When a product is designed, choices are made about how it is produced, used, maintained, repaired and ultimately disposed.
It’s important to get these design choices right, as they can lock in up to 70% of the environmental impact of a product across its life.
Environmental impact can be minimised by following principles of eco-design.
Products can be made to be upgradable, repairable and reusable so they are more durable and last longer.
Products can be designed for the circular economy by:
- streamlining materials used,
- designing out chemicals of concern, and
- making the product easy to disassemble.
The goal is to design out waste.
Taking it a step further, products can be designed in ways that support and improve natural systems and give back to the community.
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This video was produced for the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water by a consortium led by RMIT University as part of the research project, Enabling design for environmental good.
When you design a product, you make choices about how it will be produced, used, maintained, repaired and ultimately disposed.
And you can minimise your environmental impact by following simple principles of eco-design.
You can make your products upgradable, repairable and reusable so it’s more durable.
The longer your product lasts, the less it needs replacing.
You can design for the circular economy by streamlining materials use, avoiding the use of hazardous chemicals, and making your product easy to disassemble.
The goal is no waste.
What’s left at the end of your product life cycle becomes the starting material for something new.
You can design your production and distribution systems to reduce environmental impact.
For instance, consider reducing costs and emissions across your supply chain by sourcing materials locally where possible, choosing materials that make your product lighter, and designing and packaging your product for efficient distribution.
By tracing the movement of your product through its life cycle, you can be confident that your materials are ethically and sustainably sourced, human and environmental health impacts have been avoided, and your product is safe for its intended use.
Want to go further? You can also design in ways that that support and improve natural systems and give back to the community.
For example, by specifying carbon negative and renewable materials, or greener environments to absorb CO2.
Start making a more positive impact on the environment by applying eco-design strategies.
Find out more at dcceew.gov.au