About this course
The course “Sustainability Perspectives on Product Innovation” will be taught via a blend of (theory and guest) lectures, assignments, tutorials and self-study. Topics that will be covered are, amongst others:
- The sustainability objectives of product innovation,
- The life-cycle perspective on new product sustainability,
- Sustainability in the value chain of new products,
- Cradle-to-cradle in product innovation,
- Customer responses to sustainable new products,
- Strategy for higher product innovation sustainability,
- New product sustainability through product-service systems and business model innovation.
Sustained organizational success depends on the successful development and launch of product innovations. To be successful, new products have to increasingly also present solutions to societal challenges such as climate change, environmental pollution, shortage of resources and excessive inequality. Next to an increasing amount of regulations in this regard, customers are becoming more and more demanding towards the sustainability of product innovations and thus more often choose more sustainable products over less sustainable counterparts. Additionally, increasing scarcity of resources and costs for materials, energy, transportation, pollution and waste disposal are forcing organizations to find more sustainable solutions in order to achieve profitable new products. Thus, the social and environmental sustainability of new products has become a new means for achieving competitive advantage for organizations. In addition, many (individuals in) organizations start recognizing their share of responsibility for the present societal challenges and are thus in search of possible actions they can take to achieve more sustainable product innovations.
In the course “Sustainability Perspectives on Product Innovation”, students will learn which possibilities exist and which actions can be taken within and beyond the product development process to achieve socially and ecologically more sustainable and simultaneously profitable product innovations.
Students completing this course will be able to:
Describe the importance and objectives of sustainable product innovation from an environmental, social and economic perspective; and
Explain and apply the key strategies, methods, tools and processes that can be used to create more socially and environmentally sustainable and, simultaneously, profitable product innovations.