In the quest to achieve sustainability in the environment and the products has to consider the design. The designers who come up with the new items must ensure that it is not exhaustive to the environment. In addition the design that is created has to put into consideration the responsibility it has both socially and environmentally. Hence it should be aimed at protecting the natural environments and ensure all that is taken must be replaced or regenerated in one way or the other. In doing this some of the factors that are put into consideration include carbon footprint. This is a measure that is used in the estimation of the total greenhouse gas emission caused either directly or indirectly by the product. This can be at the production level, during consumption or any other by-products that arise from the same. In this the main consideration is the CO2, which is measured according to the global warming potential in 100 years (Alacon, 2009).
According to Sinead (2010), so as to achieve the efficiency that is desired a management strategy must be set down. This will be achieved by the pursuit of the three core objectives that include optimization of resources used, reduction of the environmental impact and increasing the value of the product or service. In achieving the efficiency ecologically the companies can have various benefits. The company of choice is Kenco; this is a premium brand of coffee that has dedicated itself towards the growth of coffee in consumption. The coffee the company produces originates from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and this are another programme that is made and aimed at ensuring the products that are being consumed originate from farms that meet the standards that have been set according to the environment, social and economic improvements.
Benefits of Eco-efficiency in Design
The new designs employ the use of energy and materials efficiently hence this will lead to the reduction in the cost of production. The new designs normally aim at removing or reducing the harmful effects of the products and in doing this, the risk and liability that would otherwise be associated with the product becomes reduced. The innovative products will increase the revenue that is expected to be generated by high uptake that will lead to an increased share in the market. The brand image becomes enhanced as the communication and marketing that is done on the product will enhance the efforts done to the consumer and market as a whole. The improved design will also result in better performance environmentally due to reduced toxic emissions and increased recycling of the waster. This will improve the morale of the employees as the increased productivity will be a result of close alignment of various units of the company leading to sharing of values on a personal scale (Park, 2009).
In 2009, Kenco which is a company that is sells and distributes readymade coffee introduced a new packaging. The new package was more Eco-friendly than the older version that was made up of glass jars. According to the company the new packaging that was part of a new strategy of going green cut down on the amount of energy spent during manufacture by about 81%. Besides this the new package would also cut down the amount of waste in weight by a significant chunk (by about 97% in the size) if the new package would be received well by consumers. The new package that they introduced was made of plastic implying that it can be recycled albeit at a cheaper rate in terms of recycling as the glass may require too many resources in it being moving and recycling (Alacon, 2009).
The traditional lid that they had been using made of Polypropylene is very difficult in recycling and there are no plants that are available in the UK for the process. The reduced energy consumption while trying to use more Eco-friendly packaging led to the company winning an award at the Repak Recycling Awards in 2010. The packs that were introduced were of 150g that were aimed at replacing the traditional 100g and 200g jar offering packaging that it has previously been offering. The refill pack that they had will also with just a little 9g as compared to the older packages that weight about 375g. In doing this the weight of the packaging waste that is normally produced will be reduced by about a hundred tons. In addition the packaging used will be reduced by about 97%. The new material being employed in this case is made up of a laminate material that can easily be recycled (Park, 2009).
According to Alacon (2009), the company also partnered with Terracycle and in doing so it ensured that all its waste from the new packaging will be used in the up cycle of the material that will be used. The U.S. Company Terracycle will be using the old packaging in trying to make new products that include bags, pencil cases and umbrellas. These new products made from the recycled material are very affordable and fashionable and can be used in tasks like shopping for groceries or even be used I the carrying of books to class. The process is much easier in comparison the process that can be used in the making of recycled products that can be made from glass. Hence instead of the waste going into the landfills it is used in making the various by-products. The usual customers will be refilling the old jars that had previously been bought; this in return will make a huge change countywide if applied in terms of effect on the environment. This approach is a step in the right direction towards meeting the brands commitment of going green that started with using coffee whose source is the rainforest certified farms only.
The approach that has been taken by Kenco is especially common for the companies who have are interested in the environment. In doing this company is also able to gain some economical benefits through the advertising that will be employed. This is because the interest among the consumers about the environment has risen and such campaigns can be appealing to them. The manufacturing industry has especially done this through the packaging process as the green movement slowly spreads. In relation to this Kenco used the approach as a way of reducing amount of waste that is headed to the landfills. In doing this the company also gets benefits from the new products besides having a positive effect on the environment. By reducing the energy that the company spends in the production by 81%, Kenco will also cut down the energy consumed in the production process. By the reduced energy, the cost o production reduces and the profit margins are bound to increase due to the same reason. Hence by taking a more socially responsible design in the company, it is able to cater for the interests of the public in relation to the environmental issues. Hence this move by the company has both the economical and environmental approach all put together. The excellent part is that it this has been achieved whilst considering all the ethical and financial aspects involved (Sinead, 2010).
Approaches Employed in Marketing the Eco-design
In order to ensure that Kenco has achieved the mark it has set in trying to market the new packaging with an eco-friendly motto the company had to come up with a suitable approach. Among the methods employed including hiring of celebrities like Amanda Holden who is a television personality along with an eco-expert Oliver Heath. The two were recruited in carrying out a nationwide campaign that had a title "Waste Less Challenge". This was a slogan that was also applied in various advertisements. The hope of carrying out the campaign includes establishing a sustainability pledge and this would be achieved by the environmentally friendly pack that had been produced (Park, 2009).
Besides this, the company has also launched an initiative for the young children that are entitled the "Kenco Eco Refill Young Designer", this aims at the young children of ages between six to twelve years who will enter in the competition. The competition is promoting the children to use and reduce the waste from their homes in an imaginative process and it is aimed at creating a new generation of up cyclers. The children who will use the waste to create something that is very innovative will win the "Young Eco Designer 2010' and will include the design being actually implemented by the partner company in recycling TerraCycle. The competition will entail the conversion of the plastics and bottle by making robot toy or any coffee packing material for the refill pack into any flowery design that will be used in the decorations among other things (Sinear, 2009).
Advantages of the Eco-Design
Innovation and Low Impact
The path that is followed by Kenco is quite innovative. In doing this it has set pace in the industry as the shift in packaging to material that can be recycled will be a first among its main competitors. In addition this will attract the increasing numbers in the population who are out to look for the environment by the going green campaign in the country. The materials that have been employed are of low impact that don't really present a danger to the users unlike the cans that can easily lead to cuts and even more dangerous like glass if broken due to the sharp edges. Besides the limited danger the bulk of the previous products are eliminated as the new package is more light hence makes the shopping experience easier due to the reduced weight. The material is again easily reusable and has undergone all the safety standards needed hence sufficient in all capacities. The material is safe to dispose unlike the glass that will break and present with many dilemmas due to the hazard it presents. The plastic lids previously were not easily recyclable and this combined with the lack of plants to do the same in the country makes it a very difficult task to achieve.
Alacon (2009), states that due to the packaging that is not brittle like glass the process of packing the products during production is made easier and economical as it saves a lot of time due the less care being needed in movement and arrangement. Due to the lighter packaging the shipping costs are reduced and enable Kenco to reach their clients as fast as possible due to the ease of transport. The simpler packing means the cost of production is also lowered allowing the company to set up smaller production units to be used in packaging the product according to the supply that is demanded on the local level.
Due to the fact that a single material is used in packaging unlike the older version that employed tow different materials both of whom are more difficult to recycle. In this case the material being one makes it easy for collection and recycling process as it easier and it will involve only a single process. This has boosted Kenco because of the partnership that has been acquired with TerraCycle a company that is focused in recycling materials.
In doing this the company has been able to produce some sensible solutions on the business angle while pleasing the partners in various sectors in the industry. All the tactics and solutions that have been employed are revolving around the stewardship that is offered by the economic and environmental sustainability that will be offered. With this in mind it has been able to streamline the sustainability effort that has been put into three initiatives. These include the power reduction, effective use of resources and ethical outsourcing. Others included are reduction of the packaging and use of recyclable materials. In doing this, the company hoped it would achieve the confidence in itself by the not only the consumer but also create a culture of doing commerce ethically that puts into consideration various issues like the cultural heritage and environmental factors and the effect on the foreseeable future generations.
Power Use Reduction
The ethical outsourcing being done in coffee is by ensuring the sources or raw products employed are from honest organizations that have similar goals and they treat their farmers as deserved as they are the ones who grow them. In doing this the company also ensures that all the persons who take part in the production for coffee beginning from the planting point all the way to the point it reaches the consumers table for consumption. On the other hand by reduction of the power that has been used also assists in the minimization of the carbon imprint that usually will have had a negative effect. This will furthermore assist in the push for new methods of acquiring energy to be used that is also sustainable by reduction on the pressure exerted on the existing sources (Par, 2009).
The packaging that was done in which they changed from glass to paper indicates the hope of re-evaluating the methods that are in employment in packages and shipping of their products and in doing this they use less components that will automatically translate to reduced waste from the resultant waste that would otherwise be massive in nature. In doing this, it influences its partners and clients by ensuring the products needed are provided at the right standards and quality but in a packaging method that ensures environmental sustainability by reduced waste emission (www.ecolaningenieria.com, 2011).
Considerations to Be Put In Place
Despite the need to create a packaging method that is eco-friendly and does not lead to the increased waste accumulation there are some issues that need to be considered in the approach of new techniques and packaging material that is more eco-friendly. This can be attributed to the fact that such products if created normally have to of organic nature and this means they are harvested from natural sources. Hence if this is to be done they should be at a rate that will not exhaust them as they exist naturally. The eco-ware materials that will be used must have a high degree of being recycled albeit at an easy and locally available way. In relation to Kenco they have developed an approach of using materials that are eco-friendly in that they use very little in packaging but are still able to ensure they get the maximum output of the waste that is generated by having it recycled to make other products.
Kenco is a company that has used the innovation edge to come up with a technique in packaging that is both economical and environmentally friendly. The process is in a manner that it has made many changes from the reduction in weight of the packaged products and also reducing the waste it would have sent to the landfills. This is in addition to the partnering with TerraCycle in the U.S. The company in doing this has set an example by being a leader in the industry through going green in the production of the products. This has been boosted by the awareness campaigns to educate the customers and endear the others on the reason for the changes and its benefits through a mass campaign.