4Designing greener productsA life-cycle approach

It used to be that consumers simply expected the products they bought to work well, sport a familiar brand name, be sold in a nearby store, and be affordably priced. The rules have changed. Today, that once seemingly short checklist includes minimizing the environmental impacts of those products at every phase of their life-cycle, starting with the impacts associated with mining, growing, or otherwise processing the raw materials right through to the impacts linked to a product’s eventual disposal. And now, throw in for good measure a number of social considerations such as fair working conditions and whether or not laborers receive a living wage (even perhaps in some equitable proportion to the ...

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