Utilizing LCAs as a Proactive Approach for Sustainable Product Development

June 18, 2018

Speaker: Dr. Stelvia Matos

Institution: Surrey Business School

Moderator: Nashiha Ahmed


Utilizing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a proactive approach for sustainable product development

Few studies have explored how life cycle assessment (LCA) can shape research and development, and how such information can be used to improve new product development and commercialization. In this lecture, we will take an inter-disciplinary perspective to propose a proactive framework that combines LCA with technological, commercial and societal (TCS) uncertainties analysis. We will discuss the application of this framework using the example of an emerging Phenol-formaldehyde resin from a renewable raw material. We will show that our analysis identified environmental and societal levers (e.g. stakeholders support, environmental benefits) related to the new resin and commercialization barriers (e.g. technical issues, high costs) to be addressed by the developers. In addition to the traditional LCA role of identifying environmental hotspots of new technology development, a proactive approach can enhance its usefulness by identifying context specific issues and by supporting developers attempting to legitimize and commercialize more sustainable products.

Dr. Stelvia Matos is a Reader in Social Innovation and Sustainability Management at Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, UK. Her research concerns the difficult process of how industry can change their practices in response to social and environmental pressures. Her research interests include sustainable supply chain management, sustainable technological innovation and entrepreneurship for social inclusion. She has published in several journals including Journal of Operations Management, Technovation, California Management Review, Small Business Economics, Small Business Economics, Journal of Cleaner Production and Journal of Management Studies. Stelvia is currently area editor on Sustainable Development Innovation for Technovation.

Communications and Image Designer: Nashiha Ahmed

Video Conferencing Coordinator:  Mesut Saygi

Faculty Advisor: Robin Downey