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Ecodesign IX


... are improved communication methods that reduce paper, post and faxes. ... This strategy is not a new one, but is emphasized here because of its importance. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ecodesign IX

Eco-design IX
  • Strategies

  • Overview of the Strategies
  • Strategy 1 New Concept Development
  • Strategy 2 Physical Optimization
  • Strategy 3 Optimize Material Use
  • Strategy 4 Optimize Production Techniques
  • Strategy 5 Optimize Distribution System
  • Strategy 6 Reduce Impact During Use
  • Strategy 7 Optimize End-of-Life Systems

Overview of the Strategies
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Strategy 1  New Concept Development
  • New concept development strategy can lead to
    revolutionary changes in reducing the
    environmental impact of products and services. It
    focuses on
  • basic assumptions regarding the function of a
  • determining the end-users' needs.
  • how the specific product will meet end-users'
  • If you wish to apply Strategy 1, you should do so
    prior to product development. Its application may
    lead you to discovering alternate way to fulfil
    the needs of users.

New concept development - substrategies
  • 1.1 Dematerialization
  • 1.2 Increase Shared Use
  • 1.3 Provide a Service

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1.1  Dematerialization (cont.)
Your designers should conduct an in-depth
analysis of end-users' needs to identify the true
value or service that a product provides before
exploring new product concepts which may involve
immaterial solutions. This strategy often leads
to an exploration into 1.2 Increase Shared Use
and 1.3 Provide a Service as alternative ways to
add value for users. Companies, over a period of
time, often make evolutionary changes to their
products within along-term strategy of
1.1  Dematerialization (cont.)
1.1  Dematerialization e.g.

1.2  Increase Shared Use (cont.)
  • The benefits of applying this strategy are
  • More efficient use of products.
  • Reduced material (1.1 Dematerialization), energy
    and transportation costs due to the production
    and distribution of fewer products.
  • Increased ability for manufacturers to track the
    use and life span of their products.
  • Facilitation of disposal and/or recycling of the

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1.3  Provide a Service (cont.)
1.3  Provide a Service (cont.)
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1.3  Provide a Service example 1
1.3  Provide a Service example 2
Rental services provide a single piece of
equipment, which is often complex or expensive,
to multiple users. A well-organized rental
service company can maximize the utility and life
span of a single unit before the product is no
longer usable and, simultaneously, realize a good
income from customer use. Good examples of
products that are used by rental companies are
photocopiers, laundry equipment, hardware and
construction tools. Contents
Strategy 2 Physical Optimization
  • Physical Optimization strategy, which is both
    qualitative and quantitative in nature, covers
    aspects of a product's form, aesthetics and
    materials as well as the human responses to the
    product. In some cases, the application of this
    strategy can lead to significant, if not
    revolutionary, improvements in environmental
    aspects of a product.
  • The activities in this strategy, while
    complementing 3 Optimize Material Use and 4
    Optimize Production Techniques, are typically
    undertaken during the Conceptual and Preliminary
    phases of the design process. To follow this
    strategy, you will need an in-depth understanding
    of the product's position in the market with
    respect to environmental concerns and a thorough
    knowledge of user needs.

This strategy focuses on
  • enhancing a product's function and life span with
    the added benefit of improving its environmental
  • designing its physical characteristics, features
    or components with the aim of increasing value
    for the end-user.

The strategy is geared to
  • Optimizing the product's function.
  • Extending the technical life span, i.e., the time
    during which a product functions well.
  • Extending the aesthetic life span, i.e., the time
    during which a user finds the product attractive.

  • Designers who balance and optimize the technical
    and aesthetic life-span requirements for a
    product can reduce the energy and materials
    dedicated to these requirements. In some cases,
    this may mean designing for a short life span in
    others, for a longer life span.
  • A company may prefer that a product have a
    shorter life span if, as is the case with engine
    technology and emissions controls, newer and less
    energy-intensive alternatives are under
    development, and the company is confident
    customers will upgrade or purchase the more
    efficient products.
  • A company will offer a product with a long life
    span when it is important to the overall
    economics or use of that product. For example,
    new high-performance, sealed-glazing window units
    offer superior energy efficiency and lead to more
    comfortable indoor living. However, such units
    are initially higher in cost, and users must be
    confident they will benefit from a purchase for
    many years. Therefore, it becomes a priority for
    the manufacturer to design a system with a long
    life span and, preferably, back that up with a
    good guarantee.

Physical optimisation - example
  • In the early 1990s, a consumer journal rated Sony
    Europe's TV well below competitors on
    Environmental Performance. Sony realized that to
    achieve market leadership, it would have to focus
    on environmental issues. As one manager put it
    "If we fail with the environmental features, we
    can never reach the Best Buy qualification." The
    redesigned TV eliminated hazardous materials,
    being halogen-free and not using antimony
    trioxide and PVC. It also had 52 per cent fewer
    plastics and less total material overall. As
    well, Sony ensured that the TV could be
    disassembled quickly, as it now had only nine
    screws. The result was that its recyclability
    increased to 99 per cent.
  • A major plus for Sony was that the TV now costs
    30 per cent less to produce and is assembled much

Physical optimisation - substrategies
  • 2.1 Integrate Product Functions
  • 2.2 Optimize Product Functions
  • 2.3 Increase Reliability and Durability
  • 2.4 Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair
  • 2.5 Modular Product Structure
  • 2.6 Strong User-product Relationship

2.1 Integrate Product Functions
Material and space can be saved when you
integrate several functions or products into a
single product by taking advantage of common
components such as power supplies, keypads,
structural chassis and displays.
2.1 Integrate Product Functions - examples
  • Manufacturers who produce combination TV-VCR
    units have found a niche market with people who
    live in small spaces or require ease of
  • By combining the alternator with the starter
    motor in new cars, some automobile manufacturers
    have eliminated the need for two devices and are
    contributing to energy efficiency through vehicle
  • Manufacturers are now combining a printer, fax,
    scanner and copier into a single multi-purpose
    machine. Common components such as the printing
    mechanism, power supply and scanning assembly
    perform several different functions.

2.2 Optimize Product Functions
When analyzing a product's primary and secondary
functions, designers may discover that some
components are superfluous. For example,
secondary functions such as the quality or status
expressed by a product can often be achieved in
an improved and less polluting way.
2.2 Optimize Product Functions Stage 1
  • Ask questions that lead to a better understanding
    of end-users' purchase decisions and what they
    consider important in a product.
  • What are the product's primary functions for
  • What are its secondary functions?
  • Are the functions utilitarian or aesthetic in

2.2 Optimize Product Functions Stage 2
  • Analyze and synthesize the costs of manufacture,
    materials, processes, assembly, labour and
    overhead. In this respect, the strategy is
    similar to value engineering, a branch of
    industrial engineering that provides a systematic
    method for studying a product in order to meet
    its optimum cost.

2.2 Optimize Product Functions Stage 3
  • Format the data into an analysis matrix a
    technique used by value engineers. In the table
  • Primary and secondary functions are listed in
    priority by column.
  • Individual parts are listed by row.
  • Part cost is positioned where function and parts
    meet in the matrix.
  • This matrix allows designers and engineers to
    establish the value of each function and identify
    the minimal cost required to produce a part in
    order to satisfy the function.

Example of an analysis matrix used in value
2.3 Increase Reliability and Durability
Textured surface finishes on injection-moulded
  • Providing a gripping surface and indicating touch
  • Hiding sink-and-flow marks and blemishes.

Design for impact resistance in injection
  • Increase impact resistance by spreading the
    impact load over a large area of a part or
  • Look for a balance between introducing
    rigidifying features, e.g., ribs, and the ability
    of the part to absorb an impact through flexing.

2.4 Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair
  • Ensuring that a product will be cleaned,
    maintained and repaired on time will increase its
    usability and life span.
  • User maintenance Providing easy-to-follow
    instructions on regular maintenance and simple
    repairs can reduce the costs associated with
    transport of products for repairs and
    maintenance. A product's ease of maintenance and
    repair is often dependent upon its
    reliability/durability and the positive attitude
    of the user to the product. (2.3 Reliability and
    Durability and 2.6 Strong User-product
  • Manufacturer maintenance When a product is too
    complex for user maintenance, you should
  • how the product can be transported to a repair
  • The skills and tools required by service
  • The ease or difficulty of disassembling of the
  • Developing a modular structure for the product.
    (2.5 Modular Product Structure)

Follow these strategies for facilitating repair
and maintenance
  • Indicate clearly on the product how it should be
    opened for cleaning or repair (for example, where
    to apply leverage with a screwdriver to open snap
  • Indicate on the product which parts must be
    cleaned or maintained in a specific way (for
    example, by colour-coded lubricating points).
  • Indicate on the product any parts or
    subassemblies that must be inspected often, due
    to rapid wear.
  • Make the location of wear on the product
    detectable so that repair or replacement can take
    place on time.
  • Locate the parts that wear relatively quickly
    close to one another and within easy reach so
    that replacements can be easily fitted.
  • Make the most vulnerable components easy to
    dismantle for repair or replacement.

2.5 Modular Product Structure
  • A modular structure makes it possible to
    revitalize a product from a technical or
    aesthetic point of view, enabling the product to
    keep pace with the changing needs of the
  • As well, a modular structure allows the benefits
    of a new technology to be incorporated into an
    older product. As a result, a modular product may
    undergo several upgrades in components over its
    life span, reducing the need for new products to
    be purchased on a more frequent basis.

Designers and product engineers can design
product that enable
  • Upgrades at a later date, e.g., plugging in
    larger memory units in computers.
  • Renewal of technically or aesthetically outdated
    elements, e.g., making furniture with replaceable
    covers that can be removed and cleaned.
  • Facilitation of repair and maintenance by
    grouping high-wear components together into
    sub-assemblies. (2.4 Facilitate Easy Maintenance
    and Repair)

Can a standard be established?
  • A modular product structure requires the design
    of a product system or a connection standard
    between components. If you're considering such an
    approach, you should attempt to estimate the
    technical life span of the underlying system or
    standard. Questions to ask
  • Can the standard be internal to my products?
  • Will competitors in the market agree to an
    industry standard?
  • However, products undergoing rapid evolution may
    not be suitable for such an approach.

Modular Product Structure - example
  • The 35 mm single lens reflex camera is an
    excellent example of a modular product structure.
    Within a particular company's product line,
    camera bodies, lenses, bellows, flash attachments
    and filters can be replaced and are often
    backwards compatible with components manufactured
    several years, or even decades, before.

2.6 Strong User-product Relationship
  • Industrial design, or product design, is a
    process which matches, in a creative way, the
    technologies of production with end-user needs.
    Good design transcends changes in the
    technologies of production. On a societal level,
    however, ideas of good design are dependent on
    the culture of the time. The challenge for many
    companies and designers is to create products
    which users will find attractive to purchase, use
    and maintain.
  • The objective of this strategy is to avoid design
    that may cause the user to replace the product as
    soon as the design becomes unfashionable. The
    psychological life span is the time in which
    products are perceived and used as worthy
    objects. Products should have the material
    ability, i.e., technical and aesthetic life span,
    as well as the immaterial opportunity to age in a
    dignified way.
  • Most products need maintenance and repair to
    remain attractive and functional.
    (2.4 Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair)
    Users are only willing to spend time on such
    activities if they care about a product.

You can aim to produce a strong user-product
relationship by
  • Creating a design that more than meets the
    (possibly hidden) requirements of the user for a
    long time.
  • Designing surface finishes that improve
    gracefully with age.
  • Ensuring that maintenance and repair will be
    pleasurable rather than tedious.
  • Ensuring that maintenance can be conducted safely
    with minimal tools.
  • Providing added value in terms of design and
    functionality so that the user will be reluctant
    to replace the product.

Strong User-product Relationship - example
  • The Thonet Model No.14 chair has been in
    production since 1859 with the 50th million model
    sold circa 1930. The chair is comprised of six
    bent wood components, 10 screws and two nuts. The
    Model No.14 chair is an excellent example of a
    product that has transcended advances in
    technology and cultural change, and still remains
    in fashion.
  • Contents

Strategy 3 Optimize Material Use
  • Select the most environmentally appropriate
    materials, substances and surface treatments for
    a product.

  • Use of environmentally hazardous materials
    involves costs for health and safety, handling
    and waste disposal. This strategy focuses on
    selecting the most environmentally appropriate
    materials, substances and surface treatments for
    product manufacture.
  • When applying this strategy, you will find that
    it depends largely on product characteristics and
    life cycle, and that there can be many trade-offs
    when making decisions regarding materials

Some factors to consider
  • Whether materials can be recycled.
  • The priority of material recycleability for
    short-lived products as compared to long-lived
  • Whether products that consume energy during their
    use-phase can be "lightweighted" to reduce energy
  • If products that disperse or wear out need to be
    recycled as compared to products that can be
    easily collected at their end-of-life-phase.
  • If you have a system where product disposal is
    important, how will material chemistry impact the
    environment and human health through traditional
    disposal methods.

  • Kuntz Electroplating Inc., an Ontario company,
    designed a Cyanide Hydrolysis System(CHS) to
    destroy their hazardous chemicals in an
    environmentally safe and cost-effective manner.
    As a result, Kuntz has significantly reduced the
    use of sodium hypochlorite, caustic soda,
    hydrochloric acid and chlorine. The new system
    also reduces the amount of required labour. CHS
    has saved Kuntz 150,000 annually.

  • 3.1 Cleaner Materials
  • 3.2 Renewable Materials
  • 3.3 Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials
  • 3.4 Recycled Materials
  • 3.5 Recyclable Materials
  • 3.6 Reduce Material Usage

3.1 Cleaner Materials
  • Some materials or additives are best avoided
    because they cause hazardous emissions during
    production, when they are incinerated, or if they
    are used as landfill. Examples are
  • colourants
  • heat or UV stabilizers
  • fire retardants
  • degreasers
  • softening agents
  • fillers
  • foaming agents
  • antioxidants
  • Some colourants and fire-retardants are
    especially hazardous and, in many countries, are
    restricted by law.

Alert toxic materials.
  • Many substances that contribute to ozone layer
    depletion are now forbidden or restricted such as
    methyl bromide, halons, CFCs and HCFCs. Many
    large corporations are practising materials
    de-selection by developing their own lists of
    substances banned from internal use such as
    mercury, lead, VOCs and PVC. This practice is a
    growing trend and has a direct impact on

3.2 Renewable Materials
  • Renewable materials are substances derived from a
    living tree, plant, animal or ecosystem which has
    the ability to regenerate itself.
  • The use of renewable materials can represent a
    good environmental and societal choice since
    these materials
  • Will not be depleted if managed properly as a
    renewable resource.
  • May have reduced net emissions of CO2 across
    their life cycle as compared to materials derived
    from fossil fuels.
  • Result in biodegradable waste.
  • Can be grown and used locally--a situation that
    promotes employment.

3.2 Renewable Materials (cont.)
  • However, when considering the use of a renewable
    material, you should assess its full
    environmental impact. For instance, the plastic
    sack may be a better environmental choice than
    one made of paper. In a life-cycle analysis, a
    factor that becomes important is the superior
    ratio of strength to weight of plastics that
    leads to lower energy requirements and costs for
  • If you are interested in using more renewable
    materials in your product, check your suppliers'
    product labels to see if you can find out
  • The quality and consistency of organic materials
    that are sourced from renewable stocks.
  • If the materials have been harvested and the
    stocks managed in an environmentally preferable

  • Products like oriented strand board (OSB) are
    enabling builders to make better use of the
    renewable resource of wood than they have in the
    past. Waste is virtually eliminated in the OSB
    production phase with 90 per cent of the wood
    incorporated directly and 10 per cent used as an
    energy source. The wood strands are combined with
    a resin binder and put under intense pressure and
    heat to form structural panels. The
    phenol-formaldehyde resins lead to extremely low
    levels of off-gassing. Indoor air quality
    problems that have been associated with wood
    products using urea-formaldehyde binders are thus
  • Other combinations of resin, wood fibre and maize
    fillers have been used in injection-moulding
    processes for products such as door handles,
    latches and decorative details. Researchers are
    now conducting studies to explore better ways of
    using lignin, a natural binding agent in trees.

3.3 Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials
  • The embodied energy of a material refers to the
    energy used to extract, process and refine it
    before use in product manufacture. Therefore, a
    correlation exists between the number and type of
    processing steps and the embodied energy of
    materials. For example, the fewer and simpler the
    extraction, processing and refining steps
    involved in a material's production, the lower
    its embodied energy. The embodied energy of a
    material is often reflected in its price.

3.3 Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials (cont.)
  • In some cases, the most technically appropriate
    material will lower energy costs over the life
    cycle of a product. For example, composite
    materials involving carbon fibres or ceramic
    compounds may have a relatively high embodied
    energy, but when they are used appropriately,
    they can save energy in a product's use-phase due
    to their advanced physical properties, e.g.,
    strength, stiffness, heat or wear resistance.
  • On the other hand, materials with less embodied
    energy may often be substituted without a loss in
    product performance, if you optimize the use of
    the material with respect to the product's
    reliability/durability and technical/aesthetic
    functions. ( 2 Physical Optimization)

3.4 Recycled Materials
  • This strategy focuses on production use of
    recycled materials, i.e., those used in products
    before. If suitable, companies can use and re-use
    these materials in order to maximize invested
  • Recycling provides cost-benefits, can enhance
    product production, and is an excellent
    environmental choice.
  • By implementing product take-back programs,
    companies have a cost-effective source of
    materials and/or parts.
  • Using recycled materials can lower the embodied
    energy needed to produce a product by avoiding
    the energy costs associated with extraction.
    (3.3 Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials)
  • Unique features of recycled materials such as
    variations in colour and texture can be
    advantageous when used appropriately in product
    production. This can include using recycled
    paper, steel, aluminum, other metals and plastics.

There are two sources for recycled materials.
  • 1. Industrial off-specification material
    generated from an industrial process, and not
  • 2. Post-consumer material recovered after use
    from an industrial or domestic setting. This
    material is typically collected, sorted and
    cleaned, but may still be contaminated by foreign

  • Currently, many recycled materials come from
    industrial sources and have minimal impurities
    and only slightly inferior properties to the
    originals. Nevertheless, if you decide to use
    recycled materials, you should
  • Specify the required performance properties of
    the recycled material to control the physical
  • Establish a quality assurance requirement with
    your supplier regarding recycled material.
  • Be aware that the cost of recycled materials
    depends on their source, percentage of virgin
    material content, level of contamination and
    physical characteristics.

Some guidelines for designing with recycled
  • 1. Specify thicker walls or features that enhance
    rigidity in a design where increased strength
    must compensate for reduced strength in material.
  • 2. Select applications where colour is not
    critical when recycled plastics come with a
    variety of colourants. Additional colourants may
    mask the original colour of the material.
  • 3. Select processes that have a wide "operating
    window," i.e., the production parameters do not
    have to be tightly specified for successful
    manufacturing. Of the processes generally in use
    today, the most forgiving would be compression
    moulding, injection moulding, and extrusion.
    Other processes could be used if the behaviour of
    the material is comparable to that of suitable
    grades of new plastics.
  • 4. Apply specialized processing methods that
    allow significant quantities of recycled plastics
    to be used successfully.

Co-extrusion (koospressimine)
  • This process, which can be used in sheet, film
    and blow-moulding operations, makes a
    multi-layered product that can have a middle
    layer of recycled plastics sandwiched between
    layers of new plastic.

Sandwich Injection Moulding
  • This is a similar technique to co-extrusion in
    which recycled plastics are injected as the bulky
    core of thick-walled plastic products and new
    plastic is used only for the outer skin.

Foamed Extrusion and Foamed Injection Moulding
  • These techniques use gases to form bubbles in
    plastics that reduce the weight of thick-walled
    products and produce a textured skin on the
    surface. They provide good rigidity through
    enlarged thickness.

Extrusion and Injection Moulding of Mixed Plastics
  • These processes provide good potential for the
    use of recycled material because they eliminate
    the need for sorting or cleaning prior to
    processing. However, the products may have
    limited strength due to the incompatibility of
    different plastics and the contaminants. These
    processes usually use polyethylene as a "binder"
    for the other plastics and contaminants, thereby
    tending to limit a product's physical
    characteristics to those of polyethylene, i.e.,
    generally low in rigidity and strength, and prone
    to display "creep" behaviour. As well, the colour
    is usually dark due to the variety of
    incorporated colourants.

3.5 Recyclable Materials
  • Recyclable materials are those that can be
    easily recycled, depending on the type of
    material and the available recycling
    infrastructure. Reducing the amount of waste your
    company sends to landfill can produce significant
    cost-savings. Or, your waste materials could be a
    source of income.

If you wish to use recyclable materials, you need
  • Know which materials are recyclable.
  • Find out if collection systems are in place or
  • Ensure the material will produce high-quality
    material when recycled.

Product design can make a significant
contribution to recyclability. Here are some
criteria to follow
  • Select just one type of material for the product
    as a whole or for each sub-assembly.
  • If selecting one type of material is not
    practical, select plastics in mutually compatible
    groups, i.e., SAN, ABS, PC, PMMA PC, PET or
  • Don't cross-contaminate metals, e.g., mixing
    steel components with copper aluminum with
    copper or iron or copper with mercury or
  • To aid recycling, avoid materials which are
    difficult to separate such as compound materials,
    laminates, fillers, fire-retardants and
    fibreglass reinforcements.
  • Choose recyclable materials for which a market
    already exists.
  • Avoid polluting elements such as stickers that
    interfere with recycling, or glues and small
    components that are not removable.

Recyclable materials - examples
  • Fir Tree Farm in Nova Scotia prepares packaged
    vegetables for "ready meals." This produces a
    large amount of organic and packaging waste. By
    separating and recycling all cardboard, as well
    as selling organic waste as pig and cattle feed,
    Fir Tree Farm now saves over 3,000 each month in
    landfill fees.
  • Canadian General-Tower Limited (CGT), a vinyl
    manufacturer in Ontario, is using recyclable
    materials in two ways--one, as a source of
    income, and two, as a source of savings. In 1996,
    CGT sold more than 950,000 kg of pool vinyl to a
    local company, Norwich Plastics. In the same
    year, CGT reprocessed 1.8 million kg back into
    their own vinyl production, saving thousands of
    dollars and benefitting the environment.

3.6 Reduce Material Usage
  • This strategy focuses on optimizing the volume
    and weight of materials so less energy is used
    during production, transport and storage. This
    strategy can improve the productivity of your
    material resources and save on raw material
    consumption and transportation costs.
  • Products are often deliberately designed to be
    heavy or large in order to project a quality
    image. However, a quality image can be achieved
    through other techniques, i.e., creating a lean
    but strong design. While products cannot be made
    so light that their technical life is affected,
    you many find that, in many cases, a reduction in
    the weight or volume of materials is possible.

Reduction of weight
  • Using less material is a simple, direct means to
    decrease environmental impact, i.e., fewer
    resources extracted, less waste and lower
    environmental-loadings during transportation. If
    you are interested in reducing material usage,
    you should closely scrutinize appropriate
    materials and design, e.g., reinforcing ribs
    instead of using thick-walled components. Weight
    reduction can significantly lower material use
    and costs.

Reduction in (transport) volume
  • When a product and its packaging are reduced in
    size and volume, more products can be shipped
    more efficiently in a given transport mode.
    Consider foldable or stackable designs and final
    product assembly at the retail location or by the

Reduce material usage - example
  • S.C. Johnson Wax has saved over 5 million by
    "lightweighting" its candle and aerosol products.
    It reduced the weight of its Glade candles by six
    per cent, decreasing material use by 1,536 tons
    and increasing shipping efficiency without a
    reduction in the life or quality of the candles.
    As well, it reduced the amount of material used
    in its aerosol products, cutting plastic use by
    1,200 tons and packing material by 600 tons.
  • Contents

Strategy 4 Optimize Production Techniques
  • Implement cleaner production practices through
    the continuous use of industrial processes and
    products that increase efficiency prevent
    pollution to air, water and land and minimize
    risk to human health and the environment.

  • This strategy include approaches to production
    that involve practices for "cleaner" production,
    i.e., the continuous use of industrial processes
    and products to increase efficiency, prevent
    pollution to all media (air, water and land), and
    to generally minimize risk to human health and
    the environment.
  • To accomplish cleaner production, you need to
    adopt a goal to make your processes as
    environmentally benign as possible.

Production techniques should
  • Minimize the use of ancillary materials
    (abimaterjalid) and energy.
  • Avoid hazardous compounds.
  • Provide high efficiency production with low
    material losses.
  • Generate as little waste as possible.

Process improvements are an effective strategy to
reduce pollution and can provide many
cost-benefits by
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costly
    production downtime.
  • Increasing regulatory compliance and reducing

Relation with Environmental Management Systems
  • Improving production processes is a key component
    of Environmental Management Systems like ISO
    14001 which, although a voluntary program,
    requires organizations to make specific
    commitments to preventing pollution.
  • This strategy can be applied both to the
    production processes of the parent company and
    its suppliers. In fact, many companies now insist
    that suppliers have an Environmental Management
    System (EMS) registered to the ISO 14001

  • 4.1 Alternative Production Techniques
  • 4.2 Fewer Production Steps
  • 4.3 Lower/Cleaner Energy Consumption
  • 4.4 Less Production Waste
  • 4.5 Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables

4.1 Alternative Production Techniques
  • Implementing an Environmental Management System
    (EMS) provides an effective way to examine an
    existing production system and pinpoint areas
    where changes could be made to bring about
    positive environmental benefits, compliance with
    environmental regulations and cost-savings.(Enviro
    nmental Management System)
  • Alternative, cleaner production techniques can
    help you realize the benefits of process
    optimization, quality control, energy
    conservation and preventive management. It can
    also lower energy and costs associated with
  • raw materials
  • energy
  • labour
  • treatment and disposal
  • insurance and liability

4.1 Alternative Production Techniques - example
  • Jenks Cattell Engineering Limited, a small
    enterprise in England, manufactures pressings and
    welded assemblies for the automotive industry.
    During an environmental review of company
    processes in 1993, Jenks Cattell managers
    decided to replace the solvent degreasing agent
    1,1,1-trichloro-ethane, thereby significantly
    reducing the environmental impact as well as
    their costs by more than 20,000 per year. Jenks
    Cattell went on to implement EMS and use the
    principles of cleaner production. The company
    saved more than 150,000 annually by using
    material resources more effectively and reducing
    energy use, solvent emissions and neighbourhood

4.2 Fewer Production Steps
  • Each step of a production process increases
    financial costs and may also increase the
    environmental impact. The optimization of product
    production with respect to steps, techniques and
    processes should be undertaken by a team of
    product designers, industrial and mechanical
    engineers, and production personnel. The team
    should analyze the following

The team should analyze the following
  • The possibility of satisfying several product
    functions through one component or part.
  • Allowing multiple production steps to be
    performed on a single part or component
  • Allowing single production steps to be performed
    on multiple parts or components simultaneously.
  • Reducing the movement/transport distances of
    parts and components within the production
  • Using materials that do not require additional
    surface treatment or finishing for performance or

4.3 Lower/Cleaner Energy Consumption
  • This strategy focuses on making production
    processes more energy efficient.
  • Your company can implement rewards-and-recognitio
    n policies to motivate employees to generate
    energy-saving ideas. Have them explore how to
  • Use cleaner energy sources such as natural gas,
    wind, hydro or solar energy, in order to replace
    existing sources that are more polluting or
  • Introduce a co-generation system that uses
    production by-products, e.g., steam or heat, to
    provide heating, cooling or compressed air.
  • Examine carefully the heating/ventilation/energy
    needs and set up systems and controls tailored to
    those needs.
  • Increase efficiency of compressed air systems.
  • Optimize the facility's space requirements.

4.4 Less Production Waste
  • In applying this strategy, you would be
    optimizing production processes with respect to
    the output of waste and emissions. This
    optimization increases the efficiency of material
    use and decreases the amount of material sent to
    a landfill by reducing the "non-product output"
    per unit of production. To achieve this goal,
  • Selecting shapes that eliminate processes such as
    sawing, turning, milling, pressing and punching
    in order to reduce waste.
  • Motivating production teams and suppliers to
    reduce waste and cut the percentage of rejects.
  • Looking for opportunities to recycle production
    residues in-house--a process that saves resources
    and money. Relatively simple changes with little
    cost-output can save your company thousands of
    dollars a year.

Less Production Waste - example
  • Entek International Ltd., a company based in
    Oregon and the UK, produces microporous
    polyethylene battery separator materials. Entek
    purchased a machine for 250,000 to granulate its
    plastic waste, which could then be re-used in the
    company's manufacturing process. As a result,
    Entek is saving over 100,000 each month--more
    than 1 million per year--in reduced landfill,
    labour and raw material costs. Their granulator
    paid for itself in three months.

4.5 Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables
  • This strategy focuses on reducing the production
    consumables or ancillary materials required for
    product production and/or using "cleaner" ones.
  • When applying this strategy, have your designers
    and production and industrial engineers conduct
    an analysis of consumables in the production
    process. The use of water, solvents, degreasers,
    oil/lubricants, abrasives, solders and cutting
    tools can be correlated with per unit production.

4.5 Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables (cont.)
  • Designers should specify materials/parts/component
    s that are also cleaner and non-hazardous. For
    example, identifying and using solvents,
    lubricants or degreasers with low volatile
    organic compounds (VOCs) can reduce the use of
    ventilation systems and/or pollution prevention
  • Together with reducing waste during production
    and establishing in-house recycling programs, the
    re-design of parts/components is an effective
    means of reducing the use of production
  • Contents

Strategy 5 Optimize Distribution Systems
  • Transport products from producer to distributor,
    retailer and user in the most efficient manner.

  • Application of this strategy ensures that
    products are transported from the producer to the
    distributor, retailer and end-user in the most
    efficient manner possible. The factors involved
    in optimization include
  • packaging
  • mode of transport
  • mode of storage/handling
  • logistics
  • If you decide to apply this strategy, you should
    consider product development separately from
    packaging development since packages have their
    own life cycles and associated environmental
  • You can also apply other DfE Strategies to
    packaging development and use. (3 Optimize
    Material Use, 4 Optimize Production, 7 Optimize
    End-of-Life Systems)

  • 5.1 Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging
  • 5.2 Energy-efficient Transport Mode
  • 5.3 Energy-efficient Logistics

5.1 Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging
  • This strategy focuses on reducing packaging for
    marketing and transport purposes, resulting in
    less waste, less energy for transport, less
    emissions and greater savings. By reducing the
    amount and weight of packaging, your company can
    save on landfill and resources.

Here are some ideas for applying this strategy.
  • If your packaging provides aesthetic appeal to
    your product, use an attractive but lean design
    to achieve the same effect.
  • For transport and bulk packaging, consider
    re-usable materials in combination with a return
    system between yourself and the retailer and, if
    possible, between the retailer and end-user.
    Consider a package deposit/refund to encourage
    use of this system.
  • Use appropriate materials, e.g., recyclable
    materials for non-returnable packaging, and more
    durable materials for returnable packaging.
  • Reduce volume, e.g., providing foldability and
    nesting of products by using a modular structure.
    (2 Physical Optimization)
  • Encourage your suppliers to also reduce their
    packaging waste.

The major benefits of using fewer/cleaner
production consumables are reductions in
  • Production costs.
  • Material storage/handling requirements and costs.
  • Costs involved in the disposal of hazardous
    consumable waste.
  • Raw materials/consumables.
  • Need/use of ventilation equipment and costs of
  • Equipment, e.g., ducts, motors, balancing.
  • Operating costs.
  • Need for pollution prevention equipment.
  • Health and safety costs, e.g., worker training
    and protective equipment.
  • Costs of regulatory compliance.

Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging - example
  • In the early 1990s, Nissan had its suppliers
    become accountable for their own packaging waste.
    By 1996, over 97 per cent of 9,750 parts arriving
    at one of the company's plants came in re-usable
    containers. This not only saved Nissan and its
    suppliers money, but also eliminated waste
    entirely instead of redirecting it into

5.2 Energy-efficient Transport Mode
  • The environmental impact of product transport
    comes primarily from energy consumed and air
    pollutant emissions. A consideration of this
    impact is important in a full-company program of
    environmental responsibility. As well, choosing
    energy-efficient transport can directly affect
    your bottom line as it will make your company
    more resilient to energy price fluctuations.

When deciding how to ship your products, consider
many factors such as
  • price
  • volume
  • reliability
  • time to delivery
  • distance to customer
  • environmental impact

Energy-efficient Transport Mode - additional
  • Have your designers, shipper/receivers and sales
    personnel compare the various modes of transport,
    i.e., foot, bicycle, courier, truck, rail, sea,
    air, with the above factors to determine the most
    appropriate mode of product transport.
  • Also investigate your suppliers' modes of
    transport for materials and components. Your
    costs can be reduced if energy-efficient modes
    are used throughout the supply, production and
    distribution chain.

Fuel-efficient fleet operations.
  • Install fuel-efficient computerized diesel
    engines to lower maintenance and operating costs.
  • Specify fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Perform regular maintenance to reduce emissions.
  • Convert your fleet to alternative fuels such as
    propane, natural gas or bi-fuel, e.g.,
    gasoline/natural gas.
  • Install on-board computers to help reduce fuel
    wastage by controlling idling speed and setting
    upper-speed limits.
  • Install an on-site vehicle refueling service to
    reduce fuel costs and enhance fleet efficiency.

5.3 Energy-efficient Logistics
  • Efficient routing of transportation and
    distribution can significantly reduce the
    environmental impact of a company's logistics
    system. You might consider the following
  • Motivate your sales personnel to work with local
    suppliers to avoid longer product-transport
  • Motivate your sales personnel to introduce
    efficient forms of distribution, e.g., the
    simultaneous distribution of larger amounts of
    different goods.
  • Use standardized transport and bulk packaging,
    e.g. industry-standard pallets, boxes or bags.
  • Use route-optimization software to reduce
    product-transport distances.
  • If you are a just-in-time supplier, provide
    re-useable/returnable containers designed for
    your products.
  • Reduce warehouse distance--from storage to
    loading--for high-turnaround products.

Strategy 6 Reduce Impact During Use
  • Design a product so that end-users will be able
    to make efficient use of product consumables such
    as energy, water and detergent, and secondary
    products such as batteries, refills and filters.

  • Many products consume considerable energy, water
    and/or other consumables during their life span.
    Resources consumed in maintenance and repair can
    add to the environmental impact. This strategy
    focuses on product design to reduce environmental
    impact during product use.

  • 6.1 Lower Energy Consumption
  • 6.2 Cleaner Energy Sources
  • 6.3 Reduce Use of Consumables
  • 6.4 Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products
  • 6.5 Reduce Energy and Other Consumable Waste

6.1 Lower Energy Consumption
  • The goal of this strategy is to achieve energy
    efficiency and/or the use of more environmentally
    responsible energy sources during product use.
  • It's important! Environmental analyses of durable
    products such as refrigerators and washing
    machines show that the largest environmental
    impacts can come during the use-phase of a
    product's life cycle. As a result, the
    operational costs over the product's lifetime can
    often exceed the initial purchase price. When
    users are made aware of the importance of these
    costs through programs like EnerGuide, then
    energy efficiency becomes a strong marketing
  • Energy efficiency can also lead to reduced fossil
    fuel consumption, thereby lowering emissions of
    greenhouse gases and chemical contributors to
    acid rain.

Design strategies for energy-reducing products.
  • Use the lowest energy-consuming components
  • Design a default power-down mode and promote this
  • Ensure that users can switch off clocks, stand-by
    functions and other non-required devices.
  • Choose light-weight materials and designs if
    energy is required to move the product.
  • If energy is used for heating or cooling, 1)
    ensure that appropriate components are well
    insulated, and 2) consider if user-needs can
    still be met without such energy use.
  • Consider the possibility for human-powered
    alternative designs.
  • Consider possibilities for passive solar heating
    and rechargeable batteries.

Lower Energy Consumption - example
  • The Baylis FreePlay Wind Up Radio was intended
    initially for people in developing countries
    where affordable energy is scarce or
    non-existent. It was designed for recyclability
    its materials have a low impact on the
    environment and its production minimizes
    manufacturing waste. But the radio has also found
    many other applications for remote-location
    activities such as logging, boating and hiking.
    The radio uses strip steel springs as the primary
    energy storage device to drive a direct current
    generator. The spring maintains its performance
    characteristics over many years with a lifetime
    in excess of 10,000 cycles.

6.2 Cleaner Energy Sources
  • The use of clean energy sources can greatly
    reduce harmful emissions at the energy-generation
    stage, especially for energy-intensive products.
    This strategy, aimed at increasing the use of
    cleaner energy sources, should be applied in
    conjunction with 6.1 Lower Energy Consumption.
  • It may be that your source of energy for product
    manufacture is predetermined by context and
    market. However, if you do have a choice of a
    cleaner energy source such as electricity or
    natural gas, you should consider the following
  • Design products to use the least harmful source
    of energy.
  • Design high-efficiency alternatives when the
    least harmful source of energy is not available
    in the target market or available at the
    preferred manufacturing location. (6.1 Lower
    Energy Consumption)
  • For large industrial products or machinery,
    encourage the use of cleaner energy such as
    low-sulfur energy sources, i.e., natural gas and
    low-sulfur coal, fermentation, wind energy,
    hydro-electric power, solar energy and on-site
    co-generation from waste heat or steam.

6.3 Reduce Use of Consumables
  • This strategy focuses on applications of design
    that will lead to lower, or more efficient, use
    of consumables such as water, oil, filters,
    cleaners/detergents and food/organic materials
    during a product's life span.
  • Reducing the need for, and use of, consumables
    can increase maintenance intervals for the
    product, reduce operating costs, and improve user
    satisfaction. This strategy should be applied
    along with 2 Physical Optimization.

Design for less.
  • Design the product to minimize the use of
    auxiliary materials, e.g., use a permanent filter
    in coffee makers instead of paper filters, and
    use the correct shape of filter to ensure optimal
    use of coffee.
  • Minimize possible leaks from machines that use
    high volumes of consumables by, for example,
    installing a leak detector.
  • Study the feasibility of re-using consumables,
    e.g., newer dishwashers re-circulate some wash
    water to reduce total water usage.

6.4 Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products
  • If a consumable/auxiliary product is to become
    "cleaner," it should be regarded as an individual
    product with its own life cycle. DfE strategies
    can then be applied separately for each
    consumable/auxiliary product, particularly in
    regard to
  • material (3 Optimize Material Use)
  • production (4 Optimize Production)
  • use (6.3 Reduce Use of Consumables)
  • end-of-life phase (7 Optimize End-of-Life

6.4 Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products
  • Designers and suppliers should collect
    information on the environmental impact of
    possible consumables/auxiliaries in order to make
    informed decisions. Specifying cleaner use can
    have the following benefits
  • Increased product safety.
  • Reduced handling of hazardous/dangerous
  • Reduced disposal costs of hazardous/dangerous
  • Greater environmental appeal to users, resulting
    in more sales.
  • Development of stronger customer relationships.

Some factors to consider when applying this
  • Implementing a collection/recycling/re-manufacturi
    ng system to eliminate disposal of filters,
    cartridges and dispensers in landfill or
    incineration facilities.
  • Being aware of the possibility of harmful wastes
    being produced as a result of using inferior
    consumables, e.g., low quality oil or coolants in
    engines can affect performance, emissions and

Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products -
  • Black Decker Canada has an ongoing pilot
    program in Ontario to provide a recycling system
    for its rechargeable appliances and reduce the
    impact of contamination from its NiCd batteries.
    The program gives users a rebate towards their
    next purchase when they bring unwanted appliances
    back to their dealer for re-use. They also
    receive the rebate if they bring their appliance
    back to have batteries replaced. The program
    diverted over 127 tonnes of waste from landfill
    in its first year of operation alone.

6.5 Reduce Energy and Other Consumable Waste
  • There is often a gap between the manufacturer's
    intended use and maintenance of a product and
    what actually happens when it's in the hands of
    end-users. This gap can result in waste.
  • This strategy focuses on designs that foster
    proper product use.
  • Related strategies are 2 Physical Optimization
    and 6.1 Lower Energy Consumption.

Reduce Energy and Other Consumable Waste - tips
  • Design for easy-to-understand use and Provide
    clear instructions.
  • Design so that users cannot waste auxiliary
    materials, e.g., funnel-shaped filling inlets,
    and spring return or auto-off power switches.
  • Place calibration marks so that users know
    exactly how much auxiliary/consumable material,
    e.g., detergent or lubricant oil, is required.
  • Make the default position or state-of-the-product
    the one that is most desirable environmentally,
    e.g., power-down or stand-by modes.
  • Contents

Strategy 7 Optimize End-of-Life Systems
  • Minimize the environmental impact of a product
    once it reaches the end of its useable life span
    through proper waste management and reclamation
    of components and materials.

  • This strategy is aimed at re-using valuable
    product parts/components and ensuring proper
    waste management at the end of a product's useful
    life. Optimized end-of-life systems can reduce
    environmental impacts through reinvestment of the
    original materials and energy used in
  • Companies should consider various end-of-life
    scenarios. The questions, listed here in order of
    most favourable to least favourable in terms of
    environmental impact, can help you determine how
    to optimize the end of a product's life.
  • Can the product/components/parts be reused?
  • Can parts/components be remanufactured and then
  • Can parts be used for material recycling?
  • Can parts be safely incinerated?
  • Should parts be disposed of in landfill?

Optimize End-of-Life Systems - substrategies
  • 7.1 Re-use of Product
  • 7.2 Design for Disassembly
  • 7.3 Product Re-manufacturing
  • 7.4 Material Recycling
  • 7.5 Safer Incineration

7.1 Re-use of Product
  • This strategy focuses on re-use of the whole
    product, either for the same application or a new
    one. The more the product retains its original
    form, the more environmental merit is achieved,
    provided that take-back programs ( 7.3 Product
    Re-manufacturing) and recycling systems (7.4
    Material Recycling) are developed simultaneously.

The benefits of this strategy include
  • Greater environmental appeal for end-users.
  • Increase in sales.
  • Cost-savings.

The possibilities for re-use are dependent upon
the following
  • The product's technical, aesthetic and
    psychological life span.
  • A secondary market willing to accept used
  • A repair and maintenance infrastructure.

When applying this strategy, products should be
  • With appropriate technical and aesthetic life
    spans in mind.
  • To be pleasing/useful for successive users in
    order to maximize life spans.
  • To use quality components and reliable technology
    that will not become prematurely obsolete and
    will, therefore, contribute to maintaining value.
  • To contribute to ease of cleaning, maintenance
    and upgrading.

Re-use of Product - example
  • Milliken, a North American carpet tile
    manufacturer, has a program which rejuvenates or
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