"All products need to be designed with its future in mind right from the start. This is about creating better, more durable and useful products that don't create waste."
While there are some similarities in Sustainability as an Innovation Opportunity with Sustainability Foundations: Core Concepts, like the Circular Economy, Greenhouse Gas Protocol and UN’s set of 17 sustainable development goals, Leyla Acaroglu touched on some additional concepts and data points like:
1. Product Stewardship where companies take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their products, by managing the end-of-life impact right from the start.
2. Embodied carbon impact which is the amount of energy required to get the materials, manufacture them and then get the product out into the marketplace, and eventually dealing with the waste at the end of life and the packaging.
Essentially the recommendation is to adjust our mindset and change how we think about our products and services throughout its life cycle. 3. Life Cycle Thinking is a way of thinking that includes the economic, environmental, and social consequences of a product or process over its entire life. The 5 main life cycle stages are:
a. Material extraction
c. Packaging and transporting
e. End of life
4. Supply Chain Sustainability
i. Worker treatment
ii. Raw material creation practices
iii. Fairness for suppliers
iv. Dealing with waste at manufacturing
b. UN Global Compact has 10 principles under
i. Human rights
c. Supply chain map
Building on the above, the highlight of the course is how to approach and think about 5. Circular Redesign
a. Enable easy Disassembly for upgrade, repair and reuse
b. Remanufacture, recondition, and redeploy goods
c. Modularity enabling reuse and efficient recycling
d. Extending the Longevity of goods
e. Product-as-service model e.g. Subscription Model
f. Sharing Platforms e.g. Providing a buyback program or connect customers to other customers to sell unneeded items
g. Questions to think about
i. How can you design your products so that they are recaptured and reused at the end of their life?
ii. How can you transform your business model into a service instead of just a linear product?
iii. What systems do you need to invest in to help enable a circular business model
"Circular economy of repair, reuse, recapture, and remanufacture are more preferable than straight up recycling."
6. Data Points & Definitions
a. Information and technology sector contributes around 2% of the world’s carbon footprint
b. UN estimates that over 50 million tons of electronic waste is trafficked and illegally processed every year
c. Over-extraction of natural resources is responsible for more than 80% of biodiversity loss and 53% of the world’s carbon emissions
d. The world currently produces over 2 billion tons of solid waste every single year
e. Methane is a 25 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide
f. Only 9% of plastic created has ever been recycled
g. Greenwashing is when companies invest more money in marketing green claims than ensuring their product or service has true green credentials