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Sustainable Design An essential tool in the process of development Karen Blincoe Director/Professor ICIS Center Denmark June 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Design An essential tool in the process of development Karen Blincoe Director/Professor ICIS Center Denmark June 2004."— Presentation transcript:


2 Sustainable Design An essential tool in the process of development Karen Blincoe Director/Professor ICIS Center Denmark June 2004

3 Lecture in 3 parts: Sustainability in the context of the business world. Sustainable design. Design education: new parameters.

4 Sustainable Development The classical definition of ’sustainable development’ stems from the 1987 report ’Our Common Future’ by the World Commission on Environment and Development, UN, (Brundtland Report). It states: ’Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs’.

5 Human related issues including basic needs (food, water, clothing, housing, education, health). The Brundtland report contained four important concepts: Social and ethical issues relating to life quality and dignity. The concept of ’limitation’: there is a limit to non- renewable resources, that the present generation must limit the use of these to make sure that there are sufficient resources for future generations. The concept of ‘natural resources being vital to sustain life’. For the first time it is publicly acknowledged that nature and man must live in harmony and balance. Sustainable Development

6 The Sustainability Model/ Triple Bottom Line The Environmental Aspects

7 Environmental Responsibility Resource efficiency: Energy, materials. Reduction of consumption of water, energy and non-renewable resources. Monitoring use of energy, water, materials, emissions. Green auditing/green accounts. LCA implementation. Standards and certifications (ISO, EMAS). Environmental strategy translating environmental mission into action plan – forming an integrated part of the business plan. Minimising adverse environmental impact of a company’s activities including its products, services, processes and facilities.

8 The Environmental Aspects The Social & Ethical Aspects Sustainability Model

9 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) CSR has become an essential factor in business strategy as a dynamic tool in the context of cost cutting, marketing, investment - and increased profits. The companies who have CSR as an integrated part of their business strategy have performed better financially than traditional companies in terms of share value on the stock exchanges. The 2003 Nordic Sustainability Index includes 40 companies who have had an average increase of 5% on the market in a time where the value of most other companies was decreasing. The workforce, staff, suppliers and other stakeholders benefit with positive results. The employees are more inspired - productivity increases as time off due to sickness is reduced. The company attracts talent and retains its best staff.

10 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) The company’s commitment to ethical behaviour is widely communicated and is rigorously upheld. The company develops and implements ethical standards and practices in dealing with all stakeholders: clients, customers, staff, suppliers, partners, local community The reputation of the company is at stake. Branding is an effective tool to get known and stay known in the market place.

11 However, branding commits, in terms of accountability, responsibility, authenticity and integrity.

12 “It takes 20 years to build a brand and 5 minutes to ruin it!” Warren Buffet, Head Berkshire Hathaway Group

13 The Environmental Aspects The Social & Ethical Aspects The Economic Aspects Sustainability Model

14 The Economic Aspects Includes both the financial considerations of running a business, profit margins and market share as well as includes adherence tonational and international legislation, aspects of law, rights etc., including: Green accounts Green taxes Certification: ISO standards, EMAS etc Labelling Riskmanagement Investments (SRI)

15 Sustainability Model The Environmental Aspects The Social Ethical Aspects The Economic Aspects

16 “Novo Nordisk's Sustainability Report 2002 accounts for our strategies, activities and targets regarding social, environmental, ethical and socio-economic issues affecting our future business performance. This year, our focus is on fully embedding and integrating the Triple Bottom Line in the way we do business. There is a clear link from the CEOs at the World Economic Forum, the NGOs of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and the long-awaited decision of today’s political leaders to enlarge the European Union to the future generation’s vision of a society based on trust, transparency, shared values and partnerships. What unites these events is that they have been driven by a wish for a more sustainable future.” (Sustainability Report 2003, CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen) The Nordic Partnership

17 Sustainable Design Design is an essential and vital tool in the development process of a country’s industry, advancement of business - and process of globalisation. Through i.e: Research and development of products. Branding. Stakeholder communications. Competition parameter.



20 Why Sustainable Design? Design can further CSR in branding activities and stakeholder communications. 65% of all materials are specified by designers. 60% of all CO2 emissions are from the building industry.

21 Sustainable design is a design philosophy and practice in which products and services contribute to social well-being and make economic sense. It has negible impact on the environment and can be produced from a sustainable resource base. It embodies the practice of eco-design, with due attention to environmental, ethical and social factors. It also includes economic considerations and assessments of resource availability in relation to sustainable production. Sustainable Design

22 The Environmental Aspects The Social & Ethical Aspects The Economic Aspects The Non-material Aspects Sustainability Model for Design

23 Environmental Considerations Minimise resource use: Eco-efficiency, reuse, recycle, rent, repair, replace, LCA Analysis. Technology: Dematerialisation, decreasing production processes, eco-efficiency. Pollution: Cleaner technology. Waste considerations: Reuse, recycle, biodegradability, incineneration. Labelling. Certifications/standards.

24 Ethical and social principles regarding clients, nature of jobs, suppliers and local communities - set of principles, set of ethics. What are the principles guiding your firm? What will and will you not do – at what cost? Considerations regarding cause and effect, including long term effect of ie visual communication and its litteral and subliminal levels of communication, including the psychological effect on the market/society short term and long term. The effect of product design: need, functionality, life quality. Accessibility/universal design. Social design issues: Are you willing to donate a percentage of your time to design for social causes? Social and Ethical Considerations




28 Education in Sustainable Design Questioning the existing design paradigm.

29 “The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.” Victor Papanek

30 Integrating the sustainability model, so that it becomes a natural part of the design process. This means working with design in context - taking the holistic view.

31 Using and undertaking research. - Learning to reflect.

32 Working across cultures. Creating multidisciplinary student teams.

33 Working with all 4 levels of humanity: The mental. The physical. The emotional. The spiritual.

34 Re-examining the origins of our design principles. Re-examining the form we give to content. Re-examining the meaning of form, colour etc.

35 Thanks to the following for usage of images: Adbusters, The Danish Design College, Boase Book, Image Bank, Danish Design Center, Jacques Lange, M Kurlansky Design, amo..... Thank you!

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