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Design for Sustainability

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Sustainability is the new benchmark for quality 

Crafting a quality product demands systemic thinking and anticipating interactions and risks. Viewing sustainability as essential, not optional, aligns with our approach. Partner with Together Tech to achieve this goal in your product!

Companies often prioritize legal compliance or industry standards, while others focus on corporate strategy, neglecting product sustainability. Sustainability Managers without an engineering background and design engineers unaware of sustainability complexities exacerbate the issue, the former by ignoring the complexities in the product development processes, and the second by focusing on cost, safety and quality but leaving sustainability as the last priority.  

Common design practices are often limited to material changes or energy efficiency improvements, delaying, or even ignoring sustainability factual verification. On the other hand, immaterial products developers might lack sustainability insight: software products' environmental impact hinges on the usage phase and developers often miss opportunities for sustainable coding practices.  

Sustainability-conscious companies might have dedicated departments, but their involvement occurs late in the product development process when most design decisions have been taken. Effective and profitable sustainability strategies necessitate early integration, systemic thinking, and consideration of full products’ life cycle impact. 

Our approach is different. We prioritize sustainability from project inception, involving all engineers collaboratively. We design with sustainability in mind, ingrained in our development team, not a detached verifier. 

Ecodesign, circularity of design for sustainability?  

"Ecodesign" has caused confusion, often limited to verifying substances listed in REACH or RoHS, improving the energy efficiency or other regulated attributes of the products. This is due in part to the usage of that word in the current Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC which focuses on energy-related products. This directive will soon expand to enhance circularity, energy performance, and overall sustainability, incorporating specific sectors’ product design guidelines and Digital Passports, which include rules for the product’s sustainability declarations. 

However, design for sustainability and circularity entails social and economic aspects, often overlooked in traditional Eco-design. These elements are often deferred to purchasing teams during supplier selection. 

Designing for sustainability encompasses straightforward tactics, aiming to prolong product lifespan, optimize material and energy usage across the entire life cycle, and cater to diverse user needs through human-centred design. It also involves seeking technological solutions to restore ecosystems while upholding human rights throughout the value chain. 

Green leaf in lamp

The challenges

While highly sustainable products might appear expensive initially, opportunities for cost savings often emerge during the design phase, by considering all life cycle phases of the product. This systemic thinking approach is usually overlooked, as the product’s function and traditional qualities are prioritised.   

Convincing a Product Development Manager is as challenging as convincing a Financial Manager, yet sustainability can be enhanced without cost compromises. Legal industry-specific requirements, however, could hinder common sustainable practices, like using post-consumer recycled material in a single-use medical product. 

With diverse expertise, our teams uncover sustainability options by aligning product and sustainability needs. We shift challenges into opportunities, changing "No" to "Maybe" or even "Yes." Amid difficulties, small adjustments or different choices can yield significant results. 



Karina Bret
Karina Bret
Manager Sustainability

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