Sustainability, stepping in the right direction

Sustainability strategies

• Sourcing Materials
• Efficient Design
• Waste Reduction

Sustainability has maintained life on this planet for billions of years, evolving strategies and structures for survival by using the least amount of resources for the greatest benefit.  In business today, we can start thinking sustainably by balancing the big three: people, profit & planet. By identifying existing inefficiencies and combining integrated strategies, we can efficiently source materials in abundance, make sure everyone involved in the process prospers and design efficient process’ and eliminate the need for waste. Every step toward a more sustainable future is a step in the right direction.  

08

Nov 2018

Sustainability philosophy 1

Sourcing Materials

R & D

Take a close look at your existing products and determine which products contain materials that are dependent on natural resources, difficult to mine or produce or potentially hazardous to anyone that comes in contact with the raw materials or finished products. By spending the time to research and test discover materials that are superior, you may end up with a cheaper, safer product that will help clean up the planet instead of polluting it.

Shop Locally

One giant container ship can emit nearly the same amount of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals as 50 million cars. Keep that in mind next time you face the decision of outsourcing your manufacturing from the other side of the planet. Materials and resources are not the same around the planet due to environmental restrictions and supplies, which is why we are resorting to this everybody needs everything at all times mentality, which is simple not natural or sustainable. Take a look in your region, you will find materials and even waste products to be in abundance. It will just take creativity and ingenuity to integrate these solutions into our system of manufacture.

Upcycling

Many of the products we buy on a daily basis have a short-term lifespan, usually by planned obsolescence. What usually happens next? Potentially useful raw materials and goods end up in landfills as a conglomeration of parts and pieces with different chemical makeup bonded together using toxic adhesives. We can either design products that are biodegradable or that can be made into other useful parts or components after their original use is fulfilled.

Problem Solving

When it comes to designing a new product or service, it is easy to start sketching out a ton of ideas and concepts without adhering to the principals that led you to the drawing board in the beginning, defining the problem you are addressing early on. By setting this guide early, you will be keeping the end user in focus, eliminated wasted time going down fruitless avenues. Time is of the essence, and efficiency is key.

Minimalism

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe used to say "less is more" when referring to minimalist design. It is nearly impossible to achieve perfection on your first draft. Ideation and prototyping are crucial to fleshing out ideas and concepts, but once you have a working model, its time to start looking into all the materials and connections to start value engineering in order to reduce the amount of overkill or materials being implemented. reducing materials will lead to reduced cost in shipping, raw materials as well as labor.

Reducing Labor

One of the greatest costs of any project comes down to labor. You need someone to source and deliver raw materials. You need someone to coordinate sales and shipping logistics, design and engineer, fabricate, deliver finished goods and install the final product in its new home. All of these points of contact have an opportunity to make or break your budgets. By spending some time upfront looking at all these areas, you can start to see time and energy being wasted, sometimes even digging into overtime costs and rush-shipping surprises. These changes can be some of the easiest to address with the least amount of monetary investment.

Sustainability philosophy 2

Efficient Design

Sustainability philosophy 3

Waste Reduction

Value Engineering

By working directly with the manufacturers in the lab and on the floor, we can work through problems and limitations with current technologies, we are able to create an optimal solution that balances the clients desires with real-world limitations and can explore whats possible when you discover new materials and process.

Sourcing Technical Nutrients

Technical nutrients are materials designed to be retrieved and reused within the closed-loop cycle of sustainable manufacturing. By design, you can create a product that uses waste materials and scrap from other industries, which reduces the amount of raw materials you need to be mined from the earth and eliminates the amount of potentially toxic materials from being mixed into our landfills.

Waste Channeling

Similar to sourcing other materials that are in abundance in your geographic areas, you can think about collecting and selling your waste products, unless you can use on another product in-house. This will not only create an additional revenue stream, but also creates a much smaller carbon footprint and can add to a more sustainable ecosystem.

    Leave Your Comment Here