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DfE and Sustainable

• DfE is designed to help companies adopt
environmental practices that will lead to a
more sustainable and healthier society.
Therefore, DfE both supports, and works
within, the context of other environmental
• Sustainable Development
• Industrial Ecology
• Pollution Prevention (PP)
• Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

• Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S)

Sustainable Development
• In 1987, the World Commission on
Environment and Development defined
Sustainable Development as:
• "...development that meets the needs of
the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their
own needs."
Industrial Ecology
• This term encompasses the practices of
scientists, engineers and manufacturers to
achieve more sustainable industrial production
and consumption for local, regional and
international economies by:
• Examining the environmental costs of industrial
production/consumption patterns.
• Addressing the effects of invisible and persistent
toxic chemicals on the earth's ecological systems.
The basic components of the
industrial ecology model

"In a sustainable society, durability and recycling will

replace planned obsolescence as the economy's
organizing principle, and virgin materials will be seen
not as a primary source of material but as a
supplement to the existing stock."

Source: Lester R. Brown and Pamela Shaw. Six Steps

to a Sustainable Society, Worldwatch Paper No. 48.
Worldwatch Institute, Washington, 1982.
Pollution Prevention (PP):
• PP focuses on process and product
improvements in order to avoid
environmental problems before they
occur. It is economically and
environmentally superior to traditional
"end-of-pipe" controls or clean-up
PP during the manufacturing
process saves costs with regard to:
• Disposal.
• Raw materials/consumables.
• Ventilation equipment.
• Maintenance-ducts, motors, balancing.
• Operations-internal "balancing."
• Pollution prevention equipment.
• Health-workers, protective equipment, training.
• Regulatory compliance-approval from
A number of measures can be
taken to prevent pollution during
Control pollution at the source
• substitute materials
• change form of material to reduce emissions

Enclose the process

• prevent release, accomplished with sealed vessels and piping

Suppress emissions
• water sprays--dusty processes or liquids
• gaseous--gas blanket

Change the process entirely

• degreasing--from chlorine-based to high-pressure steam
• soldering--from traditional acid etching/fluxes/lead to different base
materials, VOC-free fluxes, lead-free solder
Environmental Management
Systems (EMS):
• EMS such as ISO 14001 are
organizational approaches to facility
environmental evaluation and
management. Except in cases of legal
compliance, an EMS does not set or
demand specific levels of performance in
relation to product or process design.
Hierarchy and realm of
application for PP, DfE and EMS
EMS benefits are
• Cost savings from greater efficiency in
processes, waste reduction, materials and
energy use.
• Increased ability to meet customer/supplier
• Greater competitive advantage.
• Regulatory compliance and reduced liability.
• Improved community relations.
• Greater company appeal for investors.
• Increased employee pride and morale.
EMS and product design
key elements When product design is
Commitment from top management for Senior management responsible
improved environmental for environmental effects of
performance products

Policy statement outlining commitment Refers to products/services

Summary and supporting data of Includes aspects of product life

environmental effects of current and cycle that company controls:
planned projects • suppliers
• product design
• product use
• end-of-life phase
Summary of regulations Includes product-related
environmental regulations
Objectives, targets and programs Include product design where relevant
for continuous improvement

Clearly defined environmental Includes roles and responsibilities

responsibilities for managers related to product
Awareness training in Training for managers/designers
environmental issues
Performance monitoring Monitoring of design process
Reviews of environmental Includes product aspects
performance by senior
Source: Product design and ISO 14001: A guide for environmental managers
and product designers, by Martin Charter and Tom Clark,
Centre for Sustainable Design, Surrey, UK, 1999.
Occupational Health and Safety
The DfE strategies provide support for
programs related to worker safety during
production, and worker health in terms of
material selection and use. DfE helps reduce:
• Need for in-plant emission controls.
• Worker contact with physical or chemical
• Need for protective equipment.
Linking the DfE Strategies to OH&S
Program Elements
DfE Strategy OH&S
Strategy 2: Physical Optimization Ergonomics
2.1 Integrate Product Functions Material handling
2.4 Easy Maintenance and Repair Safety
2.5 Modular Product Structure
Strategy 3: Optimize Material Use Material substitution
3.1 Cleaner Materials Hazards materials
3.6 Reduce Material Usage
Strategy 4: Optimize Production Process substitution
4.1 Alternate Production Techniques Chemical substitution
4.2 Fewer Production Steps Industrial housekeeping
4.4 Less Production Waste Hazardous materials
4.5 Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables Safety equipment

Strategy 5: Optimize Distribution Material substitution

5.1 Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging Material handling/storage
5.3 Energy-efficient Logistics