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This paper discusses the demand of customers for prestige and practical value of different products and the coupled environmental impacts of product characteristics providing prestige value. Several surface materials were taken into account because they are seen as the most important indicator of prestige value. During two empiric studies it was tried to rank the materials in their amount of gaining prestige value and causing environmental damage when being used as surface materials for certain products. Accordingly, the environmental impact of the presented materials and products has been analysed. Combining the results of the two empiric studies and the technical analysis of the environmental impact recommendations were produced for product developers. As a conclusion it can be said that prestige value is only of small relevance for electrical (household) products, test persons consider the practical value as more important. Besides that the environmental impact caused by the production of surfaces is very small and can be looked over.
Date of Conference: 8-11 Dec. 2003