Grundfos’ path towards more sustainable products
Throughout its history Grundfos has worked with product sustainability. The most systematic approach can be connected to driving energy efficiency forward.
Based on an early Life Cycle Analysis in the 1990s (EDIP – Environmental Design of Industrial Products) together with amongst others the Danish Ministry for Environment and Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Grundfos determined that the use phase accounted for a the highest part of environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a product – in this specific case the JetpaQ. This realization, and a dedication by Niels due Jensen, lead to a strong focus on energy efficiency throughout the next 20 years to come.
The time has come for Grundfos to broaden the focus since an increasing number of internal and external drivers point at the need to optimize the product performance, by considering the whole life-cycle. This demands systematically working with material selection, production, packaging, distribution, use and lifetime, and end-of-life.
In order to foster a systematic approach towards holistic life cycle thinking, Grundfos has developed its own methodology (toolbox) which combines life-cycle thinking, eco-design principles and guidelines with our product development and innovation processes. The toolbox is currently in its implementation phase and aims at making sure that all products are developed based on a life cycle approach.
FUTURE – End-of-Life example
As part of a desired holistic Life Cycle Management Approach it is of highest interest to Grundfos to design our products in a way for them to be re-cycled with maximum resource extraction and reuse whilst ensuring high quality and functionality. Furthermore the ambition is to also investigate how to increase the use of secondary materials in future products, where possible.
With a continuous effort to improve our products we want to work closely with end-of-life handling facilities to ensure that future products will be designed for maximum resource-recirculation. As a premise we are working systematically to ensure that our products can be recycled to the largest part possible.
Whilst some products have a very high recyclability rate already others leave room for improvement. It is hereby very important to consider the market that a product is sold into since resource extraction depends on the local availability of treatment facilities.