The Importance of Early Carbon Optimization

Do you know that about $88 trillion worth of goods and services are produced yearly1? The sheer amount of natural resources used and waste generated from this massive production alone could cause irreversible damage to our environment. 

One effective way to lessen the environmental impact is to incorporate sustainability early in the product design stage. Early carbon optimization is crucial because: 

  • Companies can determine what and how resources are used, thus ensuring sustainable behavior throughout their value chain
  • By embedding sustainability into the product design, companies can determine an estimated 80% of their future carbon footprint2

Our sustainability kit delves into how you can optimize your product design strategies on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform to achieve climate neutrality.


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Perform Early Assessments

The concept of sustainable product design has long focused on using more recyclable materials to lessen the impact on the environment. These days, however, design decisions go further than this. Companies are examining each product lifecycle stage to understand better how a product is made and how it will be used. 

As such, a complete product lifecycle assessment (LCA) is indispensable. Through Sustainable Innovation Intelligence  on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, designers gain an agile and iterative development process to optimize every lifecycle stage to make more sustainable products with a longer lifespan. It enables them to identify and optimize the main carbon emitters throughout the lifecycle – from the use of raw materials and manufacturing to recycling and disposal. 

Real-time data on the platform offers the traceability and transparency needed to design for disassembly. This means recovering materials and components for meaningful next use (upcycling) which maximizes their economic value while minimizing the environmental impact at the end of intended use – closing the circularity loop further. 

Data and real-time collaboration across every lifecycle stage also enable designers to: 

Redesign materials and components, and reformulate sustainable alternatives

Boost reuse of materials or create multiple uses for a single product

Analyze and optimize carbon footprint at each lifecycle stage

Design for Sustainability

One key to quick and effective climate-neutral design is digitalization. A connected platform complete with simulation capabilities can simplify carbon-driven innovation. For example, generative design allows companies to explore multiple options and perform rapid prototyping in a low-cost and highly collaborative environment to boost research and development initiatives, optimize design and evaluate for quality and environmental compliance. This allows companies to bring more sustainable products to the market faster and at a more affordable cost.  

Generative design is also instrumental in light-weighting products – an important strategy in low-carbon design. Designers identify and optimize material use without compromising a product’s structural strength and performance to avoid waste. This opens up additive manufacturing opportunities, which further reduces per unit transportation emissions and helps save fuel and energy. 

Discover how generative design on our 3DEXPERIENCE platform can shape the future of product design in the following infographic. 

Run Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

At a time when manufacturing and production consume 54% of the world's energy and produce 20% of global CO2 emissions3, it is only logical to make sustainable manufacturing part of a company’s business practices.  

Designing products with locally sourced materials or components remains crucial to reduce a product’s supply chain footprint. In recent years, consumer goods supply chain accounts for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of the impact on air, land, water, biodiversity and geological resources4. With local and distributed manufacturing strategies, the supply chain carbon footprint can be significantly reduced. 

Choosing the right materials at the design stage can eliminate substantial manufacturing carbon footprint. For example, substituting hazardous chemicals that affect the environment directly with cleaner, safer and reformulated alternative materials. Additionally, improving forecasting accuracy, planning and process efficiency can reduce product wastage as well as reduce energy input for production. At the same time, non-renewable energy resources such as fossil fuel can be replaced with renewable energy options.  

A sustainable product design can:

Reduce input for production

Improve process efficiency

Lower impact of product use and at disposal

Clear sustainability goals should lead companies to incorporate sustainable elements early not only to design products that are cleaner and safer to use, but also to drive business growth at the same time. 

Explore our Solutions

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FAQ About Sustainable Design Solutions & Strategies