Defence of dissertation in the field of mechanical engineering Siru Sihvonen, M.Sc. (Econ.)

Perspectives on ecodesign implementation challenges in companies.

The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Siru Sihvonen, M.Sc. (Econ.), will be held on 26 June 2019 at 12.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering. The title of the dissertation is Perspectives on ecodesign implementation with quantitative analysis. The field of the dissertation is mechanical engineering.

Degradation and scarcity of natural resources at the planetary scale have triggered a context in which circular economy provides a way to frame the discussion on these challenges. Companies have a major role to play in the implementation of circular economy in practice. And more specifically, it would be pivotal to better understand circular economy in companies’ product development where choices to the forthcoming product’s impacts along its lifecycle are largely determined. This is approached in this dissertation from the ecodesign domain with a focus on its soft-side. By ecodesign it is meant in this dissertation both the application of environmental considerations as a practice in product development, and related functions, as well as management of these practices.

This dissertation consists of three published scientific articles and a summary combining their results. Research approach is descriptive building on data derived from two type source: a survey and content analysis from sustainability reports.

The current knowledge base is complemented by deepening the understanding the current state of ecodesign practices in the companies. Dissertation expands the current understanding by examining these practices using micro-level as a unit of analysis. This allows assessing the potential role that human factors, such as ecological concern, may have with these ecodesign practices.

It is shown that although many ecodesign practices are in place they are not always a mainstream activity, and their application levels differ. Interestingly, published quantitative environmental targets for products are associated with few ecodesign practice, and environmental performance. 

Opponent: Professor Professori Eva Pongrácz, Oulun yliopisto, Finland
Professor Riina Antikainen, Finland Environment Institute, Finland
Supervisor: Professor Jouni Partanen, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Electronic dissertation:

Doctoral candidate’s contact information: Siru Sihvonen, Aalto University, [email protected], tel. +35840 552 6933

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