Future Proof through
Design and Innovation
The product portfolio must be reviewed in terms of environ-
mental impact and profit contribution

Portfolio Analysis

First of all, the existing product portfolio must be reviewed in terms of environmental impact and profit contribution. While footprinting under ‘Positioning’ focuses on the whole company, here the focus is on individual products and product lines. It is important to understand which products are relatively ‘green’ and which are ‘dirty’, and therefore exposed to regulatory or market risk.

Green product portfolio analysis

In the portfolio analysis, all products are plotted in a matrix, based on their profit contribution on the one hand, and their environmental impact on the other. Hopefully, the analysis reveals that most products are either ‘Productive’, i.e. financially rewarding and environmentally friendly, or at least ‘Promising’. Products with a low profit contribution and a high environmental footprint are ‘Prohibitive’ and are candidates for elimination. The final category is truly ‘Problematic’: profits are high but so is the footprint. Products in this category are exposed and need to be thoroughly redesigned, if possible.

Life  Cycle Analysis
To assess the footprint of individual products, it may be necessary to conduct a full life cycle assessment (LCA) of all the environmental impacts along the lifecycle, from raw materials extraction to disposal. A life cycle analysis can be complex, time-consuming and costly, but may be worthwhile conducting for a small selection of important products, since it can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement. A particular type of LCA, the product carbon footprint, has gained popularity in recent years.