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Sustainable material management: towards more cost-efficient products and production processes

For most companies, life cycle thinking and ecodesign are no longer mere buzzwords. In 2015, Sirris helped many organisations to move towards innovative and sustainable (or more sustainable) products and production processes by deploying a variety of methods and tools including (material) scans, new revenue models and ecodesign.

More and more companies are realising that sustainable innovation opens up new opportunities, markets and services. Sirris supports them along this path, with a particular focus on sustainable use of resources and materials. After all, material costs account for around 40 to 60% of total costs in the manufacturing industry. With targeted advice and support during implementation, we help organisations to integrate the principles of life cycle thinking, ecodesign and more efficient material use into their processes.

“Inefficient material use generates enormous hidden costs. A scan is the first step towards optimisation, cost saving and sustainable production.”

Projects in 2015

  • Material scans: In 2015, our scans helped some 20 companies to clearly identify their material flows, direct and indirect costs and environmental impact. Remarkably, 18% of materials are wasted during the average production process, accounting for around 19% of total production costs. These free material scans are an initiative of the Flemish Public Waste Agency OVAM, with support from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
  • CycLED: Manufacturing LED lighting uses rare earth elements and precious metals. Sirris developed a new framework to guide manufacturers towards more efficient use of materials. This allows LED producers to market their products profitably without increasing their environmental impact. A business model canvas was also developed as part of the cycLED project, ideal for visualising and exploring new business ideas.
  • Study for OVAM: Together with VKC and VITO, Sirris began researching the recycling possibilities of thermosetting composite materials. The objective is to close the composite cycle through sustainable design, reuse and recycling, waste flow optimisation, better cooperation within the value chain, facilitating regulation and so on.

Which projects are we working on now?

  • Eco-compliance: Regulations on energy and material use in products are constantly evolving. Together with Agoria, Sirris is helping companies to respond proactively to this changing context so that they can move to the design phase earlier and get tomorrow’s products to market quicker.
  • Advies circulaire economie: In partnership with Agoria, Sirris is offering advice to companies looking to engage in the circular economy. Topics range from material use and extending service life to reuse and recycling.

Moments of inspiration

  • cycLED (11/2/2015 - Brussels): How to truly eco-innovate in the lighting industry?

  • cycLED (19/05/2015 – Berlin): Eco-innovative Business models
  • LED-event (Elewijt): Role of technology in a sustainability strategy (in lighting industry)

Discover our full range of sustainable materials management services.