A maturity grid assessment tool for environmentally conscious design in the medical device industry

Authors: James Moultriea, Laura Sutcliffea, Anja Maierb


The medical device industry is growing increasingly concerned about environmental impact of products. Whilst there are many tools aiming to support environmentally conscious design, they are typically complex to use, demand substantial data collection and are not tailored to the specific needs of the medical device sector. This paper reports on the development of a Maturity Grid to address this gap. This novel design tool was developed iteratively through application in five case studies. The tool captures principles of eco-design for medical devices in a simple form, designed to be used by a team. This intervention tool provides designers and product marketers with insights on how to improve the design of their medical devices and specifically allows consideration of the complex trade-offs between decisions that influence different life-cycle stages. Through the tool, actionable insight is created that supports decisions to be made within the realm of design engineers and beyond. The tool highlights areas which are influenced by design decisions taken, some of which are perceived to be outside of the direct control of designers.

Design tool; Sustainable design; Design for environment; Maturity grid; Maturity model; Medical device design

Citation: James Moultriea, Laura Sutcliffea, Anja Maierb A maturity grid assessment tool for environmentally conscious design in the medical device industry doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.108

Received: 12 November 2013, Revised: 2 April 2015, Accepted: 24 October 2015, Available: online 14 December 2015

Copyright: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


The authors are grateful to the reviewers for helpful suggestions that improved the structure and content of the article.

This work was by the United Kingdom's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research, [Grant Number EP/E001769/1].

The author would also like to thank the companies who participated in the interviews and case studies.

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