Externalities in product development

Funded by VINNOVA
Type Research project
Time period 2012-12-01 - 2013-08-01

The full title och the project is “Externalities in product development gives possibilities for innovation”.


An increasing number of companies highlight the benefits of long term perspectives in their way of working to reduce their environmental damage costs, so called externalities. Emissions trading scheme as well as an increase in raw material costs are examples of driving forces that would make companies want learn more about their environmental impacts and the economical consequences these impacts entail.

The project started in the CPM working group Get the prices right, consisting scientists, industry representatives and policy-makers.  The working group acknowledges the importance of understanding the potential in implementation of externalities in decision making and production processes. To be able to implement these ideas, new thinking and innovation is necessary. The study will include a survey of methods for measuring environmental damage costs and highlight good practice of such. Furthermore the study will include interviews with companies to discover where in the production realization process knowledge of externalities make the largest impact on decision making.        

Aim & objectives

Increase corporate awareness of the benefits of consideration for externalities on an early stage in production and how this contributes to innovation. The idea is also that more companies will be motivated to new thinking, on several levels, through information spread of the work being done in the project.


The project resulted in a report that identified existing methods for measuring environmental damage costs. The project also fostered an analysis of existing and upcoming trends in product realization process externalities, of good practice where companies have taken externalities under consideration and of where in the production realization process awareness of externalities makes the largest impact.

The project also spread an increased understanding of the innovation potential available in consideration in externalities as well as in the increase of Swedish competency in the area.


  • Project Contact:

Project organisation
Ana Martha Coutino, AkzoNobel Bengt Steen, Chalmers University of Technology Birger Löfgren, SKF Björn Spak, SCA Cecilia Håkansson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Ellen Riise, SCA Elisabet Kock, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Karin Halldén Andersson, AkzoNobel Lisbeth Dahllöf, Volvo Group Sara Palander, CPM Sylva Arnell, ABB Tomas Rydberg, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ulrika Håård, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute