Decarbonising Scope 3 Emissions: Part 7 – Product Design

Dec 5, 2022

Scope 3 – Product design and value chain emissions

Product design is the topic of the day, we are highly passionate about designing for sustainability at Evolveable Consulting.

As companies begin to understand their value chain emissions and hotspots, they want to look for opportunities to control their supply chain more.

Over 80-90% of environmental impacts are locked in during the design stage of a product. Remember also that typically 80% of your emissions sit in your supply chain

Consider the product design lifecycle

Considering a product’s lifecycle during the concept phase, you can ‘design out’ significant long-term environmental and social impacts. This is where the circular economy principles are applied.
1. Material efficiency: Circulate products and materials at their highest value
2. Design out waste and pollution
3. Regenerate nature

These principles provide a framework to tackle not only Climate Change, but other global challenges of biodiversity loss, waste and pollution.


How to stay ahead of your competition

To stay ahead of your competition, you must evolve your products. Collaboration with your value chain is critical to unlocking new products

If you think you can’t do it, think again. Apple has a mantra ‘Designing to leave the world better than we found it’.

All companies should adopt this! Apple realised their dependency on finite resources for the materials that make up a phone was not sustainable in the long term.

You can now trade a phone in, this allows Apple to recover the critical minerals and materials and upcycle them into new phones, which in turn reduces the need for further mining. This is their Scope 3 decarbonisation plan in action! It also increases future resilience as their commodity base is in their phones. We can help your company develop a strategy like this.


It all comes back to design!

You need to think about this in design, as you need to design the product to be disassembled to recover as high a percentage as possible. Modularity will become critical in design. We are seeing this play out even in the new energy space, such as electrolysers, and wind turbines.


How we can help you

We have a systematic process to implement this in your business today. We can workshop with your teams to investigate product design to reduce value chain emissions and broader environmental impacts and create shared value along the processes.


Three key actions for you to consider

1. Consider the lifecycle of your entire project or product.

2. Look beyond carbon emission only to other environmental issues.

3. Consider disassembly of your product as part of design to enable a high portion of material recovery.


If you would like to know more

Contact us at Evolveable Consulting, and we assist businesses in identifying decarbonisation solutions and strategies to reshape their business. You can learn more about our services or book a consultation directly with us.


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