Sustainable design for a smarter future

Sustainable design
for a smarter future

Change the way you work

Sustainable design has the power to change the way we live, work and do business. As product designers, we see it as our role to help lead the way.

Sustainable design can be challenging; knowing when to start, what to take into account and how to evaluate it. We can help clients to implement sustainable design processes at any stage of a project and advise on the most appropriate use of sustainable design.

Our sustainable design philosophy is based upon maintaining the core qualities of the product whilst improving environmental impact. We consider the entire product supply chain and use evaluation tools to ensure sustainable design changes focus on real improvements.

We offer a number of services for creating and implementing sustainable product design, including:

A simple process  for a complex subject

A simple process
for a complex subject

IDC's approach helps turn a confusing array of advice and rules into an understandable step by step process.

Commercial and sustainable

IDC believes that sustainable product design is not just designing an environmentally sensitive product. It must also include the social and economic drivers that make the product commercially viable and appealing to consumers.

‘It is estimated that as much as 75% of the environmental impacts (as well as the costs) that a product throws off throughout its lifetime is determined at the design stage.’ (IDSA)

Sustainable design can provide ways to maximise profits and minimise environment impacts. It offers businesses significant benefits including:

  • Increased profits through cost reduction and potentially leading to additional sales
  • Improved environmental and social performance
  • Compliance with existing and future legislation
  • Generation of intellectual property
  • Improved brand reputation and trust
  • Improved staff retention and motivation.

Choosing the right approach

Choosing the
right approach

There are many ways to improve the environmental impact of your product, but how do you know which is the most appropriate for your product? IDC will make sure the correct sustainable approach is chosen for your product.

Quick & intuitive LCA Calculator

Quick & intuitive
LCA Calculator

Try out our cloud based life cycle assessment tool. Calculate your product's carbon footprint in minutes.

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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) services

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a process for assessing the environmental aspects associated with a product over its entire life cycle. LCA can be used for a number of applications, including:

  • Analysis of the energy input and carbon output of the life cycle stages to the overall environmental impact, usually with the goal to prioritise improvements on products or processes
  • Comparison between products for internal or external communications
  • Optimisation of the environmental performance of a business
  • Assess the carbon outputs of a product or system to calculate the offsets required to balance emissions.

IDC Design Compass evaluation tool

IDC Design Compass
evaluation tool

The design compass is an evaluation tool developed by IDC. It considers not just the environmental impacts, but also social and economic factors influencing the product. The outcome is an easily understandable and comparable spider diagram.

Greentech development

Green technology (Greentech), also known as Clean technology (Cleantech), is the term commonly used to describe knowledge-based products or services that are “green” or “clean” technologies.

These products or services can also improve performance and efficiency whilst reducing costs, energy consumption, waste or pollution. Investment in Greentech can give clients the competitive advantage through generation of IP and new product or process development.

At IDC, we have the in-house engineering and R&D skills and technical knowledge to develop commercially viable 'green' technologies. Technologies that we are particularly interested in developing include:

  • Energy generation such as solar thermal energy, small scale wind energy and biofuels
  • Energy storage including fuel cells, advanced batteries and hybrid systems
  • Energy efficiency such as lighting, air conditioning, water saving, heating and cooling.

Sustainable design case studies

Training workshops for sustainable design

Training workshops
for sustainable design

IDC offers a programme of sustainable design training tailored to the individual needs of design teams.

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