Project developers: all company departments
Partners: suppliers

Developing a product with an eco-design action at every stage of the life cycle

The product categories concerned

Context and description

Eco-design consists in integrating the environment from the design stage of a product or service and during every stage of its life cycle.

To develop an eco-designed product, it is essential to adopt a global approach and examine all of the stages of the life cycle.

It is for this reason that eco-design takes account of the extraction and transformation of raw materials, spinning, weaving,/ knitting, ennobling, manufacturing, distribution, use, care and end-of-life.

It's a global approach, based on compromise, which strives for environmental efficiency at every stage whilst providing an equal performance in relation to a non eco-designed product and whilst integrating budgetary, timeframe and marketing constraints.

IMPLEMENTATION

Average

Complexity of implementation

Average

Estimated economic gain

Average

Human means

6 months
1 season

Implementation timeframes

STAGES OF IMPLEMENTATION
Try it! : Follow the sheet step by step and have a go!
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  • Identify the product to be eco-designed: the brand can choose to improve an existing product or develop a new, eco-designed product (See Sheet: Try it!: Steering my eco-design initiative).

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  • Assess the product to be eco-designed : carry out an environmental assessment on the product's entire life cycle based on various criteria (on several categories of environmental impacts) in order to obtain a global vision of the product.

    Charting the life cycle is easier for an existing product than for a new product. Don't hesitate to take inspiration from an existing product (See Sheet: Try it!: Steering my eco-design initiative).

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  • If needs be, fine tune the first assessment via a life cycle analysis (LCA) or make use of existing life cycle analyses.

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  • List eco-design solutions for the stages with the most impacts. The eco-design guide published by the WWF provides a list of actions to put in place at every stage of the life cycle (See tool 1).

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  • Add to the panel of solutions available by finding additional and / or alternative solutions specific to the product, via the organisation of a collective intelligence meeting for example. It is possible to turn the cogs of eco-design (See tool 2 p.41)

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  • To facilitate future implementation, encourage collaboration with industrial partners, whether they are integrated or not, for the entire value chain and life cycle (such as spinning, ennobling and weaving / knitting).

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  • Ensure that the solutions selected do not provoke a transfer of pollution (do not generate an increase in impacts alongside a reduction).

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  • Decide on an eco-design action plan which takes account of several criteria: relevance (priority impacts), exhaustiveness (addressing all of the stages) and feasibility.

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  • Ask suppliers for a product prototype and submit it for quality tests in order to ensure that the product meets the organisation's specifications. A virtual prototype can also be used (which doesn't generate waste).

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  • Formalise feedback to duplicate the initiative with other products when the eco-designed product meets objectives and complies with specifications, namely with respect to quality.

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Key indicators

- Proportion of life cycle stages covered by eco-design actions.

- Number of solutions identified

Watch point

Remain attentive to the transfer of impacts to avoid false good ideas. 

 

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