Product Sustainability Fitness: An Introduction

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Purpose and background of the paper: This paper introduces the concept of product sustainability fitness (PSF) within technology and innovation management studies. Fitness is understood to be an indicator of how far a system is from collapse. Product sustainability fitness is then the ratio of product essentiality and environmental impact. Product essentiality is defined as a measure of how the consumption of a product meets a societal need. Environmental impact is a measure that considers the consumption of resources of a given system.
Methodology: This paper has combined use of primary and secondary data. First, it investigates the influence of location, gender, and family income on the perception of essentiality of ordinary goods and services. A total of 81 items, were classified according to a binary position of ‘essential’ or ‘superfluous’ by business students in both Brazil and UK. Then, secondary data about the carbon emissions of electronic devices (PC, Laptop, Video Game, Mobile phone, and Tablet) were collected to make an illustration of product sustainability fitness concept.
Findings: Our findings show that mobile phones are perceived the most essential product alongside laptops. PC are of medium essentiality, and tablets and video games are of low essentiality. When combining with data on manufacturing carbon footprint we found that mobile phones were the fittest products and tablets and video games the least fit. PC and laptops have a similar product sustainability fitness.
Research limitations: Methodological limitations exist mainly due to the use of a binary choice in the questionnaire, the sample method, which focused on similar-age individuals, and finally, the number of products classified. The focus on carbon emissions is only an illustration so using other measures and thresholds for environmental impact is in the future research agenda.
Practical implications: The research findings and mainly the concept of PSF can help government, companies, and individuals in making informed sustainable decisions on the development and purchase of products.
Originality: This paper presents the original concept of product sustainability fitness. Our study contributes to the debates on the design of sustainable products and processes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Event27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology - National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, India
Duration: 7 Apr 201911 Apr 2019

Conference

Conference27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology
CountryIndia
CityMumbai
Period7/04/1911/04/19

Fingerprint

Fitness
Sustainability
Video games
Environmental impact
Mobile phone
Carbon emissions
Secondary data
Methodology
Business students
Manufacturing
Questionnaire
Family income
Innovation management
Technology management
Carbon footprint
Government
Research agenda
Management studies
Brazil
Binary choice

Keywords

  • Product Sustainability Fitness, Technology Management, Sustainable Product Design

Cite this

Nunes, B., Alamino, R. C., & Bennett, D. (2019). Product Sustainability Fitness: An Introduction. Paper presented at 27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, Mumbai, India.
Nunes, Breno ; Alamino, Roberto C. ; Bennett, David. / Product Sustainability Fitness: An Introduction. Paper presented at 27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, Mumbai, India.
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Nunes, B, Alamino, RC & Bennett, D 2019, 'Product Sustainability Fitness: An Introduction' Paper presented at 27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, Mumbai, India, 7/04/19 - 11/04/19, .

Product Sustainability Fitness: An Introduction. / Nunes, Breno; Alamino, Roberto C.; Bennett, David.

2019. Paper presented at 27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, Mumbai, India.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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AU - Bennett, David

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N2 - Purpose and background of the paper: This paper introduces the concept of product sustainability fitness (PSF) within technology and innovation management studies. Fitness is understood to be an indicator of how far a system is from collapse. Product sustainability fitness is then the ratio of product essentiality and environmental impact. Product essentiality is defined as a measure of how the consumption of a product meets a societal need. Environmental impact is a measure that considers the consumption of resources of a given system.Methodology: This paper has combined use of primary and secondary data. First, it investigates the influence of location, gender, and family income on the perception of essentiality of ordinary goods and services. A total of 81 items, were classified according to a binary position of ‘essential’ or ‘superfluous’ by business students in both Brazil and UK. Then, secondary data about the carbon emissions of electronic devices (PC, Laptop, Video Game, Mobile phone, and Tablet) were collected to make an illustration of product sustainability fitness concept.Findings: Our findings show that mobile phones are perceived the most essential product alongside laptops. PC are of medium essentiality, and tablets and video games are of low essentiality. When combining with data on manufacturing carbon footprint we found that mobile phones were the fittest products and tablets and video games the least fit. PC and laptops have a similar product sustainability fitness.Research limitations: Methodological limitations exist mainly due to the use of a binary choice in the questionnaire, the sample method, which focused on similar-age individuals, and finally, the number of products classified. The focus on carbon emissions is only an illustration so using other measures and thresholds for environmental impact is in the future research agenda.Practical implications: The research findings and mainly the concept of PSF can help government, companies, and individuals in making informed sustainable decisions on the development and purchase of products.Originality: This paper presents the original concept of product sustainability fitness. Our study contributes to the debates on the design of sustainable products and processes.

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KW - Product Sustainability Fitness, Technology Management, Sustainable Product Design

M3 - Paper

ER -

Nunes B, Alamino RC, Bennett D. Product Sustainability Fitness: An Introduction. 2019. Paper presented at 27th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, Mumbai, India.