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Definition

product lifecycle sustainability

Product lifecycle sustainability is an approach to managing the stages of a product’s existence so that any negative impact on the environment is minimized.

The degree of sustainability is largely determined during the beginning of life (BOL) stage of the product lifecycle, in which the product is designed and developed. At this stage, decisions about materials and processes required to create the product can have a significant impact on the product’s environmental footprint

Decisions made during BOL will impact both middle-of-life (MOL) and end-of-life (EOL) stages. For example, if materials are chosen with an eye to reuse, that will increase the sustainability of the practices at the end of the product's usable life. The ultimate goal of sustainability in this context is a closed-loop product lifecycle, in which all elements that go into the creation of a product are reused, recycled or remanufactured rather than discarded.

See also: business sustainability

This was last updated in December 2013

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