Future Proof through
Design and Innovation
Designers must think holistically to opti-
mize environmental performance along the entire life cycle

Product Design

The outcomes of the portfolio analysis can be used to set the priorities for product (re)design activities. In some cases, it may be sufficient to replace a limited number of ingredients or change a limited number of product features, but if the environmental impact is significant, the product may have to be redesigned from scratch. To achieve resource effectiveness, designers must think holistically in order to optimize environmental performance along the entire life cycle of a product, from extraction of raw materials to the disposal stage.

Design objectives along the life cycle

In a resource-constrained world, the ultimate objective is to close the loop and ensure that materials can be completely re-used in new products, or safely returned to nature. This is the idea behind the ‘Cradle to Cradle’  (C2C) design philosophy, which has gained prominence in recent years. There is a certification program for C2C products, which has four levels of achievement, from Basic to Platinum. Many companies across various industries have adopted this approach, and the list of certified products is growing steadily.