1998-11-30

Life Cycle Assessment and Innovation in the Automotive Industry 982178

Many industrial applications have been proposed for cradle-to-grave assessment of the environmental burdens of products, including technology design and optimization, technology strategy, marketing and in lobbying regulators. Many industrial firms, including all European automobile producers, have developed life cycle assessment competences during the 1990s, and many have begun applying these to business decisions. In this paper the patterns of adoption of life cycle approaches in car producers are analyzed, together with their impacts on innovation. The paper concludes that while life cycle assessment provides a useful new framework for problem-solving, car producers will face a number of difficulties in extracting value from life cycle-based innovations.

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