Status of Eco-Design in Thai Furniture Industry
Furniture manufacturing is known to have considerable impacts on the environment and there is a definite trend towards environmental-friendly product designs in the industry worldwide. This paper reports the results of an exploratory research on the status of eco-design in the Thai furniture industry. Two basic research questions are addressed; 1) are there any eco-design activities and, if so, to what extent and 2) what are the driving forces that drive or hinder eco-design activities. A combination of research methodologies were employed; interviewing, survey, and actually examining selected products in the market. The results show that key personnel know very little about eco-design, but they have implemented a number of eco-design methods in their products and processes in practice. The driving force for such progress seems to be not from the environmental consciousness per se but rather the demands and requirements from the customers and the markets. The legal and supporting infrastructure to promote and move eco-design forward is just emerging and still rather weak. There are, however, considerable implementation problems and obstacles due to lack of technical know-how on the part of the personnel involved. It is concluded that the Thai furniture industry is implementing number of eco-design activities without knowing much about eco-design principles and the underlying philosophy. Public awareness and consequently the market force is key to moving eco-design forward. Effective campaigns and better education on sustainable development and eco-design, together with stronger legal and supporting infrastructure, would certainly help increase eco-design activities.
Daizhong Su, Qingbin Zhang and Shifan Zhu
N. Klinpikul and P. Srichandr, "Status of Eco-Design in Thai Furniture Industry", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 419-420, pp. 769-772, 2010