Sustainable product design and development: A review of tools, applications and research prospects

Shamraiz Ahmad, Kuan Yew Wong, Ming Lang Tseng, Wai Peng Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


Due to increasing pressure for achieving sustainability objectives, the concept of sustainable product design and development is gaining more attention in recent research. In the past, a plethora of eco-design tools that address only the environmental aspect have been developed. Hence, previous review articles focused mainly on eco-design tools, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and others. Unlike previous studies, the main contribution of this article was to review and analyze the recent and emerging product design tools (published from 2007 to 2017) which considered other dimensions of sustainability along with the environment. Based on the criteria of sustainability dimensions, this paper proposed a generic and broader classification scheme to enhance the understanding of these recent tools. Those which included two aspects of sustainability were categorized as partial sustainable product design (P-SPD) tools, and those which covered three aspects of sustainability were classified as sustainable product design (SPD) tools. The analysis revealed that SPD tools were less mature and standard as compared to P-SPD tools. The majority of both P-SPD and SPD tools were based on a life cycle perspective. However, P-SPD tools were found to be more useful at early design stages. In addition, this paper presented the case studies of the tools to decipher their practical utility. It also discussed the hurdles and problems associated with the methodological development and practical utility of the tools. Founded on these difficulties, future research directions were presented. In essence, a coordinated and responsible effort among practitioners, governments, societies and researchers is needed to ensure the successful implementation of the tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cleaner and sustainable manufacturing
  • Eco-design tools
  • Practical case studies
  • Sustainable product design
  • Triple-bottom line

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