Sustainable Design: the Green Power of Materials Science
November 12, 2021
With rapid industrial and technological developments, the Earth is now facing severe environmental issues. Waste pollution, resource depletion, and extreme climate change are severe developments that have raised awareness of environmental matters. The international community is increasingly rallying support to take action for environmental sustainability. In 2015, the United Nations issued the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to draw attention from all walks of life and explain how all nations can work together toward sustainability.
This sustainability movement has led companies to adopt practices to coexist in harmony with the environment. In recent years, many companies have gone beyond promoting sustainability campaigns, such as tree-planting and beach-cleaning events, to incorporate sustainable sourcing of raw materials and production processes as a fundamental part of product development and design.
This has sparked wide discussions on the concepts of green and sustainable design in various forms. Initially, green design involved designing for minimal effect on the ecosystem. Now, sustainable design takes into account the long-term prospects of environmentally friendly, socially acceptable, and economically prosperous practices. Sustainable design focuses on the use of recycled materials and renewable energy. It emphasizes the reduction of waste in production and transportation, the extension of the product life cycle, and the development of products that can simultaneously improve performance and social responsibility.
At BenQ Materials, we have elevated our sustainable commitment to green design by reducing energy consumption and applying non-toxic and recyclable raw materials to develop products at all levels. The concept of sustainability is implanted in the early stages of product development. A design takes into account the product life cycle, consumables, energy use, and subsequent recycling. In addition, consideration is given to the practicalities of products from a human perspective to ensure products match people’s needs.
These concepts are inherent in our brands. For example, high-performance and eco-sustainable textiles brand, Xpore, delivers the best-in-class environmentally friendly materials that are solvent- and PFC-free in its production process. Beyond an eco-friendly manufacturing process, Xpore is also committed to using 100% recycled raw materials by 2024. Meanwhile, in 2021, our skin care brand, DermaAngel, launched an ocean-friendly sunscreen that contain no harmful ingredients; bright-based materials are used to reduce the impact on the environment. Over at Anscare, our medical care brand, the SIMO negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) device is lightweight, small, and portable, which allows patients to continue their treatment anytime, anywhere. SIMO reduces patients’ expenses and lowers carbon emissions generated from traveling between home and medical institutions.
All sustainable designs must consider the overall balance between economic and environmental factors. For corporations, the tussle between revenue and environmental protection is an inevitable dilemma. From the perspective of environmental protection, using recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable materials would seem to be the most direct and easiest of solutions. But often, when two environmentally friendly materials are brought together, it turns out they are not decomposable or recyclable, resulting in a waste of resources.
As a materials science specialist, BenQ Materials focuses on the R&D of innovative applications that can solve future problems today. At the materials development stage, we look for breakthrough solutions that make product ingredients more homogeneous and better for recycling. We continue to move forward in the direction of materials refinement to present various possibilities for sustainable innovation.