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Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News: HOW COST EFFECTIVE IS YOUR LIFE CYCLE THINKING AND SUSTAINABIITY IN PRODUCT DESIGN & THE PACKAGING PROCESS?



From: Sarah Dallyn , LCA Sustainable Product Design , More from this Affiliate
Published September 20, 2010 03:39 PM

HOW COST EFFECTIVE IS YOUR LIFE CYCLE THINKING AND SUSTAINABIITY IN PRODUCT DESIGN & THE PACKAGING PROCESS?

In the current climate, pressure from stakeholders is pushing European and global companies more than ever to take responsibility, account for and mitigate the impacts of their products. Climate change, resources and water scarcity are among a number of factors that increasingly drive the need for action within company operations across the entire product life cycle. Now, more than ever before, these issues directly affect product designers as well as Heads of Research, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.

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The challenge of balancing performance and cost has become increasingly complex and now is the time to address this challenge before costs, climate change and stakeholder demand deem it too late. There is a plethora of questions which still remain largely unanswered. How do you incorporate environmental impact into existing processes when you are doing a design for the environment? As a product designer, how can you use complex tools such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to identify key impact areas and make decisions for yourself when needed, in a simple, cost effective manner? Further to that, how can you prioritise your decisions to effectively reduce your environmental impact?

Following a survey conducted by the LCA Sustainable Product Design Conference to industry professionals, it is clear there are many unanswered questions and concerns about the business impacts of integrating life cycle thinking into product design. This was intended to gain an insight into organisations understanding and current implementation of LCA in product design.

How would you rate your organizations dedication of integrating sustainability into the product design process?

22% - Integrated through all stages of the design process

49% - The key areas have been integrated

22% - It has been a small focus of our organisation

0% - We are in the planning stages

7% - We have not focused on this

What is your biggest inhibitor to integration of LCA in product design?

All options were of concern to our respondents, although resources were marginally the highest with 26%. Others included a lack of understanding by consumers, a lack of understanding of how the impacts of life cycle thinking will be shown through the business.

15% - Cost

22% - Time

26% - Resources

37% - Other

Do you think life cycle thinking should be communicated company wide?

It has been determined that over 80% of professionals feel its vital for life cycle thinking to be communicated, however at present only 15% are fully integrated throughout the design process.

81% - Yes

4% - No

15% - Unsure

Leading electronic, consumer goods and industrial companies will discuss issues such as these at the LCA Sustainable Product Design 2010.To find out more visit the website at www.lca-sustainable-product-design.com.

In addition to an exceptional speaker line up and international participation, the LCA Summit is delighted to welcome co-sponsors and exhibitors to network at the summit, currently, Intertek, PRe, PE International, Solidworks, Earthshift, Sustainable Minds and WSP.

For further details, visit www.lca-sustainable-product-design.com, email info@american-business-conferences.com or call 1-800-721-3915.

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