Tree canopy from beneath

Embed sustainability to innovations with the Ecodesign Strategy Wheel

The PLAYBOOK

The ‘Ecodesign Strategy Wheel’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.

WHAT IS THE ECODESIGN STRATEGY WHEEL?

The Ecodesign Strategy Wheel helps embed sustainability into any innovation.

 

Very few problems are new. Your challenge is most likely very similar to problems that have been faced and answered many times before. Fortunately, designers, engineers, scientists and thinkers of the past have collated common approaches to solving them.

 

Originally developed by Brezet and van Hemel all the way back in 1997, the Ecodesign Strategy Wheel is one such framework that is more relevant today than ever.

Cooler, cleaner thinking

HOW TO USE IT?

This approach highlights potential strategies along the full life-cycle of any product. The Ecodesign Strategy Wheel can be a useful checklist or guide to prompt design and solution improvements at key stages in the life-cycle of products.

 

It’s an approach that encompasses choice of materials and manufacturing processes, distribution, energy-efficient use during life, and end-of-life considerations such as disassembly, reuse or recycling. It helps you consider life-cycle impacts of the product, service or system.

 

The Ecodesign Strategy Wheel provides useful prompts and focus to help devise creative ways for your projects to be more sustainable. You can download the worksheet below.

Ecodesign Strategy Wheel
Ecodesign Strategy Wheel

1. Innovate solutions

  • Rethink how to provide the benefit
  • Anticipate technological change
  • Dematerialisation & sharing
  • Optimise or integrate functions
  • Integrate natural systems

2. Low impact materials

  • Avoid materials that damage ecology or health
  • Avoid materials that deplete natural resources
  • Minimise quantity of materials used
  • Use recycled, reclaimed, waste by-products and renewable resources

3. Optimise manufacturing

  • Minimise waste energy use in production
  • Use renewable and carbon-neutral energy
  • Minimise number of parts, materials and steps in production.

4. Reduce distribution impacts

  • Reduce weight & volume of product and packaging
  • Consider reusable packaging systems
  • Use lowest-impact transport and source locally

5. Minimise use impacts

  • Change behaviours and encourage lower impact consumption
  • Reduce energy, water and material requirements during use
  • Design for carbon-neutral or renewable energy

6. Maximise lifetime

  • Design for durability
  • Foster emotional connection to product
  • Design for maintenance, easy repair, reuse and exchange
  • Consider upgradable products and second life with different function

7. Optimise end-of-life

  • Design for easy disassembly, component reuse and recycling
  • Integrate with used-product collection models
  • Design for safe disposal and biodegradability
ENDS

DOWNLOAD WORKSHEETS

The worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.

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