For us, ecodesign means that all our products are safe, sustainable and responsible, and we ensure that, whenever possible, the end of their life cycle is the birth of something new.
How we see ecodesign
We are continuously reducing the environmental impact of our products across the span of their entire life cycle. Our products are recyclable, biodegradable and produced using bioenergy wherever possible.
For almost 20 years, we have used life cycle impact analysis (LCA) as a guideline in our product and process development.
To further increase the sustainability of our products throughout their entire life cycle and value chain, we have adopted the concept of ecodesign. Ecodesign is integrated into our product development throughout our businesses. Starting from the very first stages of the design process, we make a committed effort to minimize the environmental impact of our raw materials and manufacturing processes across the entire value chain.
The ecodesign approach is divided into eight steps, guiding us in the design and manufacture of sustainable products (Adapted from Lafferty, Marstander and Ruud, 2003, Ecodesign wheel):
|Ecodesign step by step |
|1. Selection of low impact materials||Selection of low-impact materials, for example, by replacing fossil fuels with bioenergy and fossil raw materials with sustainable options.|
|2. Reduction of material usage||Reduction of material usage by applying smart production techniques, designing longer-lasting products with less material and reusing components.|
|3. Optimization of production techniques||Optimization of production techniques by continuously improving operational performance, for example, by reducing energy and water consumption and by sharing services and utilities.|
|4. Optimization of distribution systems||Optimization of distribution systems, for example, by using lighter and reusable packaging in end-product delivery.|
|5. Reduction of impact during use||Reduction of impact during use by lowering the environmental impact of customer processes, for example, by offering lighter paper grades to reduce the fuel consumption of distribution.|
|6. Optimization of initial lifetime||Optimization of initial lifetime by offering extended-life products that are multifunctional and recyclable, easy to maintain and repair.|
|7. Optimization of end-of-life system||Optimization of end-of-life systems by selecting non-toxic, reusable materials that are easily separated and sorted for reuse.|
|8. New concept development||New concept development, for example, thinking of new ways to use the product already in the design phase, without forgetting multifunctionality and shared use.|
Did you know?
UPM takes responsibility for its customers' processes by developing solutions to improve their environmental performance, i.e. steps 2 to 6 in the ecodesign approach described. Examples are shown below: