Making Product Creation Sustainable

Sustainable product creation is the process of designing and bringing products to market in a way that considers the environmental, social, and economic impacts of those products throughout their entire lifecycle.

When most people think about sustainable product creation, they may think about things like recyclability. But there’s so much more to it than that. Sustainable product creation also includes minimizing negative impacts on the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.

Products can be made of recycled materials, use renewable resources, or be biodegradable. It’s important to think about all the aspects of a product when trying to make it more sustainable, from the way it’s designed and manufactured to the way it’s used and repurposed at the end of its life.

The 3Rs of Sustainability

There are three key principles to sustainability, which are often referred to as the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

  • Reduce: The best way to be sustainable is to use less of everything. This means turning off lights when you’re not in the room, taking shorter showers, and eating less meat
  • Reuse: When you do have to use something, try to find a way to reuse it. This could mean bringing your own bags to the grocery store, using a refillable water bottle, or composting your food scraps
  • Recycle: By converting waste materials into new materials and products, we can reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, and slow global warming

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into all aspects of a business in order to better connect with customers, improve efficiency, and create new opportunities. It is a critical strategy for companies that want to stay competitive in the digital age.

There are many factors that contribute to a successful digital transformation. One of the most important is the leadership’s commitment to change. The entire organization must be on board, from the top down, in order to make it successful. Employees must also be given the tools they need to work in a digital environment.

Another key component is the use of cloud technology. Cloud technology is one of the most significant aspects of digital transformation, helping your business improve efficiency, scalability, and agility.

  • Improved efficiency: Cloud technology can help your business improve its efficiency by allowing you to access data and applications from anywhere
  • Scalability: Cloud technology can help your business scale its operations quickly and easily without the need to invest in additional hardware or software
  • Flexibility: Cloud technology can help your business become more agile by allowing you to quickly and easily adapt to changes in demand.

Why is Digital Transformation Important for Sustainability?

Digital transformation is the key to unlocking sustainable value in our economies and societies. By digitizing our physical world and embedding sustainability into the heart of our digital systems, we can create a new era of sustainable growth.

The benefits of digital transformation for sustainability are many and varied:

  • Make our economies circular by closing the loops of material and energy flows
  • Reduce environmental impacts by optimizing resource use and reducing waste
  • Increase energy efficiency and build a clean energy future
  • Empower consumers to make more informed decisions about their lifestyles and consumption choices

How Can Digital Transformation Improve Sustainability?

Digital transformation is not a new strategy, but it has been renewed by several key technologies that have more recently come into maturity. If your organization is taking sustainability seriously, then Digital Twin and Lifecycle Assessment are two product creation solutions that you can’t afford to ignore. So, let’s take a closer look at each of them, to define the technology, and understand exactly how they can make a huge difference.

What is a Digital Twin?

Addnode Group defines a Digital Twin as, “a digital representation of an asset, system, product, or creature realized through a system with an objective to simplify management of its lifecycle and operation. Digital twins can be connected and added to each other to manage highly complex scenarios. The digital twin representation can be augmented with additional technologies such as simulation, optimization, and machine learning to realize additional benefits.”

Why is a Digital Twin Strategy Important for Sustainability?

A Digital Twin strategy to drive sustainability programs can be profoundly effective. Digital Twins offer significant benefits when planning, implementing, and realizing:

  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Reduced material consumption and the switch to more sustainable materials
  • Workforce activity optimization – travel, server usage, etc.
  • Automation and robotization of hazardous and/ or repetitive tasks to improve working conditions and health

How Lifecycle Analysis Improves Product Sustainability

From sourcing raw materials to delivering completed items, Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) provides a cohesive overview of the effect your company’s products and services have on the environment. It asks questions about product design and material choice optimization, manufacturing processes, and distribution methods. LCA addresses concerns like these based on reliable data collated from thousands of sources within your business.

Traditional LCA assesses the impact of previous actions and is distinct from day-to-day company operations. LCA, on the other hand, can accomplish so much more with enhanced digitization.

lifecycle assessment infographic

Embedding LCA within digital twin technology opens up a slew of new approaches for achieving a net-zero economy. The 3DEXPERIENCE Sustainable Innovation Intelligence solution accesses the Ecoinvent lifecycle database to provide decision-makers with consistently accurate insights. Companies that tether this actionable intelligence to a digital twin can assess and ensure the sustainability of all product-related decisions before implementing them.

In Our Experience…

This is the decade to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The most effective way of accelerating your progression toward sustainable innovation is by committing to a comprehensive, organization-wide digital transformation. Along with that, a complete Digital Twin strategy and embedded Lifecycle Assessment is crucial to ensuring the long-term success of your sustainability initiatives.

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Let’s start a conversation and find out how TECHNIA can ensure your sustainable growth by digitizing the physical world and embedding sustainability into your digital systems.

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