Sustainable Product Innovation

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Entrepreneurship for Human Well-being
Dariush Rafinejad, Ph.D.
Hardcover, 6×9, 302 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60427-147-8
August 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60427-147-8 Categories: , ,


This important book details sustainability challenges facing our global society in the 21st century, and makes a well-supported business case for sustainable product development. Its holistic approach to product innovation and commercialization represents a radical departure from the norm. It delineates why human well-being must become the overarching goal of new technology and product development.

Sustainable Product Innovation presents a systems approach for achieving multi-stakeholder optimization in product life-cycle design in order to meet a firm’s objectives, investors’ return-on-investment expectations, and regulatory requirements, while protecting the environment and rapidly depleting natural resources needed to enhance and sustain human well-being. This unique text is designed to be used in business, engineering and management science degree and certificate programs, professional training, and by entrepreneurs and executives who are responsible for the creation, development, and commercialization of product and services.

Key Features

  • Demonstrates how the prevalent activities in a product’s life cycle are the root causes of many global sustainability challenges in the 21st century
  • Explains why sustainable product development is essential, how it works within a start-up or an established company, and how to organize and lead the process of integrating sustainability effectively across a product’s life cycle from conception to end-of-life disposal
  • Describes various sustainability frameworks in industrial ecology, life-cycle assessment (LCA) techniques, and design for sustainability
  • Examines sustainability indicators in design, manufacturing, operations, and supply-chain management and discusses systems thinking and life-cycle optimization methodologies in product development and manufacturing
  • Presents modeling techniques for integrating the environmental and societal impacts into the traditional product design process
  • Uses case studies to examine strategic decisions, best practices, and many key components of the sustainable innovation and product development process
  • Provides highly effective decision-making tools for achieving commercial success in the development of sustainable products, and the guidance needed to navigate the complexities encountered when changing the way products are created, dispensed, used, and discarded
  • WAV offers downloadable templates, case studies, questions and exercises, and instructor only materials—available from the Web Added Value™ Download Resource Center at

About the author(s)

Dariush Rafinejad, Ph.D., has over 30 years of executive leadership experience in product innovation, development, and commercialization at global high-technology companies in the semiconductor and solar energy industries as well as with several start-up companies. He is also Founder and President of Blue Dome Consulting.  Previously, he served as Corporate Vice President at Applied Materials Corporation and Lam Research Corporation, where he led the development and commercialization of numerous successful products.

Dr. Rafinejad holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a professional Executive Engineering Management Certificate from Stanford University, and conducted post-doctoral research at Imperial College in London, England.  He is a widely published author and currently a professor and core faculty member at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, where he teaches Master of Business Administration courses on Sustainable Products and Services and Sustainable Energy Management.  Dariush was previously an Associate Professor – Consulting at Stanford University, an adjunct professor at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Dean of Management at Menlo College in Atherton, California. He currently resides in Los Altos Hills, California.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Product Innovation and Human Well-being: A Historical Perspective

Chapter 1: The Sustainability Challenge

Chapter 2: Transition toward Sustainable Development and Business Strategy

Chapter 3: Sustainability Frameworks and Industrial Ecology

Chapter 4: Life-cycle Assessment

Chapter 5: Technology and Product Strategy

Chapter 6: The Product Development and Commercialization Process

Chapter 7: User-Inspired Innovation and Design Thinking: User-Need Research

Chapter 8: Design for Excellence and Sustainability

Chapter 9: Design for End-of-Life Management: A Zero-Waste Strategy

Chapter 10: Public Policy and Building Inherent Safety by Design

Chapter 11: Sustainability Standards and Product Ratings

Chapter 12: Decision Analysis and Modeling in Product Development: System Dynamics Modeling

Chapter 13: Return on Investment: Intellectual Property Protection

Epilogue: Remarks on Leadership and Innovation

Appendix A: Business and Environmental Sustainability at Toyota Motor Corporation: The Development of the Prius Hybrid Vehicle

Appendix B: Chevrolet Volt: A Disruptive Innovation Bridge to Electrified Transportation



“…a must-read. Dr. Rafinejad has delineated a brilliant road map for success in innovation, reaping benefits to society and the companies who follow this path.”

Suzanne Farver, Author and Sustainability Instructor, Harvard University

“This book will help you appreciate and navigate the complexities of this essential change in the way products are created, dispensed, used, and discarded. It is certain to become a classic.”

Mark Schulman, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, Stevens Strategy, LLC