Autodesk and Granta Design are teaming up to co-develop a new Web-based software that will allow businesses to assess the environmental impact of their materials choices during the product design stage. The partnership will leverage Autodesk’s digital prototyping with Granta’s materials information and eco-design technology.
The companies are working to integrate Granta’s eco-design methods into Autodesk software, helping designers to estimate the environmental impact of a product and make more sustainable design decisions, which will also help them meet regulatory compliance. The new tools will access and use data from Granta’s materials information database.
Because nearly 80 percent of a product’s environmental footprint is determined during the design phase, the combination of the companies’ technologies is expected to significantly help manufacturers optimize product sustainability, according to the companies.
“The ability to optimize material selection based on environmental impact, in addition to cost and performance, is crucial to today’s manufacturers,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk, in a statement. “We believe that companies of all sizes — not just large enterprises — deserve ready access to this information, and our partnership with Granta will help deliver that capability to Autodesk customers worldwide.”
Materials analysis and selection is becoming increasingly important for companies to control a product design’s environmental impact, particularly following the proposed revisions to the FTC Green Guide, which would require manufacturers that market their products as made with renewable materials to say how much of the product is made with those materials, what those materials are, how they are sourced and why they are considered renewable, say the companies.
In addition, the European Union’s recent Eco-design of Energy-Related Products Directive requires companies to use best practices in design for the environment to minimize the environmental impact of energy-using products and energy-related products.