OVAM ecodesign.link

Ecodesign is a must, a vision, the future

For future designers, resource efficiency, recycling and socially responsible solutions are as important as functionality and aesthetics. 'Sustainability' is the minimum standard. Products, services, systems and cycles are being designed to create added value on an economical, social and ecological level. This way, the current and future needs of all stakeholders will be met without exceeding the earth's capacity.

 

Integral design

The basic principle behind Ecodesign is to examine, during the design phase of a product, the possibilities for sustainable design throughout its life cycle. Ecodesign is an integral design activity: during the development phase of a product, designers not only take functionality, aesthetics, ergonomics, safety and economic value into account, but also environmental consequences.Specific knowledge and actual information needs to be available to designers in order to allow them to make the right choices throughout the design process. The OVAM has the ambition to bring stakeholders together with ecodesignlink and to promote knowledge sharing.

 

Eight steps in the lifecycle help you along the way

Addressing the environmental impact of a product all too often comes down to the search for ecological materials. Yet a product has far more dimensions than material alone, and measures can be taken on all of these levels. 

Based upon the so-called Lifecycle Design Strategy wheel (LiDS wheel), the OVAM proposes the life cycle scenario that is constructed from the eight steps that a product goes through during its life cycle. Each step contains guidelines and tips for the designer to improve their product.

Levenscyclus scenario_EN

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_function

0. Optimize function fulfilment

 

Search for the best possible function fulfilment for a need. Review this best possible function fulfilment regularly and align this with the changing market demand.

 

NEED AND MARKET DEMAND

Consider the need that the product will fulfil and survey and research the market about this. A product that meets a need for which there is no market demand is a redundant product. Functions and qualities for which there is no demand are also excessive.

 

USE THE  OVAM SIS TOOLKIT TO OPTIMIZE THE FUNCTION FULFILMENT OF YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE

SIS Toolkit image 004

The OVAM SIS Toolkit can support you in your quest for the optimal function fulfilment. The critical questions while using the tool, will stimulate you to think about the function fulfilment and give you tips and tricks for the optimization.

Click here for more information about the OVAM SIS Toolkit.

INNOVATE

Re-examine the market and innovate; search for new, untapped market areas. This makes competition irrelevant and gives the company the opportunity to position itself as a market leader.

 

FUNCTION INTEGRATION

Integrating different functions into one product means saving on material and space.

 

MODULARITY

Anticipate the possibility of acquiring additional functions and gradually adding them to the basic product. A modular product has the additional advantage that damaged components can be replaced or repaired.

 

COMBINATION OF PRODUCT & SERIVCE

Combine a product and offering a service. In doing so, the use of one product is divided across a group of people. Translating a material product into a service ensures savings on production processes and materials because the environmental impact of a product is divided across various users.

Regular maintenance is required in order to guarantee the functionality and lengthen the lifetime of products. Based on a maintenance contract, the company can commit to provide a service at the customer’s desired level. By offering additional services such as repairs, maintenance, upgrades, but also advice and consultancy, the total value of the product – or rather of the product-service combination – increases.

 

INSPIRATION OPTIMIZE FUNCTION FULFILMENT

EN_Biobest
EN_Tale me
EN_Velofixer

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database. 

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_raw material

1. Raw material substitution

 

Replace energy-intensive and harmful materials.

 

HARMLESS MATERIALS

Avoid substances that are harmful to human health, ecosystems and biodiversity by reducing them and/or replacing them by alternatives. Harmful substances are, for instance, auxiliary agents, such as certain dyes, heat and UV stabilizers, fire retardants, plasticizers, fillers and anti-oxidants.

Harmful substances may be released during each phase of the life cycle of the product, such as during production in the factory, during use by the consumer and during incineration or landfilling when discarding.

Opting for a more harmful material can be justified when the material includes positive attributes that can promote a longer lifetime or better product quality. The requisite efforts must be made to keep the substance from the waste stream. This can be done by identifying the different materials, taking the product back and recycling it.

 

RECYCLED MATERIALS

Where possible, use recycled raw materials. These may consist of 100% recyclate as well as blends with a primary raw material.

 

RECYCLABLE MATERIALS

Materials must remain as pure as possible in order not to compromise the eventual recycling process. In practice, it is the case that products are not dismantled down to their material or single streams due to issues of expense and time. It is precisely the single streams that are eligible for quality material recycling. Recyclates of mixed streams are always of inferior quality in comparison to single-stream materials. Materials that are difficult to separate or cannot be separated from one another must be compatible in order to be considered recyclable.

The use of recyclable materials must therefore always go together with quick and easy disassembly of the product, material identification or labelling of the components and/or an end-of-life collection system.

 

RENEWABLE MATERIALS

Avoid the use of scarce materials by minimization and substitution by alternatives.

The scarcer, the more expensive: this opens commercial perspectives for renewable raw materials as a material or as an auxiliary agent to a material. Research into renewable materials is developing very rapidly; therefore, inform about which renewable alternatives are possible at your industry-specific knowledge centre.

 

MATERIALS WITH LOW ENERGY CONTENT

Avoid materials that require large amounts of energy during extraction and processing through minimization and substitution by alternatives. Materials with a high energy content are materials for which extensive treatment processes are required. Therefore, use the material as closely as possible to its form of extraction.

 

INSPIRATION RAW MATERIAL SUBSTITUTION

EN_Ecotreasures
EN_HonestBy
EN_Verimpex

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database. 

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_material

2. Material efficiency

 

Use the correct materials as efficiently as possible.

 

EFFICIENT USE OF MATERIALS

Select a production technique that makes the most efficient possible use of purchased raw materials and that results in the least possible waste. A convenient indicator for monitoring efficient use of material is: the net weight of the material in the product / gross weight of the material necessary for production.

Production waste must be avoided as much as possible and, when it does occur, recycle or process it in another environmentally responsible manner.

 

LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS & CONSTRUCTIONS

Lighter-weight applications result in a reduced total environmental impact. Reduction of the environmental impact is attributable to saving on raw materials for lightweight constructions and less fuel use when transporting lightweight materials and constructions over long distances.

Of course, products may not be constructed so lightly that it affects their technical lifetime and reliability.

 

INSPIRATION MATERIAL EFFICIENCY

EN_Linktrusion
EN_Ducatt
EN_Polylak

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database. 

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_proces

3. Process efficiency

 

Apply low-impact production techniques and reduce the number of steps.

 

LOW-IMPACT PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES

Apply low-impact production techniques that use raw materials and energy as efficiently as possible and limit waste and emissions to a minimum.

 

REDUCE PRODUCTION STEPS

By reducing the number of production steps, you can save on production time and cost.

 

INSPIRATION PROCES EFFICIENCY

EN_Europlasma
EN_Hoet
EN_Proviron

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database. 

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_distribution

4. Optimize distribution 

 

Minimize the weight and volume of the product and packaging.

 

LOGISTICS

Optimize the logistical and distribution plans so that transport distances are as short as possible and opt for local distributors when possible.

Furthermore, opt for environmentally responsible means of transport such as transport by water or rail.

 

USE THE ECOLIZER TO CALCULATE THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF TRANSPORTATION

Ecolizer2

The Ecolizer provides an overview of the environmental impact of various means of transportation and enables the user to compare the means of transport with one another. Furthermore, here one can also calculate the impact of the transport distance.

FOST PLUS OFFERS THE FOLLOWING INSTRUMENTS:

- the website Preventpack with information about packaging prevention;

- the tool Pack4Recycling in order to test the recyclability of packaging.

 

WEIGHT AND VOLUME

The lower the weight and the volume of the product, the less fuel is consumed during the transport phase.

Maximize the amount of product per volume.

Design your project so it can be disassembled. This may have a positive effect on the volume of the products and will later promote recycling of the product at the end-of-life stage.

Make sure that air or water can be removed from products.

 

PACKAGING

Opt for environmentally responsible packaging with a small environmental footprint.

Ensure the most efficient possible use of material for packaging.

Opt for packaging that is strong enough so that no additional packaging is needed to stack them, for instance, during storage and transport.

By making agreements with customers and suppliers about packaging needs and possibilities, the company can be more environmentally responsible about packaging. In this way, perhaps in time returnable containers can be opted for, or re-usable packaging can be utilized sooner.

 

 

INSPIRATION OPTIMIZE DISTRIBUTION

EN_Opendesk
EN_PlantLab
EN_Bubble Post

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database. 

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_use

5. Optimize use

 

Keep in mind the environmental impact of using auxiliary agents such as energy and water.

 

ENERGY CONSUMPTION BY THE CONSUMER

Keep the energy consumption of the product as low as possible when the product is operational as well as when in standby mode. The consumption in standby mode or on standby power of an average family amounts to 500 kWh per year and can entail up to 10% of the consumer’s total electricity bill.

Design a button that shuts down the product entirely.

Use a clearly visible and efficient indicator that informs the user when the apparatus is in standby mode and is thus using energy.

Develop chargers that shut down automatically when the apparatus is fully charged or when it is not used for long periods of time.

 

USE OF RAW MATERIALS BY THE CONSUMER 

In addition to energy, a product also often demands other auxiliary agents from the customer during the usage stage. Limit the environmental impact and the costs for the customer by the least possible use of auxiliary agents.

 

INSPIRATION OPTIMIZE USE

EN_Smappee
EN_Ecosurfactants
EN_Oxypoint

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database. 

 


 

Levenscyclus scenario_EN_lifetime

6. Prolongation lifetime

 

Align the reliability and technical lifetime of the components and materials with the anticipated economic lifetime of the product. A shorter technical lifetime should be opted for if new, (energy-) efficient alternatives are being developed.


MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR

Inform the customer about the required maintenance of the product. Ensure that repair of the product and its components can be built up modularly. The purchase of a new product should not be more attractive financially than repair.

 

FASHION SENSITIVITY 

Ensure that the fashion sensitivity of the product is not in contrast with the lifetime of the product. Products with a relatively long lifetime are best not designed as sensitive to fashion. By taking a modular approach, you can still give a personal touch to the product.

 

PEOPLE-CENTERED DESIGN 

The user-product relation can be reinforced by involving the customer as much as possible in the design, and by giving the customer the opportunity to add a personal touch to the product. By creating an emotional tie, the user will not be so quickly inclined to replace the product.

Decisive factors for consumer attachment are: enjoyment, memories of people, places and events, self-identity, outlook on life, usability, reliability and market value.

 

INSPIRATION PROLONGATION LIFETIME

EN_Revisie
EN_Buggybooker
EN_B-and-Bee

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Levenscyclus scenario_EN_end of life

7. Optimize end of life 

 

Design products according to the principle: ‘Design for Disassembly’.


DESIGN FOR DISASSEMBLY

In this way, products are designed that can be quickly and easily disassembled with a view to reuse and recycling of the components. Connections that are simple and easy to disassemble are preferred. Use as few permanent connections as possible. Furthermore, ensure that the connections are easy to identify and reach.

 

INSPIRATION OPTIMIZE END OF LIFE

EN_Biocover
EN_REVIVE

EN_Verimpex

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our inspiration database.