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Introduction and challenges

Typically, over 80% of the environmental impact of any product is fixed during the design stages, so design for sustainability initiatives represent a significant way for businesses to deliver on their eco responsible agenda.

Product design has long put financial cost at the centre, but with growing awareness of sustainability issues environmental concerns have been increasingly important in this phase.

Maximising the value perceived by the customer while minimising costs is no longer the only objectives; the environmental impact has to be a key part of decision making from the beginning.

With consumers increasingly motivated by a business’ eco-credentials and growing environmental regulation, it is simply no longer simply ‘an option’ to consider these factors in product development strategies.

Eco-design offers companies a way to face into the challenge of delivering the product that will meet the customer’s need and values, at the best possible cost, with least environmental harm across the entire life cycle.

Successful design for sustainability approaches also result in opportunities to reduce costs,  simplify processes within the supply chain, and reduce operational risks. As such, they are a major lever to deliver a business’ environmental strategy as well as deliver against broader goals.

How we can help

Argon & Co helps companies to implement a design for sustainability approach:

  • Framework to design for sustainability, with micro-focus on individual products and macro-focus on the overall portfolio, to determine the priority areas for action
  • Definition of key indicators for analysing environmental impact of each component (carbon footprint, resource consumption, water consumption, eutrophication, etc.)
  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the environmental impact of a value chain, from raw materials to end of life
  • Identification of where exposure to environmental challenges is greatest, and where current processes are most out of step with sustainability needs
  • Implementation of design to value methodologies with multifunctional working groups focused on finding opportunities to reduce environmental impacts
  • Collaboration with suppliers to reduce environmental impacts and improve the eco-design process
  • Identification of the levers, alignment of the teams, and assessment of the technical and financial risk appetite to reduce the carbon footprint
  • Standardisation of eco-design processes and development simple decision-making tools to ensure the sustainability of the process itself
  • Digitalisation of product development processes including prototypes and digital samples to reduce the environmental impact
  • Assessment of sustainable new product development maturity using our scprime® methodology and definition of an action plan to improve