What can designing greener products do for your company?

The green revolution is here to stay. Climate change, ecological and human health damage, resource depletion, and social equity are creating increasing change. Consumers and stakeholders want to know how products are made, and reward those who are making truly greener products.

Environmental performance is an emerging criteria for product design.

However, there is no such thing as a ‘green’ product and there are no standardized metrics to qualify a product as ‘green.’ The best we can do is make products greener than the ones we make now. The will to make greener products is here, but the know-how is not.

  • Companies are setting operational sustainability goals, but do not know how to apply them to the design and manufacture of their products.

  • Marketers are struggling with how to meaningfully promote the ‘green’ attributes of products.

  • Product design teams are being asked to assess the impacts of their products and understand how design changes affect a products’ life cycle performance, while uncovering opportunities for innovation.

Operationalizing green product design starts with bringing life cycle thinking and a whole product systems approach to the front of the design process. The result is more sustainable, innovative products; cost savings by eliminating re-engineering; and greater competitive advantage.

The business drivers are creating market opportunity

The external drivers are dramatically changing the playing field.

  • Resources – Resource depletion is driving costs up. Discover new areas of opportunity that will continue to reduce a product’s environmental footprint, and result in cost savings for your business.

  • Regulations – Government regulations and industry guidelines are now in continuous development. A sound sustainable design process will address many of these critical areas and help minimize your exposure.

  • Reputation – Look what ‘green’ has done for brands like GE and Walmart. Green your brand through credible products and marketing. Consumers and stakeholders who are making value-based choices want to know more about how products are made.

How you manage the internal drivers is your company’s path to innovation and growth.

  • Risks – Knowledge is power. Educate and select supply chain partners to reduce costly design and manufacturing risks in every stage of the product life cycle before making financial investments.

  • Innovation – Designing the whole product system enables new opportunities for innovation in every phase of the life cycle. Ecodesign enables the discovery of new product and market opportunities.

  • Revenue – New product innovation leads to new revenues. Sustainability is now a key buying criteria for suppliers, buyers, and consumers. Companies making truly greener products are being recognized and rewarded.