Designing out Waste



The project examines the concept of ecodesign, understood as environmentally conscious product development and design including the entire life cycle of a product or service and how this concept can be used to improve resource efficiency and end-of-life for electrical and electronic products. The project will apply a broad understanding of resource efficiency including circular business strategies for lifetime extension of products such as remanufacturing, reuse, repair, leasing of products and product-service systems. Hence, the project will work with the practical application of ecodesign focusing on resource efficiency and design for closing the material loop. The main methodological approach will be multiple case studies of electrical and electronic products. Each product will represent a product-family, understood as a group of products that share many common features such as environmental impact.

The objective is to make design improvements that allow for an improved resource efficiency of a specific product within a product-family. The aim is that the design improvements to a certain extent can be transferred to other members of the product-family. Furthermore, the objective of the projects is to create a better collaboration and communication between producers, recyclers and waste managers. Hence, the main objects of part one are:
1. To test different approaches to ecodesign, improving a selected product’s resource efficiency, in collaboration with producers and waste managers, and to apply a selection of these design approaches to other members of the product-family.
2. To gain practical experience with improving resource efficiency, remanufacturing and recycling of materials, prolongation of life, repair, lease, etc (depending on the producer’s wish).
3. To further develop communication and collaboration between producers and waste managers.

Mapping of existing knowledge: The project will consist of a survey of existing knowledge through literature reviews and through interviews with experts within the field and stakeholders in the product chain.
Workshops: The project will consist of a series of workshops, where producers and waste managers are brought together. It is the intention that they should work together to improve a selected product’s resource efficiency through changed design, and that some of these learnings might be expanded to the entire product-family. It is expected that the workshops can help create a mutual understanding between the producers and the waste managers and thereby overcome some of the existing barriers in the current design of electrical and electronic products. The project will thus help to give everyone involved a competence boost and put resource efficiency on the agenda of the manufacturers and waste handlers.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/01/201331/12/2014


  • Ecodesign
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Waste
  • WEEE