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Ecodesign : A Review of Reviews

Affiliation
Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF), Technische Universität Braunschweig
Schäfer, Malte; Löwer, Manuel

With the intent of summing up the past research on ecodesign and making it more accessible, we gather findings from 106 existing review articles in this field. Five research questions on terminology, evolution, barriers and success factors, methods and tools, and synergies, guide the clustering of the resulting 608 statements extracted from the reference. The quantitative analysis reveals that the number of review articles has been increasing over time. Furthermore, most statements originate from Europe, are published in journals, and address barriers and success factors. For the qualitative analysis, the findings are grouped according to the research question they address. We find that several names for similar concepts exist, with ecodesign being the most popular one. It has evolved from “end-of-pipe” pollution prevention to a more systemic concept, and addresses the complete life cycle. Barriers and success factors extend beyond the product development team to management, customers, policymakers, and educators. The number of ecodesign methods and tools available to address them is large, and more reviewing, testing, validation, and categorization of the existing ones is necessary. Synergies between ecodesign and other research disciplines exist in theory, but require implementation and testing in practice.

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