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Sustainability 2014, 6(8), 5129-5142; doi:10.3390/su6085129

Assessment of Progressive Product Innovation on Key Environmental Indicators: Pampers® Baby Wipes from 2007–2013

1
Procter & Gamble, Temselaan 100, B-1853 Strombeek-Bever, Belgium
2
Procter & Gamble, 6280 Center Hill Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45224, USA
3
Procter & Gamble, Sulzbacher Straße 40, 65824 Schwalbach am Taunus, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Companies are increasingly conducting life cycle assessments (LCA) of their products to understand potential product impacts on the environment, prioritize areas of innovation to create more sustainable products, and determine valid claims. This case study shows the results of product innovation by comparing an older (2007) and new (2013) version of a common hygiene product in Europe and the U.S. The standard methodology follows the ISO 14040/44 Guidelines for LCA. Results are reported for the impact indicators with high relevance for the product category: primary energy, global warming, particulates, agricultural land occupation, fossil fuel depletion, and solid waste generation. Generally, raw material supply chains for product and packaging contribute most (up to 82%) to the calculated environmental impact indicators. Improvements vs. the 2007 baby wipe range between 4% and 14% in Europe and between 15% and 36% in the U.S. The improvement is driven by a new substrate technology that provides more surface area for cleaning, which results in lower use of resources. This case study illustrates three key environmental drivers behind this innovation: the corporate focus on R&D capability to design for environmentally improved products, the increased interest from retailers and consumers requiring accurate and relevant information on the performance and sustainability of products, and the company’s interest in deeper technical understanding of contributions from upstream material and process innovations on a product’s environmental profile. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable innovation; consumer product; baby wipe; LCA; environmental sustainability; multi-criteria decision sustainable innovation; consumer product; baby wipe; LCA; environmental sustainability; multi-criteria decision
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Van Hoof, G.; Weisbrod, A.; Kruse, B. Assessment of Progressive Product Innovation on Key Environmental Indicators: Pampers® Baby Wipes from 2007–2013. Sustainability 2014, 6, 5129-5142.

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