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Sustainable Products and Packaging

 Streamlined LCA

Streamlined LCA is a quick method to provide directional guidance on the environmental impacts. Examples of how streamlined LCA can be used include in product design (e.g. to assess the impacts of material substitution over a life cycle) and process improvement (e.g. hot-spot analysis to reduce energy use). Streamlined LCA uses the ISO-14040/14044:2006 method as a basis and leverages off existing studies and data to simplify modelling, reducing the time required to complete a study. Because of this streamlined approach, these LCAs cannot be used as a basis for marketing claims. Streamlined assessments can serve as a go-no-go tool for clients who want to be informed of possible outcomes prior to investing in a full LCA with the  LCA group.

Double diamond method of LCA and design thinking

In order to practically address corporate clients engaging the CfD, who are often somewhat baffled about the how, what, where, when and who of sustainability, the Sustainable Products and Packaging group have started using a combination of streamlined LCA techniques and collaborative design thinking to develop context-specific sustainability strategies. This process is now referred to by CfD as the Double Diamond method of LCA and Design Thinking, and appropriates the design process of convergent and divergent thinking presented by the UK Design Council.

The Double Diamond method utilises streamlined LCA as a tool to address impact areas, prior to focusing on more articulate sustainable design solutions.

For more on the process see core77.

Tool Development

The Sustainable Products and Packaging group is actively involved with the LCA group in the development of sustainability tools, relying on LCA methodology. Examples of tools developed by the Centre for Design and Society include Greenfly, PIQET and a number of multi-criteria assessment tools. These multi-criteria assessment tools serve as a framework for consistent decision making across sustainability metrics, including environmental, economic and societal impacts.

Professional development and teaching

The Sustainable Products and Packaging group delivers training courses in Design for Sustainability (DFS), Design for Environment (DfE), Green Marketing and LCA at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels, with ongoing relationships with RMIT University and Swinburne University. These training courses are based on validated learning outcomes and can be tailored to suit the training needs of learners. In order to identify and target capability gaps, the Centre for Design and Society can develop and deliver capability assessment frameworks, which inform the training process. Past collaborations include the Design for Sustainability lectures for Design Victoria and the Headstart master classes for professionals, developed with Sustainability Victoria and DIA accredited. Headstart past participants include personnel from Outerspace, Nestle, Cobalt Niche, Bayly Design, Pragma Design and Buzz Products. Headstart is still available to be presented in house at professional organisations on an ongoing basis.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Streamlined LCA

Streamlined LCA is a quick method to provide directional guidance on the environmental impacts. Examples of how streamlined LCA can be used include in product design (e.g. to assess the impacts of material substitution over a life cycle) and process improvement (e.g. hot-spot analysis to reduce energy use). Streamlined LCA uses the ISO-14040/14044:2006 method as a basis and leverages off existing studies and data to simplify modelling, reducing the time required to complete a study. Because of this streamlined approach, these LCAs cannot be used as basis for marketing claims. Streamlined assessments can serve as a go-no-go tool for clients who want to be informed of possible outcomes prior to investing in a full LCA.

Full LCA

Full LCAs form the basis for making public, comparative claims of products and services and are typically used to inform policy or for the development of qualified, validated and independent green marketing claims. These LCAs are undertaken to comply with international standards, including ISO 14040/14044:2006 or Carbon Trust’s carbon footprint standard, PAS 2050:2011. Multiple scenarios are typically modelled to investigate how environmental impacts vary with life cycle parameters (e.g. transport distances, recycling rates). These studies are subject to independent critical review to ensure that the LCA methodology has been applied appropriately and consistently.

Life cycle management

The Centre for Design offer collaborative solutions to integrate LCA into environmental management. This integrated, collaborative approach ensures that upstream and downstream consequences of a decisions are assessed early in the decision making process.

Tool development

The LCA group is actively involved in the development of sustainability tools, relying on LCA methodology. Examples of tools developed by the Centre for Design include the Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET), GreenFly, and a number of multi-criteria assessment tools. These multi-criteria assessment tools serve as a framework for consistent decision making across sustainability metrics, including environmental, economic and societal impacts.

Professional development

The Centre for Design delivers training courses in LCA at undergraduate and professional levels. These training courses are based on validated learning outcomes and can be tailored to suit the training needs of learners. In order to identify and target capability gaps, the Centre for Design can develop and deliver capability assessment frameworks, which inform the training process. Integrated LCA training is also available, whereby the Centre for Design guide a company through the process of LCA, while at the same time facilitating and delivering training to address capability gaps.