The importance of a sustainable product lifecycle
The term sustainability has increased in popularity in recent years and is often used, in many different sectors, very lightly. However, in the architecture and design industry, a sustainable approach to the production process is not merely a buzzword, it is a necessity.
While consumers are becoming more educated on matters of sustainability, the onus lies on manufacturers to be honest in their production and pursue a process that takes into account all the steps in the product’s lifecycle, as well as their inevitable impact on the environment. In a report compiled after the 2015 Manufacturing Engineering Society International Conference, it is suggested that a Sustainable Product Lifecycle strategy should encompass four stages: design development, manufacturing and service. This lifecycle can be achieved by planning the activities of each stage in order to control the environmental impact of the product and increase efficiency.
As for consumers, their responsibility lies with educating themselves and choosing products that respect the laws and directives put in place by governments and international organisations. ‘Ecolabelling’ is a voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labeling that is practiced globally. It identifies products or service proven environmentally preferable overall, therefore helping consumers in the decision making process.
Innowood – a producer of a sustainable timber alternative – is a recent recipient of the Ecolabelling Certification under ISO14025 standards. The certification was granted after a verification process of the company’s materials production facilities by the Hong Kong Federation of Environmental Protection (HKFEP) was conducted. Manufactured predominantly from natural wood waste, their products help to prevent forest depletion through the sustainable use of recycled material and energy management. The assessment has deducted that among other important elements, Innowood’s products have a positive impact on the planet with low carbon emissions, which meet the current environmental performance standard.
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