Design for Environment: Innovating to Compete
Table of Contents
- Drivers and Adoption
- Context and Benefits
- Final Remarks
- Annex I
To benefit from DfE, both product design and development service providers and manufacturers should develop their own business cases. Canadian companies should not only make the business benefits of DfE clear to their supply chain partners, shareholders, employees and senior management, but they should also make the environmental benefits of DfE clear by developing metrics that are universally understood — for example, expressing the CO2 emission reduction of a newly designed product as equivalent to "x" number of cars taken off the road or "y" number of trees saved. Each business case should include recommendations and a roadmap for implementing the proposed DfE action plan. The roadmap exercise consists of documenting a long–term vision and classifying its components into specific actions linked to deliverables, performance indicators, objectives, return on investment, and the project time frame.
Below are some useful and wide-ranging DfE guidelines that businesses can follow when designing an environmentally friendly product once their action plans have been developed:15
- Analyze the product life cycle to understand where negative environmental impacts will occur;
- Identify which environmental impacts can be addressed during the design process;
- Select the DfE strategies that will reduce or eliminate the main negative environmental impacts;
- Discuss trade–offs with other departments within the organization; and
- Investigate and create design concepts that meet environmental goals by using selected DfE strategies.
For policy makers, the findings presented in this report draw important linkages between the drivers for adopting DfE practices, firm activities and resulting business benefits. These connections can help inform a continued dialogue across government and with stakeholders. This report also sets the stage for those interested in DfE trends to pursue new research opportunities and projects.
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