Design for the environment (eco-design)

Designing for the Environment (DfE) is a principle that calls for minimizing the negative environmental impacts of a product across its life cycle. DfE includes other design principles including:

  • Designing for Maintainability/Reparability
  • Designing for Recoverability/Recyclability
  • Designing for Flexibility
  • Designing for Reuse
  • Designing for Disassembly
  • Designing for Energy Efficiency
  • Packaging Minimization
  • Life Cycle Thinking
  • Material Safety
  • Green Chemistry, among others

Companies often prioritize which elements of DfE (i.e. Material Safety) to include in their own processes. Typical DfE criteria account for hazardous materials, resource efficient production, packaging and end-of-life planning. The DfE criteria you adopt should align with material environmental issues and corporate sustainability targets.