Isabelle Cristina Galindo Curvelo
Master's – Product portfolio management and sustainability: a study of sustainable product development
Advisor: Profª. Drª. Kavita Miadaira Hamza
Comission: Profs. Drs. Leonardo Augusto de Vasconcelos Gomes, Solange Alfinito and Sofia Batista Ferraz
Class: 215, FEA-1
Sustainability is no longer a theme connected only with environment preservation and nowadays assumes a strategic role within organizations, due to the opportunity for market differentiation and positive impact on society and the environment with its product offerings and/or services. The concept of sustainability has evolved since 1968 in its first formal discussion at the Club of Rome, and its relationship with product innovation is becoming ever closer. Given this context, the present study sought to investigate how the evolution of sustainability strategies is reflected in innovations and product development at consumer goods companies. For this purpose, the literature review raised topics on product portfolio management, new product development and sustainable products. Multiple case studies were conducted with semi-structured interviews with marketing and sustainability leaders from five consumer goods multinationals. The main findings suggest that there is an evolution in sustainable product development that is non-linear but rather fragmented throughout more primary phases contemplating ad hoc changes to more advanced stages of sustainable product development that envision a positive impact on the environment, society and incorporation into culture. Additionally, in order to have more advanced stages of product sustainability, companies apply internal development strategies, acquisitions and external consultancy to leverage the sustainability of their products, sometimes having barriers such as their sustainability overview, internal dynamics and consumer perception hindering such evolution. Finally, the main findings were discussed according to the literature, proposing managerial contributions to the portfolio strategy of consumer goods companies, as well as theoretical contributions to the development of sustainable products, and suggest further research to deep dive aspects discussed on this study.
*Abstract provided by the author