Incorporate sustainability considerations into the product development process

By Ann-Christin Pålsson, Johan Widheden, Sofia Petersson & Emma Ringström

There are several models for the product development process used today. One example is the Stage-Gate® model, see more under further reading below. Often the product development processes includes a number stages and decisions points, where the future of the project is decided. Sustainability aspects should be part of the basis for these decisions, and need to be considered and balanced with other relevant aspects, such as quality, costs, specific customer requirements, etc.

In the work with incorporating sustainability considerations into the product development process, there are two central questions:

  • Where in the product development process should sustainability considerations be included?
  • How should sustainability be included i.e. what information is needed to support the work?

Which tools to use to acquire information about the sustainability aspects in different stages should be selected based on e.g. availability of information and support.  Examples of tools can for example be checklists, dedicated tools to measure performance and test scenarios, and detailed life cycle assessments etc.


Further reading