Ecodesign for durable goods

© thingamajiggs, image #62182991, 2017, source: Fotolia.com
Impacts:
Sustainability Energy Carbon Water
Sector:
Cross-cutting
Cost savings:
Costs and benefits depend on the type of durable goods and the complexity of product and process modifications
Associated cost savings: Energy
20-50%
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10)

Durable products designed with sustainability considerations, or ecodesigned, offer many advantages both to the company and the environment. Ecodesign takes into account the full life-cycle of products, from conception to design and development, to construction, packaging and end-of-life considerations including reuse, reparation and/or recycling. 

Significant savings can be achieved in raw materials, pre-products, operating resources and additives, as well as in water and energy use. The following aspects are key for resource-efficient products:

  • Reducing component diversity: acquisition, material management, production engineering, manufacturing and services
  • Employing lean processes and lightweight materials: reduce material and energy use, save on transport cost, etc.
  • Recycled and secondary raw materials: reduce product carbon footprint, use substitute material, renewables and other materials suited to non-critical applications 
  • Extending product life-cycle: robust design and extended lifetime of individual components as well
  • Designing for reparability: easily disassembled and assembled by the user or repair services, replaceable components available on the market   
  • Optimising production: eleminates unnecessary features, steps and process costs (see also lean and lightweight meterials) 
  • Rapid prototyping: incorporates new technolgies and techniques like 3D printing