The Trojan Horse Method as a Vector of Ecodesign Integration: A Case Study at a French SME
The research presented in this paper focuses on integrating environmental awareness into the design processes at SMEs. The results of a pilot survey carried out on some pioneer French companies show that integrating ecodesign principles requires appropriate methods to base this approach on. The mechanism proposed for this purpose have called the "methodological Trojan horse" approach ("mTh") because the underlying strategy consists in introducing an appropriate pretext (the tool) promoting teamwork and supplying the organization with the necessary skills to develop the tool in a later stage. The "mTh" approach based on the use of the ecodesign tool facilitates the propagation of sustainable design knowledge at all levels within the company and thus induces the company to progress towards complete integration (from a partially sustainable design approach to a complete eco-innovation approach integrating the requirements of sustainable development). The whole mTh concept was tested during a period of two years at a French SME. The results obtained show the benefits we can get by using this integrated approach based on the "mTh" mechanism.