The environmental performance of a product is largely determined at the design stage.
Product designers and brand-owners are increasingly considering the lifecycle impacts of their products when they are being designed.
Life-cycle analysis (LCA) is a technique to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product by:
Companies that apply Design for the Environment find that it has a number of business benefits:
For some excellent examples of how considering the environment can improve product performance take a look at our Iconic Kiwi Plastic Products publication.
Plastics New Zealand works closely with members to promote sustainable design. There are two key tools we use to help companies to adopt design for environment principles.
1. The Diploma in Design and Specification of Plastics (DDSP).
The DDSP teaches technical aspects of plastics design, including a significant section teaching design for environment principles. Anyone is able to attend but the courses are primarily aimed at employees of manufacturing and supply companies. More details can be found here.
2. The Plastics New Zealand Design for Environment Guide
Plastics New Zealand produced these Design for the Environment Guidelines to assist companies to implement real design for the environment. The guidelines were a first for New Zealand industry, leading the way for plastics with specific guidelines on packaging, electronics, construction and agriculture. A copy of the Guide can be downloaded below.
If you are developing a product and need more information about design for the environment, take a look at both of the above tools or contact Plastics New Zealand to see how we can help.