The sustainable innovation process

The global sustainability product council

ASSA ABLOY wants to ensure that sustainability is a part of the innovation process. Therefore, a Global Council drives and coordinates sustainable innovation in all divisions throughout the Group. 

Its responsibilities include:

  • putting in place an initial framework to drive sustainability in innovation across the Group
  • setting targets and communicating policies related to sustainability for the Group
  • developing and sharing sustainability best practices
  • review methods and tools
  • driving important global initiatives, such as piloting the generation of EPDs

All divisions within the Group, with focus on functions such as product development  and product management, are represented in the council.

As a result of the EPD pilots, in 2014 ASSA ABLOY’s key products will carry EPDs based on life cycle analysis.

The product innovation process

ASSA ABLOY’s product iInnovation process is based on Lean principles. The process consists of several modules, including:

  1. Product management – includes market mapping and analysis, research on long-term trends and developments,  knowledge of market standards and regulations,  as well as generation planning .
  2. Voice of the customer – forms the foundation for the development of relevant, value-creating offerings.
  3. Efficient delivery of innovation projects –  ensures that no time, effort or money is wasted when developing high-quality technologies, products or services.

Product management - a long-term perspective

The market rewards a proactive approach to sustainability. This requires an understanding of how sustainability issues will affect our industry in the future, how sustainability regulation is expected to evolve, and more. Product management includes devising generation plans for new products and entirely new technologies.

ASSA ABLOY’s long-term planning is influenced by a reduce-reuse-recycle principle. The aim is to develop products that are as upgradable and exchangeable as possible.

Voice of the customer - meeting market needs

Understanding and meeting customer and market needs is a vital part of ASSA ABLOY’s innovation process. This involves collecting and analyzing long-term customer needs, trends and highly detailed decisions related to specific products or components.

Regarding sustainability it means understanding how our customers and users are affected by, and their preferences related to sustainability aspects –  such as energy requirements on buildings, sustainability as a competitive advantage for space rental, and more.

Efficient delivery of innovation projects -– the environmental checklist

ASSA ABLOY wants to ensure that all sustainability aspects are taken into consideration in the development of the product and the manufacturing process.
ASSA ABLOY focuses on a number of activities to increase efficiency in the delivery process:

  • concepts are carefully evaluated against both customer needs and sustainability requirements before moving into the engineering design phase
  • encouraging a “front-loading” approach to problem-solving. In other words, identify potential problems as early in the project as possible, which is proven to be more cost-effective
  • applying the reduce, reuse, recycle principles as guidelines in all innovation
  • all projects are required to apply the environmental checklist before they are given the go-ahead to proceed beyond the process and design stage
  • trialing the use of tools supporting sustainable engineering and design