ECO-DESIGNING FOR GREATER INNOVATION IN BUSINESS
FROM THE MINUTES 2018
With four times less noise emission, efficient engines consuming 20% less fuel than similar aircrafts and up to 13,000 pounds lighter, Bombardier’s CSeries eco-design didn’t fly unnoticed. The core of the approach is being conscious of the environmental impact of products throughout their life cycles, and then carefully weighing the pros and cons of different design choices. Eco-design is often a question of calculated trade-offs, and not simply a binary choice between a conventional option and an “eco-friendly” one. Read on for a crash course on how to create more sustainable products and help make the circular economy a reality.
DO YOU EVEN ECO?
Eco-design uses a systematic approach for quantifying impact, evaluating different options and making informed decisions according to these evaluations. The Bombardier method is based on a life cycle approach in which the impact of materials and products are assessed at each step, using four key metrics: 1. Resource depletion 2. Energy consumption 3. Recyclability potential 4. Global-warming potential
Sometimes the best choice for material is clear, but often there are trade-offs. Kahina Oudjehani cites the example of using advanced composites instead of aluminum in planes. It makes for a lighter, more fuel efficient aircraft, but the production is more resource-intensive and the materials are harder to recycle. Figuring out the best compromise depends on having clear objectives and priorities.
THE LIFE CYCLE
Materials production → Design and manufacturing → Operation → End of life (and again)
FROM THE DRAWING BOARD TO THE MARKETPLACE
Successful eco-design leaves the lab to become a new product that must be convincing to the rest of the company. Cost is crucial as products have to be competitive on the market. While people claim to support environmentally friendly products, evidence shows that widespread adoption is only achieved when there is a true competitive advantage.
TRY THIS AT WORK (AND AT HOME)
1. What method does your business use to analyze the ecological impact of its products ? What could you learn from Bombardier's approach ?
2. As a consumer, do you take eco-design into consideration when purchasing products? What information could help you make more informed choices?
AN AWARD-WINNING APPROACH
Bombardier won a Les mercuriades award This year for its ecodesign Approach in the C-series. Here are some of Its features:
- Weight reduction of up to 13,000 pounds
- Wings made of advanced composite
- Less hazardous paint
- Efficient engines for 20% less fuel consumption
- Four times less noise.