ProductDesign.green
Using science to prioritize green design strategies
If you are a designer or engineer new to sustainability, how do you know where to start? How do you avoid greenwashing and spend your development time or money wisely?

ProductDesign.green uses quantitative data from life cycle assessments to show you the largest environmental impacts for different product categories. It then suggests eco-design strategies to improve them. This tells you where to start, helps avoid greenwashing, and helps you work most effectively.

Simply click on one of the product categories below to see its one-page downloadable guide
Each guide graphs the environmental impacts of the product by life-cycle stage, as a percent of total lifetime impacts; these graphs combine climate change, pollution, resource consumption, human health, and other impacts into single scores. Five or more sources are used for each product category, to ensure data quality. Connected to the graphs are recommendations for green design strategies to reduce impacts, or provide positive, regenerative benefits. Click here to download a PDF of all product categories.

Laptop

Monitor

Smartphone

Refrigerator

Office Chair

T-Shirt

Jeans

These graphs also show data uncertainty, arising from different life cycle assessment methodologies, design variations, manufacturing locations, customer usage habits, and other differences. Sometimes these uncertainties are large, but usually the priorities for green design are still clear.

Understanding the Categories



Materials and Manufacturing:

This includes mining or growing raw materials, processing them, and creating the physical product, including impacts from upstream suppliers.

Packaging:

This includes mining or growing raw materials, processing, and creation of the packaging used to protect and/or advertise the product during shipping and retail. Uncertainties can be high because of the wide variation of material choice, material quantities, and other differences between products of the same category.

Transport:

This includes shipping the product from where it was made to retail outlets or home delivery to the customer.

Usage:

This includes energy, water, and any other resource consumption by the product during its useful life; uncertainties can be high due to lack of data or wide variation in customer usage.

End of Life:

This includes impacts of product landfill, recycling, incineration, or other disposal. The impacts are "negative" if the end of life provides environmental benefits, such as a refrigerator's steel being recycled into new products to reduce the mining and processing of virgin steel.

ProductDesign.green was created by professor Jeremy Faludi and several dedicated students: Emily Martinez, Soon Young Shimizu, Jonathan Klein, Lylia Eng, Roscoe Harris III, Jenna Wang, and Melissa Tensa. If you have feedback, or want to get involved, email prof. Jeremy Faludi. If the product you are looking for is not available, request a new product category here.