How to design a climate-neutral society?

How do consumers know what is sustainable?

When designers come up with sustainable products, how do you get consumers to buy them? It requires them to be able to figure out for themselves whether products are sustainable or not. It is not easy because products sometimes consist of different parts that can come from anywhere. The company Dayrize has come up with a solution for this. With the Dayrize score, it is possible to measure exactly what the ecological and social footprint of each product is. The program uses information from manufacturers and a database with all certificates in the world and information on 4000 materials. Dayrize looks at the purpose of a product, circularity, material choice, sustainability and the impact on the planet and the climate. “In this way, any consumer good can be controlled,” says founder Bart Nollen. “You have to look at it holistically to know what the effect of a product is. You also need to look at the goal. Take, for example, one hundred percent circular electric pepper grinder with batteries. Technically, this can be very well developed, but the cost to our planet is many times greater than with an old-fashioned Peugeot pepper grinder. So what do you do if you choose it over another product? ”

According to him, characteristics are not a blessing. FSC wood also comes from production forests, where only trees are felled and replanted. “But there is no biodiversity in those forests. They are silent, no birds fly, there are no insects, no animals live there. Is it a sustainable building material? I think about it differently, “said Nollen.

Where do the products come from?

In order to make the right choice as a consumer, it is also important that the origin of products and parts can be traced. Tech entrepreneur Mugur Ionita wants to make that possible through blockchain technology. This makes it possible to register the entire chain of a product and make it transparent. From working conditions to the origin of raw materials, from transport to financing. In this way, Ionita visualized the entire chain that bananas from Colombia travel from the plantation to the store. “We wanted to make everything transparent for the consumer. Also the improvement points in the chain for the supplier. For example, less use of water and plastic, electric transport. If you do not measure it, you do not know it, “says Ionita.

According to Van Erp, this can add a story to a product, making it more attractive to consumers. For example, the plastic that The Ocean Cleanup removes from the ocean is more expensive and of inferior quality than regular plastic. Still, people bought 10,000 sunglasses made from this plastic within a week. “It’s because it’s from The Ocean Cleanup. There’s a story behind it. It makes people move. You see the same thing with these bananas. You can see that the banana is good. It will be a kind of prerequisite. ”

Read here how blockchain can lead to more reliable use of recycled plastic.

Are companies changing fast enough?

Companies and producers also play an important role on the road to a climate-neutral society. Do they manage to change over time? “We must. It’s too important not to the right direction ”, says Jeroen Crijns from PwC’s Strategy &, which supports large companies and advises on their transition.

Laws and regulations often make it difficult. According to Mike Hoogveld, business consultant and author of books like ‘Think like a Startup’, companies should not hide behind this, but see what is possible. “They say then: we are not starting here because it is not allowed yet. But what steps can you as an organization take first? What is possible? Just take the first step yourself and try things out, ”he says. Big companies need to start thinking more like a startup. “You can see that many organizations are not actively involved in this kind of issue. Then it works very well to kick part of the organization out and say: we must not interfere in you. Here you have a budget and invent beautiful things. It is precisely by letting them go that you stimulate creativity, ”says Hoogveld.

Read here how Jeroen Crijns from PwC guides companies towards a sustainable future

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