In the current business understanding “companies’ long-term survival depends upon their replacement of existing products with new ones” (Saunders & Jobber, 1994). On the other hand sustainability development highlights the strong need to extend the use time of products to lower the environmental impacts from all industrial sectors. There is a clear contradiction between the understanding about the way to do the profitable business and the way to construct more sustainable consumption behaviour.
As van Ness (2010) points out “understanding replacement behaviour is the key to exploring design solutions to achieve longer product life-spans.” The life-spans of consumer durables have shortened and landfills are full of products which are still functional or which still could be repaired to extend they use. How to change consumer behaviour to prevent the early disposal of consumer products? On the other hand sometimes replacement is desirable for example with white goods with better energy efficiency.
This session seeks contributions which can open new understanding about consumers’ product replacement behaviour. We also welcome contributions on design strategies which look for the best replacement solutions from the environment point of view.
Especially studies focusing on
-ways how to postpone replacement
-environmentally best solutions for product replacement
-design strategies linking to product replacement
Session owner: Prof Kirsi Niinimäki, Aalto University, Finland