Related Information

Good product design comes from deep customer insights and the engineering balance of technology capability and cost alignment to produce a product that clearly stands out among its peers. Apple Computer has a strong reputation for excellent product design that encompasses these attributes and retains its edge through Steve Jobs’ passion for superior products. Nature is also a source of deep inspiration and many product developers now embrace these billion-year evolutionary lessons through applying biomimicry in the design process.

 

Others capture the key elements of the innovation process and involving your customers in perfecting the balance of art, engineering, and sustainability. Then there is another important perspective. Users tend to experience products during only a portion of the product’s lifecycle. Now there is a growing consumer awareness of sustainable living driven by limited resources so product developers better align with their customers and Nature by extending the design process to include sustainable  lifecycle assessment.

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Product Design and Development

Challenge:
Consumers increasingly want the ability to make informed decisions through a better understanding of the human health and environmental impacts of products, processes, and activities. 

Customers are skeptical of green washing.  Though many products claim to be “green,” the inputs and outputs that comprise them aren’t always environmentally responsible.  Customers are now demanding adherence to specific green standards and those companies that comply are realizing that reducing negative impacts on the environment can also lower manufacturing costs by conserving energy, water and raw materials while increasing profitability.

Solution:
For businesses interested in greening their existing product line or designing greener products from the start, Sustainametrics offers life cycle analysis (LCA) combined with eco-design discipline. This yields winning products that capture new markets and differentiates the brand.  Now manufacturers can measure the environmental impact of a product before a part is ever manufactured.  For an existing product, they can evolve it to lower environmental impact and gain new customers.

Sustainametrics’ focus on LCA is critical to true sustainability.  LCA is the investigation and evaluation into the environmental impacts of a product or service caused by its existence.  LCA interprets the results of this evaluation to help the consumer make a more informed decision.

Sustainametrics uses the Okala Impact Assessment.  The current standard evaluates ten environmental impact categories: global warming, acid rain, eco-toxicity, ozone depletion, water, photochemical smog, human respiratory, human toxicity, human carcinogens and fossil fuel depletion.  The Okala Impact Assessment includes more than 450 impact factors, plus their CO2 equivalent values are derived from data collected from the U.S. EPA and NIST.

 



Benefits
LCA enables you to analyse the life cycles of products regarding their ecological and environmental impacts and display them in a transparent way.  The goal of LCA , (ie. ecobalance', and 'cradle-to-grave analysis') is to compare the full range of environmental and social damages assignable to products and services, and be able to choose the most sustainable one.  Benefits include:

 

  • Determine the strategic risks and environment related problem fields of your products at an early stage and can have them identified in form of an “early warning system.”
  • Identify the proportionality and relevance of the individual phases within the product life cycle.
  • Demonstrate the business case for your ecological need for action and achieve an improved image compared to your competitors.
  • Improve communication with political decision makers and public authorities with the help of LCA.
  • Contribute to ecological innovations by implementing LCAs.