Identifying the total costs and benefits of products

This issue brief presents the parts of the Work Package 1 findings from the project Integration of Environment and Economy in Product Development Gives Opportunity for Innovations, financed by the Swedish Innovation Agency VINNOVA.


Since the 1980s it has become commonplace for companies to monitor and report environmental impacts of their activities. In parallel, the progress of the research discipline environmental economics has enabled better accessibility to cost estimates of environmental impacts (monetization). These developments lead to opportunities for companies to change product development and innovation patterns. This research programme aims to explore the requirements needed for realizing this specific opportunity.

The purpose of this issue brief is to provide an overview of the current situation for key questions such as whether a corporation should invest time and money, already in the innovation and product development phase, to monetize environmental and social impacts associated with production of products and services. The issue brief doesn’t discuss whether data on environmental and social impacts should be produced or not, rather the sole focus is on whether monetization of these data should be performed at a company-level or not. With the help of available knowledge from existing literature and interviews performed by the project group we are, in this issue brief, presenting our view on the rationale for companies to already in their product innovation and development phase integrate environmental and social costs.

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Last updated: 2021-05-05

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.


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