Product lifetimes are of critical importance in the debate on circular economy, resource efficiency, waste reduction, and low carbon strategies for sustainability. Consequently, the environmental, economic, and social challenges related to product lifetimes are gaining interest among academics of different disciplines, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other companies, government bodies, and policy stakeholders. To successfully tackle the challenges related to product lifetimes, it is important to tackle the topic from multiple perspectives and thus to share knowledge and expertise of different disciplines, such as design, business management, economics, marketing, consumer behaviour, sociology, anthropology, and politics.
The Product Lifetime and the Environment (PLATE) conference originated from the desire to bring together academic researchers, industry, and policy stakeholders working in the field of sustainability in order to benefit from each other's knowledge and further advance the field. In November 2017, the 2nd PLATE conference was held at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. We are delighted to hereby present the conference proceedings of this exceptional three-days event. The 2nd PLATE conference included 88 conference papers, 4 key note presentations, 10 workshops, and a PhD-only session.
Specifically, the papers correspond to the following seven conference themes:
1. Design for product longevity
2. The role of product lifetimes in resource efficiency
3. Product lifetimes optimization
4. Cultural perspectives on the throwaway society
5. Business opportunities, economic implications and marketing strategies
6. Consumer influences on product lifetimes, including repair and reuse
7. Policy, regulation and legislation.
One hundred and forty-five proposals for papers were submitted to the organisers in the form of abstracts. Following a peer review process, 88 papers were finally accepted for publication in the proceedings. We were impressed by the quality of the papers and are grateful to include contributions from researchers from many disciplines and 24 countries across five continents.
As editors of these proceedings, we are pleased to put together this collection of interesting papers on the topic of product lifetimes in the context of sustainability. We are confident that the proceedings will contribute to the academic knowledge in this field as well as advance the debate on this important topic.
Conny Bakker and Ruth Mugge (Editors)