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Building a better future

Environmental design needs to address not only the product, but also its social and economic impact.

With climate change high on the global agenda, manufacturers constantly need to build on reducing the environmental impact of their products by providing sustainable solutions to customers.
But whilst a growing number of environmental power evangelists deliver the same sermon promising a better future, full of green and pleasant lands, few companies can deliver a message that encompasses not only the environmental, but the social and economic impact on the planet too. Fortunately, many nations are already aware of the fragility of our environment, perhaps none more so than the Nordic countries.
Nordic culture has a close affinity to the environment and its people are well known for their efforts to preserve nature. Today it has become trendy to talk about the environment, whereas Ericsson claims to have taken this approach a long time ago by striving to improve the environmental aspects of all its products – from manufacturing, through the reduction of product energy consumption levels, to end of life disposal.
But there’s also the human dimension to consider. Although design for environment (DfE) is often connected with products, it’s important to remember that there’s a design engineer behind the product too. A clean design can only be successful if the designer has a full understanding of the global benefit of working this way.

Mike Richardson

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