By Wolfgang Wimmer
Up to now, environmental regulations have relied usually on ideas, rules, and prohibitions. this sort of environmental coverage -- a essentially reactive process – has proven a mounting array of obstacles. there's a transparent have to search new options, specifically these concerning the initiative of enterprises themselves. because the mid-1980’s, a brand new procedure referred to as “environmental administration” has been demonstrated in learn and sensible functions; it really is designed to systematically combine environmental concerns into corporation actions. If, for example, environmental goals are being formulated for an firm, it really is critical to spot, spotlight, and examine genuine and critical environmental affects of the firm's actions and to take acceptable measures to enhance its functionality. Controlling and enforcing those environmental goals calls for compatible constructions, systems, and instruments. Many prompted businesses have approached the problem of environmental administration via incorporating tools such “continual development methods” and “Life Cycle review” into some of the operational actions of the company. a few companies initiated such transformation procedures at their very own creation websites since it was once more uncomplicated to spot their very own environmental affects than to investigate, not to mention mitigate, the results of upstream and downstream methods. notwithstanding, in lots of instances those methods are decisive elements within the total environmental functionality of a product. It has turn into transparent that product layout can effect those approaches to a good extent.
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Extra resources for Ecodesign Pilot : Product Investigation, Learning and Optimization Tool for Sustainable Product Development, with CD-ROM
The set of indicators is a valuable tool in identifying "significant environmental aspects". The next step for an enterprise will then be to ascertain what company-specific environmental impacts will contribute to or aggravate pre-existing environmental problems. How much does the company contribute to these environmental problems? How would you approach the task of identifying and analyzing the prevailing interrelations with the environment? The statement "flues are discharging pollutants into the environment" will definitely not be sufficient.
While this will increase the weight of the unit, its overall environmental performance will be improved. This consideration seems logical and reasonable. However, when a product is regularly moved or hauled over long distances during use, this alteration may not improve overall environmental performance. Regular acceleration and deceleration requires an energy input, and the provision of energy or conversion processes involved may, in turn, cause a burden on the environment. It is important to always keep overall efficiency in mind.
3 ECODESIGN Aspects throughout the Product Life Cycle The first approach identified all the aspects that are directly or indirectly related to environmentally sound product design. A complete list of these aspects can be found in Table 3-1. It will help, at a later stage, to distribute various ECODESIGN measures along the product life cycle. Each aspect has two features: First, each is environmentally relevant; second, it lies in the extended strategic sphere of influence of product development.