Sustainable design is steadily becoming a well-known concept within the field of product innovation. Several drivers such as depletion of resources, rising prices of raw materials, etc. make the awareness for sustainability issues rise within governments, the market and businesses. Firms that develop, produce and commercialise innovative products have a prominent role in the incorporation of sustainability in the product development process. In order to implement sustainability criteria in industrial desi gn, several tools and methods are available. However, literature has described a gap between the theoretical foundations of sustainable design and the industrial implementation thereof.
Recent research has observed and identified several success factors and obstacles for this type of integration process. Only few studies emphasise the importance of these human aspects in sustainable design. However, in adjacent fields such as change management, this 'human side' of the integration process is considered as an important issue. Considering the aim to assure an acceptable success rate of this sort of implementation processes, scientific knowledge from this adjoining discipline can offer new insights on the subject.
In this doctoral research project, the i nfluence of the human factors on the implementation of sustainable design criteria in product innovation businesses is the subject of study. As a result of a literature review and preliminary interviews, a theoretical model is proposed that combines knowl edge from industrial design, sustainability and change management. This model will be verified by performing multiple case studies.
Next to gathering more profound insights on the integration process of sustainable design criteria, this research may ult imately lead to prescriptive insights for successful implementation of sustainable design criteria and offer practical guidelines to firms that are in an initial stage of such a challenging process.