Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1999

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering - (M.S.)


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Reggie J. Caudill

Second Advisor

Valerie M. Thomas

Third Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das


This research addresses a fundamental question: How much of the improvement in a product's environmental performance is directly attributable to the Design for Environment (DFE) tools and guidelines, and how much results simply from other design objectives or enabling technologies? The research examines four generations of a business telephone over the last thirty years, including the current generation, which has been designed using DEE guidelines. A lifecycle assessment (LCA) and demanufacturing analysis were performed on each of the first three generations to determine various technology and non-DEE trends. This information was used to forecast the progression to a 1997 non-DEE phone. By overlaying comparable information generated by analyzing the 1997 DEE-designed phone, the true impact of DFE on the product becomes apparent.

Relevant characteristics and metrics such as raw materials, energy depletion, environmental burdens, and others were used to analyze the environmental performance of the telephones. All of the trend characteristics are based on lifecycle data; consequently, LCA tools and methodologies are the basis for performing this study. Traditional LCA methodologies have been expanded to incorporate multi-lifecycle options for the product and its basic materials. In addition, techniques such as the EcoCompass, developed at Dow Europe, and Resource Productivity, as proposed by Sony, are used to compare the various generations.