06 Jul How to Design Products for the Circular Economy
Yaniv Vardi, CEO of Panoramic Power, recently published his guide to designing circular economy products that can break the linear model prevalent today. Most products’ life cycle is a straight line from the manufacturer to the retailer to the consumer to the landfill, never again to be used. In a circular economy a long-lasting product is introduced into the economy that can be useful for several years. Then, the byproducts can be repurposed and the product itself can be reused as much as possible. Vardi outlined how corporations can design circular economy products that make the most of their raw materials.
According to Vardi, the best approach when designing products intended for the circular economy is to create “Longer-lasting products combined with innovative, closed-loop product resource ecosystems” that best fit a company’s operations while bringing them closer to generating zero waste. The first goal a company should set is to move away from the planned obsolescence model of product design and shoot for “planned permanence”. Company’s shouldn’t design products that stop working after two years, but should try to create long-lasting products. Vardi references Rolls Royce in this regard, a company that is “luxury” but is one of the most economical choices when the consumer factors in how long their cars last.
Incorporate material reincarnation into your operations, Vardi advises. Ink cartridges have operating like this for decades, with the materials being retrieved and refilled for further use. You can offer buybacks on older products to capture and repurpose materials. These two ideas (planned permanence and material reincarnation) aren’t truly possible on their own; they can complement each other and must be attacked simultaneously to bring about the best result. Vardi says we must acknowledge that materials may degrade, but they don’t disappear. Multiple approaches to circularity can reduce the amount of waste a company creates. In addition to designing longer-lasting products, through a partnership with Good360 companies like yours can donate excess goods directly back into the circular economy, benefitting nonprofits and families in need. We do all of the hard work so you can boost your sustainability strategies easily. Find out more here.