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Toward environmentally conscious product design-a comprehensive DfE implementation in new generation cellular phones

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1 Author(s)
Lindholm, M.E. ; Nokia, Salo, Finland

The technologies of the cellular age are opening new roads to sustainable development. The aim is to create products with less environmental impact and to make tools and processes in line with this requirement. For this reason, a project was set up using the starting points of material recyclability, reduction or elimination of harmful substances and systematic mapping of materials. In addition, recycling and end-of-life treatment of components were included in parts selection criteria. This meant a systematic approach to enable the integration of environmental considerations in product creation and process design. At the outset, targets for DfE implementation were set. The primary objectives were a detailed definition of material balance, identification of harmful materials and their replacement through redesign, a careful analysis of components recyclability, design for easy disassembly, and definition and optimization of costs at the EoL stage. Significant gains have been made in DfE tools and processes, in methodologies, in the preparation of directions for environmentally conscious design and in the development of metrics, i.e. company-internal benchmarking. Nevertheless, to ensure continuous improvement, environmental reporting must be developed in line with the product creation project, as is shown in this presentation. The results amply prove the advances made in implementing a holistic environmental management, in mapping out materials used in the product, in reducing the amount of harmful substances and in circulating materials by adopting corresponding product design. In addition, the importance of holistic design principles for the reduction and minimization of harmful environmental impact and for the optimization of recycling costs are stressed The conclusion supports Nokia in its attempts to create environmentally sustainable products in cooperation with supply line management, to implement such principles when making products on a global scale and to optimize product life cycle and end-of-life management in a cost-effective way.

Published in:

Electronics and the Environment, 2003. IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

19-22 May 2003