Ecodesign

»The future we want needs to be invented, otherwise we will get one we don't want.«

Joseph Beuys
credits: Graft Solarkiosk

The design process is a complex procedure that mediates between technical, aesthetic, economic, ecological and social contexts. Ecodesign focuses on ecological effectiveness without neglecting the other aspects. A good overview of ecodesign methods and tools can be found in the e-book What is ecodesign? published by the Federal Environment Agency.

credits: QWSTION

Any production, use and disposal of products inevitably involves the use of natural resources and thus environmental pollution. The question can therefore only be which products or which product design is associated with less environmental pollution. An important goal of ecodesign is to design products, services and systems in such a way that their negative impact on the environment is minimized in all phases of life.

An environmentally compatible design of products and services requires quantitative and qualitative assessment standards and supporting instruments. Today, a series of checklists, manuals and software solutions based on the methodological basis of life cycle assessment are available for this purpose. Ecodesign principles are also increasingly succeeding in being anchored in product standards.

Eco-Labels

Eco-labels act as a seal of quality and are aimed at consumers. Thus products or services are marked and statements can be made about the environmental friendliness of individual features. Meanwhile, there are a large number of eco-labels which can vary greatly in their informative value. A selection of reliable seals can be found here:

Eco-Labels

Ecological Guidelines

The Ecodesign Directive provides the legal framework for implementing Ecodesign at EU level. Regulations have already been issued for numerous product groups, the aim of which is to reduce the environmental impact of energy-related products, taking into account their entire life cycle. Information on the current status can be found here.

Guidelines

Ecodesign for Business

In many companies, ecological product design has often not yet become an inherent part of product development. The publication of the German Environment Agency identifies starting points for strengthening ecological design in companies.

Publication

Teaching and Learning

The Ecodesign Kit, developed on behalf of the German Environment Agency by the Hamburg Ökopol Institute in cooperation with the International Design Center Berlin, offers a collection of various teaching and learning materials for students.

Ecodesign Kit

Sustainability Guide

The Sustainability Guide, which is continually being expanded as part of the international EcoDesign Circle project, bundles information, methods and practical examples on the subject of circular design and circular economy.

Guide

From a consumer perspective

This paper explored the question of what consumers expect from sustainable products and services, and whether they are compatible with the scientifically based criteria of sustainable product design.

Publication

Environmental aspects of Ecodesign

In this short interview, Lisa Cerny, employee of the Federal Environment Agency, explains the standards of good design from an environmental point of view.

Interview