A4.9 Design


The term design may be applied to designing products, processes, buildings or infrastructure. Applying environmental principles to design aims to ensure that negative environmental impacts are eliminated.

Environmental impacts may be designed out through the careful specification of:

Raw materials

Raw materials should be specified as part of a design so that they are:

  • Not harmful to the environment.
  • From renewable sources.
  • Sourced in a sustainable manner.
  • Locally produced, to reduce transport impacts.



Processes should be designed so that they:

  • Require less energy.
  • Are energy efficient.
  • Use renewable energy.
  • Require less water.
  • Re-circulate water.
  • Produce less waste, by-products and air emissions.
  • Produce non-harmful waste.
  • Reuse waste and by-products.



The final product should be designed so that it:

  • Uses little energy.
  • Is energy efficient.
  • Has a reliable and long-working life.
  • Are recyclable.
  • Requires limited packaging.
  • Can be packed tightly (to reduce transport impacts).
  • Is not disposable.