Circularity and sustainability

Trend 13: Increased adoption of circular solutions for a better planet

Circular designs push sustainability to the forefront, becoming an intrinsic component of the design system. Instead of simply seeking LEED certification for a single building, circular designs tackle supply chain, product life cycle management, manufacturing, and even post-consumer use scenarios, maximizing the system's efficiency. Sustainability must encompass the process in which a product is created and distributed — ensuring production, transport, and usage are as efficient and beneficial as the product itself. Understanding the potential and requirements of the system allows sustainable concepts. The goal is to optimize the entire value chain, not only for monetary gains, but also for humanity and a better Earth.

Circularity and sustainability

Trend 14: Metrics as a design feature help achieve circularity and sustainability

Businesses are increasingly embedding “metrics as a design” feature to measure the environmental costs of products. It looks at carbon footprint data and metrics such as waste data, water footprint data, and virtual water data to bring strategic insights and enhance sustainable manufacturing for a circular economy.

However, current methods of capturing and measuring these data points aren't precise. Technologies such as big data, cloud, 5G, and the internet of things are expected to help overcome these challenges. These technologies will bring more relevant and actionable information readily and accurately. Solutions backed by these technologies can help in reversing supply chain logistics to fasttrack product return to manufacturers.

Infosys created a smart system that monitored the dynamic metrics for an entire building portfolio of properties focusing on the occupant comfort variables of temperature, humidity, and air quality.

For a leading financial services company, Infosys conducted a comprehensive diagnostic of energy usage to find inefficiencies and waste sources, leading to a smart building vision and roadmap.

Circularity and sustainability

Trend 15: Product designs change as right to repair (RTR) gains momentum

RTR is transforming from a consumer ask to a regulatory requirement in several countries. It allows users, consumers, and businesses to repair their devices on their own without any legal or technical restrictions. The U.K. and a few U.S. states already allow varying RTR levels. Further broadening the scope, President Biden recently ordered the Federal Trade Commission to create national RTR regulations. While this will bring down new product sales and revenue for manufacturers, it would significantly boost sustainability requirements. Further, technologies such as AR and VR will allow manufacturers to pass the required knowledge to customers with ease and fuel the RTR movement. For example, Rolls-Royce is already using VR-based software to train technicians on aircraft engine repair.

With the broadening RTR scope, manufacturers need to redesign products to empower customers to repair products on their own and outside of manufacturers' authorized networks. A modular approach to design would be the best fit, easing users to identify and fix/replace faulty parts. Another mandatory requirement will be the unbundling of hardware and software, hindering users from identifying and mending faults.