ERPR Tool - Environmentally Responsible Product Rating
The ERPR Tool has been developed specifically to enable comparisons between plastic chairs made from renewable carbon plastic. Try the ERPR tool.
While the questions have been tailored to chairs the same five dimensions effect the sustainability of any product where plastic is the main material used:
1) Weight – the lighter the better – quantity of material used will have the biggest impact of the environmental performance of any plastic product. Resources consumed during manufacture of plastics are significantly greater than any required for the remaining four dimensions. Lightweighting is the preferred strategy. Minimising weight also contributes towards reduces greenhouse gas impacts during manufacture and transportation.
2) Materials – what percentage of the material used to make the product is made from recycled fossil-based plastic or bioplastic? If different material is used for different parts of the product details are asked about the main materials used for the shell and the base. Results consider the production processes implied by the choice of materials. For example, monoblocs (made from a single material using a single process) usually consume less resources during production than chairs requiring manual assembly.
3) Appeal – many of the existing tools available to compare the environmental performance of designs do not attempt to evaluate how appealing the product is likely to be to consumers or end-users. To deliver environmental benefits a product must sell, displacing the purchase of a less sustainable competitor. While many factors contribute to the appeal of any product three components can be easily measured and are included here; price, number of colours available and number of combinations available. A chair available for a low price, in a wide choice of colours and with different leg and shell configurations is likely to have broader appeal.
4) Transport – how a product is transported from the factory to the warehouse or showroom can have an impact on the amount of fuel consumed as it is moved around the world. Chairs designed to stack occupy significantly less room than chairs that need to be packed separately in cartons for shipping.
5) End of life – what happens to the product at the end of life is an important consideration. The primary aim should be to design products that can withstand years of use and retain a timeless appeal. However, many products are discarded after a relatively short time – products designed to be recycled or with components that can biodegrade are awarded better scores.
Try the ERPR tool and see how your product scores against these five dimensions of sustainability.
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