Premises for Linking Life Cycle Considerations with Marketing
There is increased recognition in society about the urgency of taking life cycle considerations into account in industry, and a desire to let the market be a driving force in this process. Yet little is known about why companies engage in life cycle considerations and about the environmental interaction with the market. In this licentiate thesis, the premises for linking life cycle considerations with marketing in industry are discussed. Three research projects form the basis for the discussion: two exploratory field studies aimed at improving the understanding of life cycle considerations in industry, and a theoretical analysis comparing green and conventional marketing literature.
Three basic premises for linking life cycle considerations with marketing are further analysed: their existence in the company, meeting points, and their interaction. To allow for continuous use of life cycle considerations in industry, commitment needs to be justified in a company perspective. This was done in the studied companies through an individual adaptation of LCA practice, where context and sense-making of individuals were identi¬fied as important to the shaping of life cycle work.
After studying the literature, several possible areas where life cycle consi¬der¬ations and marketing could meet were identified, e.g. business strategy, product development and market communications. The field studies showed that life cycle related activities could be found in several of the departments in the studied companies. Yet these activities were rarely carried out with the life cycle perspective in mind, or linked to marketing activities. The most tangible link was found in the case of environmental information to consumers, for example through various types of environ¬men¬tal labels. Ecolabelling is also often put forward as a tool to advance greener production and consumption. From the literature review, however, it was concluded that there are reasons to explore also other marketing means. Suggestions for further research include how green market signals are collected, and how the perception of the consumer is built up and used within the company.
life cycle thinking (LCT)
life cycle assessment (LCA)
qualitative field studies