Environmental product management in the Baltic States` industries

“State of the art” in Product Development and Eco-design in the Baltic States’ Industry
Rasa Uselyte, M.Sc., Research Associate at the Institute of Environmental Engineering (APINI), Kaunas
University of Technology
Inga Belmane, M.Sc., Research Associate at the International Institute of Industrial Environmental
Economics, Lund University
At present, the main focus of environmental management in industrial companies of the Baltic States is
given to cleaner processes and introduction of environmental management systems. An attention towards
environmental aspects in products has been limited by now. Recently, due to new national productrelated environmental legislation (resulting from the EU accession process), supply chain pressures, and
market requirements, the interest in product-related environmental management is growing.
This article will be based on results of the feasibility study for eco-design in the Baltic States’ industry,
which is going to be performed in 2002. The feasibility study will focus on three main areas: (i) ”state of
the art” in product development in the Baltic States industries; (ii) drivers, potential and limitations for ecodesign introduction in the Baltic States; (iii) evaluation of present capacities in eco-design and
identification of necessary actions to introduce eco-design concept in the Baltic States.
The article will present the evaluation of the ”state of the art” in product development and eco-design in
the Baltic States’ industry. It will explore the following issues:
product development practice in industrial companies;
product development education and training;
competence and knowledge pool in product development.
The article will also address the existing legal, market and internal drivers for eco-design and their
importance for eco-design activities in industries, scope / limitations for environmental product
development as well as what knowledge and competence as for today is accessible in the Baltic States.