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L'éco-conception : Quels retours économiques pour l'entreprise?

Listed author(s):
  • Corinne Berneman
  • Paul Lanoie
  • Sylvain Plouffe
  • Marie-France Vernier
Registered author(s):

    Ecodesign is a method of designing products (goods and services) that takes into account their impact on the environment at all stages of their life cycle so as to minimize them. In order to promote ecodesign, it is necessary to see if it is profitable for the enterprises. Very little work has been done on this topic. This paper aims at filling this gap. We examine systematically, through semi-structured interviews, 30 experiences of ecodesign, 15 in France and 15 in Quebec (Canada). In particular, our results show that, in 28 cases out of 30, ecodesign has increased the absolute level of profits in the firm; in the two other cases, the impact was neutral. Moreover, in 11 cases out of 30, we find that the profit margin of the ecodesigned product was greater than that of a product designed in a traditional fashion. We also notice that, in general, the French cases were a bit more profitable than the Quebec cases. We have also investigated other positive benefits for companies involved in ecodesign, but that are more difficult to quantify, such as better creativity or more mobilized workforce. Many firms that we studied have been able to enjoy such benefits. L'éco-conception est un processus d'intégration des aspects environnementaux dans la conception et le développement de produits (biens et services) qui a pour objectif la réduction des impacts environnementaux des produits tout au long de leur cycle de vie. Pour en faire la promotion, il importe de savoir si la démarche d'éco-conception est rentable pour l'entreprise. Très peu de travaux ont été réalisés sur le sujet. Nous tentons de combler cette lacune en examinant systématiquement, au moyen d'entrevues semi-structurées, les impacts commerciaux de 30 expériences d'éco-conception, 15 en France et 15 au Québec (Canada). Entre autres, nos résultats montrent que, dans 28 cas sur 30, l'éco-conception a contribué à augmenter en termes absolus les profits de l'entreprise; dans les deux autres cas, l'impact a été neutre. De plus, dans 11 cas sur 30, la marge bénéficiaire du produit éco conçu s'avère supérieure à celle d'un produit conçu de façon traditionnelle. Nous constatons aussi, de façon générale, que les cas français semblent un peu plus rentables que les cas québécois. Enfin, nous avons étudié d'autres retombées positives pour les entreprises s'adonnant à l'éco-conception, mais plus difficiles à chiffrer, comme une meilleure créativité ou une plus grande mobilisation de la main-d'uvre. Plusieurs des entreprises de notre échantillon ont pu bénéficier de telles retombées suite à leur démarche d'éco-conception.

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    Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2009s-09.

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    Length: 70 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
    Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2009s-09
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