Granta has pioneered practical eco design tools, particularly through its Environmental Materials Information Technology (EMIT) Consortium.
Granta's Eco Audit methodology underpins tools including:
To read practical tips on how to improve the environmental performance of products through design, download Five Steps to Eco Design »
Granta's Eco Audit Methodology
Granta's Eco Audit™ methodology underpins our easy-to-use, interactive tools that quickly estimate environmental impact. They allow you to track product sustainability, comply with targets, and help you make more sustainable design decisions.
A product's environmental costs are not just associated with the materials themselves, but also with product manufacture, transport, use, and end-of-life disposal. Crucial to improving sustainability is understanding the environmental impact of these different stages of the product's lifecycle (illustrated below).If you are working to minimize environmental impact, you need a quick and effective means to estimate both the overall impact and the most environmentally costly aspects and life phases of a product. But most approaches to such quantitative assessment (for example, Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA, methods) require high levels of detail and are not designed for use as quick and practical tools.
The product lifecycle: environmental costs are not just associated with the materials themselves,
but also with product manufacture, transport, use, and end-of-life disposal.
By providing a rapid estimation of the most significant contributions to the environmental impact of a productt, Granta's Eco Audit methodology can be used early in the design process (pictured), while it is still possible to make significant changes to the design. By focusing on the early stages of design, targeting the life cycle phases that matters most, and integrating with powerful materials selection tools, the Eco Audit methodology ensures that design teams are able to make effective eco design decisions leading to greater product sustainability gains with reduced cost and effort.
Granta's Eco Audit methodology provides rapid estimates of the CO2 emissions and energy uses for each life-phase. The user simply provides the 'Bill of Materials', together with the desired degree of information on manufacturing & shaping processes. There is no requirement for high levels of detail here, but by including effects of manufacturing waste and secondary processing such as machining, joining, and finishing, the approach can be aligned with real-world manufacturing scenarios—without sacrificing speed and ease-of-use. Additional details on the transport, use, and end-of-life choices complete the picture. These are drawn from Granta's MaterialUniverse, providing up-to-date materials, processing, and environmental data, or from your own corporate data, and used in rapid calculations to estimate the area of most significant environmental damage. The methodology and underlying data are aligned with standards such as PAS 2050 and ISO 14040 to ensure that results are consistent with detailed LCA studies that might be completed at the end of design process.
The Eco Audit technologies built on this methodology provide results in the form of graphs and tabular data, enabling further quantitative analysis. Detailed reports record the data and steps used in the calculation. (For further details on the input and output of specific implementations, see individual product pages.)
The approach can also be used to provide guidance on how to reduce a product's environmental impact. Having identified the most important life cycle phase, appropriate eco design strategies can be applied (illustrated below). Material and process decisions are crucial to many eco design strategies—decisions that can be supported with Granta's powerful material selection tools.
Granta's Eco Audit methodology underpins tools including
To read practical tips on how to improve the environmental performance of products through design, why not download our short Guide, Five Steps to Eco Design »