Sustainable Design Thinking: Eco-Design Strategies and Business Models

Main Presenter:    Kavya Madhu 

Co-Authors:   Olga Vetter     Constantin Herrmann      Amalia Diaz                                    

Eco-design incorporates environmental impact into product design and development at a product’s conception to enhance environmental performance throughout its lifecycle. This approach highlights environmental opportunities and weaknesses and thus provides important decision-making guidance for product developers. This is particularly relevant when choosing materials and production processes, comparing recycling qualities, developing business models and observing legal guidelines. Against this background, Eco-design is a challenge and requires environmentally and economically sensible decision-making.

This presentation highlights Eco-design strategies for the development of sustainable products. Additionally, qualitative and quantitative tools are explained, which are developed by Sphera GmbH to streamline hands-on implementation of Eco-design strategies. These tools were already implemented in multiple case studies.

Firstly, 6-step-approach developed by Sphera is introduced that supports in sustainable product development and aids in business model adaptation.
Secondly, Eco-design tool that is based on the principles of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) is presented. Eco-design tool provides reliable life cycle assessment results for product development.

In addition, various customized Eco-design concepts are explained that show how Eco-design requirements can be met and thereby support decision-making in product development using Eco-design. The results demonstrate both in terms of a reduction in environmental impact and in terms of the costs incurred by companies through the implementation of Eco-design strategies.
Finally, experience gathered and outlook from various case studies conducted are discussed.

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