I know what you are thinking – what in the world does eco-design mean exactly? This term may be a stranger to many of us, but certainly not product design businesses. Eco-design aims at reducing negative impact on the environment in terms of sourcing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Such products should be environmentally friendly and reusable; some examples include furniture, household appliances and electronic equipment.
This newfound business strategy is becoming increasingly popular among product designers and manufacturers. There are many business advantages adopting such strategy – not only does it help develop a more positive brand image, it also helps reduce production costs for companies. My engineering management professor once told us that according to the university research findings, eco-design products help boost sales by almost 10% as people are becoming more environmentally conscious. Customers tend to trust that green products like relatively more reliable because of quality materials and design. In addition, because of the reduction of waste, labor and material consumption, manufacturers also benefit from the overall cost reduction.
But the most important element that eco-design products encourage is innovation. The concept prompts designers to think outside the box and develop user-friendly, efficient products. This helps businesses stay ahead of the game and competitive. In Hong Kong, the idea of eco-design is less heard of; but countries in Europe have embraced the strategy and achieved some great success. Green labels have become a major success factor in the customer selection process because of the rising awareness of environmental production in these countries. With issues such as global warming and pollution, many Western countries are taking the lead to resolve these global issues by altering people’s mindsets and way of living. Unfortunately, in Hong Kong and China the concept of environmental conservation is still relatively underdeveloped. However, since pollution problems have risen to become a more pressing and concerning issue, more efforts have been made by the government to reduce pollutants emission and recycling. Some provinces in China are actively discovering ways to tackle pollution problems in order to improve the overall standard of living. Conservation efforts include placing cycling bins in residential area and the reduction of vehicle gas emission. Eco-design is undoubtedly an up-and-coming trend that businesses should look out for to draw attention from customers.
Environmental awareness, therefore, goes hand in hand with the development of eco-design products. Increasing awareness will generate demands for such designs, leading to greater innovation and technological development. The rise of eco-design goes beyond new business revenue generation; it aims to achieve a higher global conservation mission. If you are thinking about taking advantage of the next new trend to make a killing, eco-design should be on the top of your list.