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Workshop Report

GERMANY: Sustainable Manufacturing and Product Innovation in Zittau

Facilitator and Organizer: Markus Will, University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Goerlitz

A rapid-4 hour-Pyramid session took place at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Goerlitz in the context of lectures given by sustainability expert and consultant Markus Will. The group of motivated students from the Universities “Ecology and Environmental Protection” Bachelors program worked in teams in order to identify innovative options to enhance the sustainability performance of an industrial plant. The case study here was a production plant of washing and cleaning detergents.

Following a life cycle approach the students identified indicators and innovations in order to improve the product qualities itself, i.e. reduction of anionic tensides, phosphor loads, bio-degradable or easy-to-recycle packaging or the production processes, i.e. use of renewable energies or more efficient transport logistics. Well-Being and social aspects are touched by occupational health and safety issues, as well as actions to improve organizational culture and working atmosphere. Most of the proposed issues were related to enhanced research and development, changing of organization patterns and processes. Special attention was payed to systems mapping.


As often when running a Pyramid session the participants benefit from a “heureka!”-effect. A brilliant sustainability idea was born by the teams spirit. It combines production of the detergent, packing, transport and recycling issues. Are you curios about it? Watch out for news! Students are going to qualify the idea.

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