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Sustainable Product Development. Andrea Martínez Rojas


on 16 December 2013

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The video enounces a lot of points of intervention and highlights that
the change is already happening
: new product development is embracing green chemistry, zero waste, renewable energy, labor rights, clean production, etc. Finally, embrace the idea that since people create this reality, also
people can create
something new,
a new sustainable system of production
does not waste resources or people
likes the actual one.
The video analyzes
how stuff moves through a system call “the material economy”
, that involves from extraction, production, distribution, consumption, to disposal. But the video goes further texts books explanation and explores
how this system is interacting with the real world.
It concludes that since it is impossible to run a linear system in a finite planet indefinitely,
the system is in crisis facing against many different limits
. Limits like running out of natural resources, polluting the environment, destroying local economies, poisoning people.
It also specially remarks
the main role that consumption is playing in the system
: a spiral of consume, burn up, replace, and discard at an ever-accelerating rate. And for this to be possible stuff is design to be useless (
planned obsolescence
) and out of fashion (
perceived obsolescence
) as quickly as possible. At this rate, we are producing an
amount of waste as never before
, where recycling helps but does not get to the core of the problem.
I feel a deep intrigue
to know and explore the potential that holds sustainability
as a way to
create value
. I am convinced that it is not a fad, or a fleeting concept; I believe
the future is today and is called sustainability
. Although I am an avid reader and a curious "scout", I feel there is much more to learn about this, and as a citizen of a developing country, I care deeply about
the focus and the learning’s of the more industrialized part of the world
I hope and I really need this experience
wakes me queries that push me to interact and co create with others,
provides me tools that allow me to take my projects to another level
. I am eager to learn new things that allow me to overcome my old approaches to be able to
create economic value from the hand of social and environmental value
. That's my personal challenge. I care about people and I care about the world in which we live, and since I care about these things, I think I should
embrace the responsibility of learning how to add real value in my endeavors
rather than just passively observe the reality and express my thoughts.
I would love if the experience in some part deeply
focuses in the worker as the center of sustainability
. Dream of a world where
companies put the worker
, his personal and professional development, his quality of life
as their main mission
. And within that, seek the economic value. It would really be amazing explore case studies in the world and
analyze things that can be done for people in the framework of capitalism
The Brundland Report approach the concept of “sustainable development” from the dimentions of
, referring to the present and future, and
referring to here and elsewhere. Both dimentions are essentially focus in the
distribution of world wellbeing in the product development proceSs
. This means that sustainable products should contribute to build a society now and here, but also do not adversely impact the wellbeing of others elsewhere, nor it would limited the ability of the future being to fulfill their own needs.
In this sense, sustainable development become a key factor to the core strategy of corporations that adopt sustainability as its principle operational imperative. Therefore, it has
impact in the whole product lifecycle process:

•research & development (R&D)
, through developing new technologies for sources of energy and the implementation in wide scale (e.g. solar and wind energy), innovation in new materials, in green chemistry, etc. •
identification of market opportunities
, through fulfilling market needs where business opportunity intersects environmental protection/improvement (e.g. products that reduce resource-utilization and improve operating cost) •
product concept development
, through lower COO by reducing consumption of resources (e.g., energy efficient appliances) •
detail design
, through designs that minimize material content (aesthetics value) •
, pricing flexibility through lower cost-base, waste reduction and efficiency in energy and water use. •
marketing management
, through branding Social-responsibility and eco-friendly-growth embedded in the firm’s mission statement for users’ preference for eco-friendly products. •
product delivery
, analyzing shipping methods, logistics for transportation and warehousing storage, etc. •
product end-of-life
, through applying new technologies for recycling and reuse.

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