Building the "green" factor into product development

A growing number of companies have begun to incorporate environmental factors into product design. But a study by the Open University has concluded that eco-design strategies which take account of the environmental impacts of products across their life-cycles are unlikely to take off widely without external stimuli.1 Innovative products, often for entirely new markets, are usually developed by small firms - which can have problems getting projects off the ground - while big companies are more cautious, concentrating on satisfying existing volume markets.

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