An Emerging Product Approach in Environmental Law: Incorporating the life cycle perspective

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


One of the noticeable trends in recent years is that products have received increasing attention in environmental policy. The focus on products and their life cycle impacts is often referred to as ?life cycle thinking?. This implies a shift away from the traditional focus on production processes and the environmental impacts of point-source pollution, towards a stronger focus on emissions from the other stages of the life cycle of products. Consumer products have a number of life cycle phases, including: the extraction of raw materials and refinement, production of intermediates and finished goods, sales, transportation, storage, use/consumption and final disposal. The environmental impacts from various life cycle phases can be reduced through improved product design and various measures taken by actors throughout the product chain.

Minimising life cycle environmental impacts requires initiative and participation from several key actors throughout the product chain, and this in turn requires clear incentives. A key question concerns how much government intervention is necessary for this purpose, or what type of government policies that are necessary or desirable. The aim of this research has been to explore the potential to use law as a tool to improve the environmental performance of products over the entire life cycle. In doing so, it examines the potential to use mandatory legal standards for life cycle environmental improvements, taking into account the political and economic context where laws are initiated, negotiated and implemented.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Trade and environment, Product regulation, IPP, Integrated product policy, Life cycle thinking, Environmental product policy, Environmental law, Miljörätt
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2007 Sep 21
  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Print ISBNs978-91-88902-39-9
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2007-09-21 Time: 13:15 Place: Room: Aula, Internationella miljöinstitutet, Tegnérsplatsen 4, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Krämer, Ludwig Title: Professor Affiliation: University of Bremen, Germany ---