By Architect Marco Capellini
On the international level the demand is growing on the part of businesses to renew their products and processes with which to face up to competitive pressures, to increase productivity and to maintain or increase the market shares.
For businesses product innovation is becoming one of the strategic options to best compete in present-day globalized market.
The opening of new markets, the elevated requirements in quality of consumer goods and the growing internal and international competition have generated a consistent demand in the innovation of a product. Businesses, even those small or medium enterprises, run the risk of not surviving over a long period of time if innovation doesn’t become integrated in the development process of new products.
In this scenario of new opportunity and new challenges to confront, ecodesign plays a key role in the corporate strategy for satisfying the ever-growing demand of attentiveness to the environmental quality of products.
Diverse experiences in Italy can prove how design and innovation can pass through recycling.
The constant augmentation in the price of primary materials, of relevant derivatives in consequence of virgin materials, has stimulated the companies to at least partially or totally exploit materials obtained through processes of recycling. There are certain types of recycled materials with colour, form and characteristics that leave nothing to be envied of their virgin equivalents.
There are certain types of materials which for their originality and appearance would never appear to have been created out of recycled materials.
Both small and big businesses have seen in different strategies of ecodesign a solution to the conception of a new range of products; products which cost a few Euro, and products which cost a few million Euro: products where the design is a result of a course which is characteristic of recycled materials, technology and functionality. There are products which in a former life were something else, and in the future will become something yet unknown; products which allow for a reconciliation between ecological and economic convenience.
For many businesses. it is a commercial choice to not reveal which of their pro-ducts are derived from recycled materials because according to their judgement it won’t sell, while for others recycling is synonymous with innovation: a path on which to invest energy arid resources for the development of materials and products with a new identity.
The opportunities to grab are multiple: one just needs to know how to individualize and to develop them.