Sustainability Innovation & Ecodesign
The era of disposable products is coming to an end because the Earth cannot support our current demands. To succeed, product companies will have to change their designs, their processes, and even how they do business. We can help you make that transition to sustainable products and business models.
We apply innovation and technology as a force for positive change in business and society at large.
The time to act is now
The Climate Crisis and environmental pollution are two of the biggest challenges our society is facing. An increasing part of the population of modern society is deeply concerned with these issues, especially amongst the young, and is looking for action - including consumers, employees, and investors.
In response to this pressure, governments are requiring companies to take responsibility for the whole lifecycle of their products, including disposal, recycling, and “right to repair.” For many companies, this reverses a trend to disposability that has been accelerating since the sixties; it’s a critical change. Now companies are increasingly being forced to understand the long-term environmental impact of their products’ manufacture, use, and final disposal. They must become part of the Circular Economy.
Our Sustainability Innovation services provide expertise and structure to help your company make a positive impact on the world faster while improving its competitiveness.
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Zühlke's Sustainability Innovation Services
Our innovation and eco-design services cover a range of company needs for a more sustainable economy.
Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA)
First, together with your team, we analyse the potential impact of your products and services throughout their life cycle – from raw materials acquisition through production, use, and disposal. These environmental impacts include resource consumption, health, and ecological consequences. The Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) gives you a baseline from which to redesign products, processes, and business models within your Corporate Sustainability strategy.
A Zühlke LCA study starts with a thorough inventory of the energy and materials across your value chain. Together we calculate the total emissions and identify inefficiencies. The result is a report that documents the current situation, opportunities for improvement, and an estimate of possible savings.
Sustainable Product Design / Ecodesign
Jointly we (re)design your products and services to reduce environmental impact across the entire lifecycle.
We bring together representatives from across your company to develop new products or rethink existing ones, guided by your corporate strategy and the results of the LCA. To ensure a holistic view, we include staff from, for example, development, design, production, marketing, purchasing, and project management.
The goal is to align business and environmental goals, moving towards a Circular Economy with zero waste. This might include, for example, design for longer life, support for repair and recycling, and improved material and energy efficiency.
Sustainable Business Model Innovation
New types of product also need new business models. Significant changes in business context might represent a threat, but they are also an opportunity for companies that are able to adapt. To significantly reduce emissions and waste, the entire socio-technical system behind a product needs to be rethought. This, in turn, will include working with suppliers, partners, and consumers to discover new business models for a Circular Economy.
Together with key stakeholders in your value chain, we will rethink how best to distribute responsibilities and activities towards a circular value system. The goal is to ensure that resources circulate as long as possible, minimizing resource consumption, emissions, and waste.
Zühlke will support you in the development of advanced business models that redefine the relationship with your customers. This might include new services, such as support for maintenance, refurbishing, repair, and reuse. This might also open new markets such as product sharing and product-as-a-service.