Planned obsolescence is a strategy used to make products obsolete, leading to their premature replacement. The result is the over-exploitation of natural resources, increased waste and detrimental social impacts. It is a known practice in consumer electronics and affects other industries as they put profit before consequence.
A ground-breaking new book, Understanding Planned Obsolescence looks at the causes, cost and impact of planned obsolescence. It considers the legal and economic frameworks to overcome the practice and how to mitigate its effects. It also unearths new patterns of production and consumption highlighting more sustainable development models. Including a wide range of case studies from Europe, USA and South America, Understanding Planned Obsolescence is a vital step forward for the future of business and academia alike. Online resources now available include chapter-by-chapter lecturer slides.
Planned obsolescence is a common practice in product design; for example, in the computer industry. From a business point of view, it makes sense to deliberately shorten the life cycle of a product - think of your smartphone - to stimulate consumption. From a sustainability perspective, such a business strategy is obscene and should be banned. This book provides the wider conceptual, ethical and legal framework of sustainable development so that the reader can fully appreciate the wastefulness of planned obsolescence. It makes invaluable reading for consumers, environmental lawyers, regulators and everyone concerned with a sustainable future and what the law can do about it.