every step in the process is gone through. The pilot study proves that the framework is logical, easy to use and practical enough to help identifying what needs to be done to contribute into sustainability. Issues are identified in the process of pilot study, including the lifecycle for some products is too short for a meaningful review and remediation follow up; social impacts could be associated with the whole series of product or the general technology instead of specific product under assessment; the comment given by participants in survey or focus group meeting may come from perceived impact instead of actual impact; knock-on effect to other existing products and services may be neglected; and the potential for companies to pretend they are contributing to sustainability but actually not. Nevertheless, these issues are not difficult to be resolved. Future research agenda includes handling of cumulative effect from sales of the product, formalizing the professional qualification of sustainability assessor and improving the practicality of economic and environmental sustainability assessment through the proposed framework. Through this paper, with the creation of a new and practical product sustainability assessment framework, it is believed that the effect of products on sustainability can be evaluated and actions can be identified for them to contribute into sustainability development.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48542830-
dc.subject.lcshProduct life cycle - Environmental aspects.-
dc.subject.lcshSustainability.-
dc.titleSustainability of products: frameworks reviewand case study-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4854283-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Science in Environmental Management-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnvironmental Management-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4854283-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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