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Green Feature

Let products appear greener

How can the public appearance of an offering be made „greener“?

Nowak, A., Leymann, F., Schleicher, D., Schumm, D., & Wagner, S. (2011, October 21). Green business process patterns. Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs. PLoP 11: Pattern Languages of Programs Conference 2011.

Description

Organizations gain a reputation of being green when they have at least a few outstanding green features in their products. A single feature may only contribute marginally to the overall ecological impact of their product. However, the combination of several different green features may significantly influence the environmental impact.

Challenges

Determine eye-catching features of a product which can be altered to be greener.

Implementation

Identify all features of a product where a green alternative might be available. Replace those features with a greener alternative for which the greener alternative is reasonable from an economical point of view. One selection criterion should be the fact that it is easy to communicate to customers. Thus, this green feature can be used to attract the attention of the customers distracting from other less green features of the product.

Results

A product which looks very ecofriendly to the customer although the impact of the green features of the product may only decrease the ecological footprint a little.

Example

An enterprise may advertise a production plant by showing a production process to the customers. This production process contains certain green features mentioned prominently, like specific activities which are executed on environmentally friendly machines. However, the remaining process is performed in a conventional way. Another example is the production of outdoor clothes. Most companies use the environmentally harmful fluorocarbon within the manufacturing process. Changing the manufacturing to be fluorocarbon free is a feature that can be used as competitive advantage compared to production of regular outdoor clothes. A similar example comes from the food industry. A lot of beverages come in plastic bottles made out of polyethylene terephthalate. A company in Europe adds specific syrup originating from sugar production to their bottles which reduces the share of polyethylene terephthalate. Variations: Repeated application of this pattern may lead to a product comprising only of features considered green. In this case the products impact on the environment is improved even more. Another variant could be the environmental certification of specific features without changing them explicitly.

Relations to other Patterns

This pattern is closely related to Use Eco-friendly Resources. Depending on the type of the business process the exchange of resources can be a multiplier to increase the impact on the perception of the customers.

Performance considerations

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Connected to

Use eco-friendly resources

Replace underlying resources with eco-friendly alternatives

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