You might think that there is an abundance of reasons why companies are looking into sustainability initiatives. But, in a recent report, CIMData found that there were very clear trends in organizational motivation for sustainability initiatives.

It’s clear that sustainable product design is becoming increasingly important for businesses to consider, but assessing the complexity of requirements to ensure both business goals and long-term sustainability can be a challenge. This guide covers key tips for evaluating your sustainability needs when creating a product design that meets your business requirements.

Establishing Criteria for What Makes a Sustainable Product Design

It’s crucial that businesses define the criteria by which they choose to make a sustainable product design. This should include factors such as the impact on global resources and longevity of the product. Establishing these criteria will help guide the decision-making process, allowing designers to make informed choices through research and data to create a product that meets both business goals and sustainability standards.

Identifying Customer Needs, Expectations, and Demands

Before you design a sustainable product, it’s important to consider what customers need and expect from your product.

Consider who the customers are and compare them to existing customer profiles. Identify what they value in a product, including understandings of price, performance, longevity and quality. This research can help to ensure that your product strategy is aligned with meeting customer needs while simultaneously striving for sustainability.

Carrying Out an Environmental Impact Assessment

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be carried out to ensure that the product you create is not doing any unnecessary harm to the planet. It’s a systematic process for predicting and assessing potential impacts of the proposed product, so it enables you to identify any unintended consequences of completing a project.

A comprehensive EIA will consider watershed characteristics, local environment and climate change effects, biodiversity levels and other relevant facts. Once completed, it can provide an understanding of current environmental conditions as well as an estimate of future change.

Explore the Supply Chain and Identify Opportunities for Improvement

When designing a sustainable product, you also need to consider the supply chain involved. Dive deep into your business process and discover where improvements could be made. This could mean using recycled materials instead of virgin ones, incorporating fair labor practices in production, or minimizing transport-related carbon emissions with better logistics planning.

With so many opportunities for improving the supply chain, it’s important to identify potential sources of waste and areas for improvement.

Understand Eco-labels and Certification Options Offered by Third Parties

Many third-party organizations provide evaluations and certifications to further guarantee a product’s level of sustainability.

Understanding the eco labels or green certifications availed by these organizations can help you ensure that your products meet certain requirements, giving confidence to consumers and other stakeholders that the product has been sourced and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner. Make sure your research into the different options includes investigating any environmental impact of the certification process, too.

How to Leverage Lifecycle Assessment for Sustainable Product Design

A Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) is an essential tool for any business looking to determine their environmental impact and ensure sustainability. By carefully examining the resources required and considering the product’s entire lifespan.

Lifecycle Assessment helps organizations to develop a holistic view of their Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Goals. This allows businesses to identify areas where they can improve efficiency, reduce waste, and achieve greater sustainability in their operations.

A comprehensive analysis of energy consumption, water requirements, and waste generation is essential for understanding how to reduce these factors in order to stay competitive while still protecting the environment. Additionally, an LCA will help a company make more sustainable design decisions when producing new products or revamping older ones.

In Our Experience…

Understanding the impacts of products throughout their lifecycle is essential for creating more sustainable business operations and minimizing waste.

By using an LCA, companies can actively work towards reducing their environmental impact while also saving on costs and improving production quality to stay competitive in the market. Additionally, LCA results are a great way to measure your progress when it comes to sustainability initiatives.



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