How to do eco-design

Paul Gardette
,
February 20, 2024

What is eco-design?

Eco-design, also known as ecological design or sustainable design, is an approach to product and service design that takes into account environmental impact throughout its life cycle, from conception to recycling. This approach is becoming increasingly popular in industry, as it helps to reduce the environmental impact of products and services, while improving their efficiency and profitability.

According to the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, 80% of French companies have implemented eco-design measures. 

To better understand how it works, we need to visualize the life cycle of a product, which comprises several stages. These include design, manufacture, distribution, use and end-of-life. Each stage can have a significant environmental impact, in terms of consumption of raw materials, energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

Before eco-design, companies focused primarily on reducing production costs and maximizing product performance. This meant that products were designed to satisfy the customer, without giving priority to the environment. 

Now, witheco-design, companies are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their products and services. Eco-design enables companies to design products that are more sustainable and efficient. This can include using recycled materials, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, designing for durability and ease of recycling. 

Infographic on eco-design in industry

The pros and cons of eco-design 

The benefits ofeco-design are numerous. 

  • Reducing the environmental impact of products and services throughout their life cycle
  • Lower production and transport costs
  • Use of more durable materials
  • Reducing energy requirements
  • Improving product quality and durability
  • Increase their value to consumers
  • Enhance corporate image by demonstrating commitment to the environment

More concretely, ADEME has announced that eco-design can lead to raw material savings of 20-50%, as well as energy savings of 30-60% over the entire product life cycle. 

We're also talking about a 20-50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 50-80% cut in atmospheric pollutant emissions. 

However, there are also drawbacks to eco-design. 

  • Costly to install
  • The need to invest in research and development
  • Need for staff training
  • More complex practice than traditional design
  • Potential for performance or cost trade-offs

Eco-design applications at LGC Industries

LGC Industries works with its customers on every facet of product design to improve their life cycle. 

In this way, we can directly offer a material with the appropriate hardness, eliminating the need for a heat treatment operation. We aim to reduce packaging waste, in particular by giving preference to sachet packaging in a large carton, rather than sending one sachet per carton to the customer. 

Eco-design also means adapting our product ranges: 

  • The spline on our pins eliminates the need for reaming. 
  • In the past, bushes were produced from a solid bar, which required drilling and generated a lot of machining chips and tool wear. Now, bushes are produced from a tube, eliminating the need for drilling chips.
  • Together with our customer, we modified the design of his part to manufacture a rosette bushing from a specially shaped tube. This means we don't have to turn the rosette, and we can reduce our swarf waste. 

Conclusion

The future of eco-design is bright, as more and more companies recognize its importance for long-term sustainability and profitability. We can expect to see a growing adoption of eco-design across all industries, as companies seek to meet consumer expectations for compliance with environmental regulations and improved brand image.

At LGC Industries, we're proud of our 85 years of expertise in cylindrical fastening solutions. We do everything we can to help our customers design products tailored to their specific needs. We are available to support you at every stage of your project, offering you personalized, high-quality service. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our products and services, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website. 

Thank you for reading, and see you soon at LGC Industries!

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