Environmental footprints need cutting to meet energy goals - Embedded.com

Environmental footprints need cutting to meet energy goals

LONDON — Businesses are being asked to consider the full environmental impact of their operations with voluntary action now needed to assess and reduce waste throughout the entire lifecycle of a product.

Following the release of the U.K. Government’s Energy Review, Envirowise, which provides advice on resource efficiency, says a review could help businesses meet future energy challenges.

The review could include recognizing how everything from the energy used to extract raw materials from the ground at the outset, to the resources involved in a product’s design, manufacture and eventual disposal, all of which contribute to an ‘embedded environmental footprint.’

With compulsory standards relating to the design of energy using products on the horizon, taking early action could help companies identify long-term cost savings – as well as forge stronger alliances with suppliers and major clients, according to Envirowise Programme Director, Dr Martin Gibson.

An EU’s Energy Using Products (EuP) Directive will seek to improve the environmental performance of products throughout their entire life-cycle by making sure resource efficient measures are built in at design stage.

“This legislation is likely to affect all energy-using product types that sell more than 200,000 units a year, in a range of categories including lighting, office equipment, consumer electronics and domestic appliances. Therefore suppliers to the U.K.’s biggest electrical manufacturers could have much to gain from quickly addressing potential changes in product specifications,” said Dr Gibson.

A recent Luxury to Landfill survey carried out by Envirowise demonstrated that around a third of consumers questioned would favor an electrical or electronic product designed with either low environmental impact (34.4percent), minimal packaging (35percent) or recyclability (31.6percent).

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