Title: Too fast to bother? Integrity, instrumentality, and externality factors for early sustainable design implementation in the fast-moving-consumer-goods sector

Authors: Curie Park; Fiona Charnley; Phil Longhurst; Simon Bolton; Steve Evans

Addresses: Centre for Industrial Sustainability, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK ' Exeter Centre for the Circular Economy, Building One, Business School, The University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4PU, UK ' Centre for Climate and Environmental Protection, School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, College Road, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK ' Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP, UK ' Centre for Industrial Sustainability, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK

Abstract: This paper investigates what enables sustainable design implementation from the front-end of new product development (NPD) processes within the fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) industry. Five FMCG cases at varying sustainability maturity levels (SMLs) were selected for survey-based interviews. The identified 11 factors and 32 sub-factors are presented under the three groups of integrity, instrumentality and externality. Balanced focus on Growth and Consumer Insight and Maturity of infrastructure and consumer & market are FMCG specific. The synthesis is presented in a framework explaining the precedence of the Integrity group factors before others. Quantitative analysis reveals that more positive, frequent evidence of factors and sub-factors is observed in higher sustainability maturity cases. The study confirms some of the existing but controversial factors across design and management fields, and uncovers two new FMCG specific factors. The study assists academics and industry practitioners in understanding what to consider when adopting sustainable design in the fast-paced business environment.

Keywords: sustainable design; front-end; new product development (NPD) process; FMCG; fast-moving-consumer-goods; integrity; externality; instrumentality; sustainability maturity level; conceptual framework; case study.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2020.112048

Journal of Design Research, 2020 Vol.18 No.1/2, pp.1 - 36

Accepted: 13 Oct 2019
Published online: 15 Dec 2020 *

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