Title: Guidelines for improving the application of ecodesign in the regional furniture industry of Southern Brazil

Authors: Miriam Borchardt; Giancarlo Medeiros Pereira; Miguel Afonso Sellitto; Luciana Paulo Gomes

Addresses: UNISINOS – Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Av. Unisinos, 950, São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil ' UNISINOS – Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Av. Unisinos, 950, São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil ' UNISINOS – Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Av. Unisinos, 950, São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil ' UNISINOS – Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Av. Unisinos, 950, São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil

Abstract: Ecodesign-related environmental practices are generically defined in the literature. As a result, those practices sometimes do not apply to specific product projects and industrial processes. Brazilian furniture producers could minimise the environmental impact introducing practices focused on the eco-efficient products and process. Such an approach is in line with ecodesign. This study aims to propose guidelines for a regional furniture industry in order to improve the application of ecodesign. The companies studied, after a survey, were sorted into four clusters based on the level of application of ecodesign. The guidelines were organised according to the characteristics of the companies from each cluster. Companies with established environmental management systems were found in the highest performing cluster. Low-cost competitors not considering the adoption of ecodesign-related practices were found in the lowest performance cluster. The application of ecodesign could benefit these companies by integrating economic gains and environmental gains.

Keywords: ecodesign guidelines; furniture industry; cluster analysis; design for environment; DfE; regional industry; eco-efficiency; environmental management systems; EMS.

DOI: 10.1504/LAJMSD.2015.073057

Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.244 - 263

Received: 26 Mar 2014
Accepted: 14 Jun 2014

Published online: 13 Nov 2015 *

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