Ecodesign is the design that considers actions that are aimed at improving a product or service in a more environmental aspect. This will be achieved throughout all stages of its life cycle (from when it is created to when it is disposed of as waste). It should be said that the concept of ecodesign is closely linked to the concept of sustainable design.
Ecodesign is very useful when trying to create a great differentiation strengthened by this great competitive advantage in front of other companies that do not act in the same way. It can also be used for environmental marketing practices (it occurs in services, above all), to add value to the offer, as well as to reduce costs. In general, any type of practice that implies an environmental improvement in any of the stages of the product life cycle will be accepted.
Principles of ecodesign
There are 10 principles that products or services that try to offer an eco-design to the public they are directed to must comply with. They were collected and published by Conrad Luttrop and Jessica Lagerstedt in 2005:
- Toxicity. The use of toxic substances must be eliminated or their use must be prevented from endangering the environment.
- Internal management. The consumption of energy and resources in production and transport must be minimized.
- Structure. Take advantage of the structural possibilities available to minimize the mass of the product without compromising its functionality.
- Consumption in the useful life. Reduce the energy used and the resources required over the life of the product.
- Service offered to the customer. Facilitate the repair and updating of products or services.
- Long life products. Encourage the useful life of an asset, in this case a product or service, is longer.
- Materials and finishes. That the materials are of quality, finishing treatments or structural arrangements to protect the product from dirt, corrosion and wear.
- ID. Make it easily upgradeable, repairable and recycled.
- Material hygiene. Facilitate updating, repair and recycling by using a low number of different materials, ensuring that these are simple, recycled and do not mix.
- Unions. Use the fewest possible joining elements and take into account the environmental impact they can produce.