eco product design standards


A design project usually starts with a brief from a client that outlines a new invention or a problem that needs to be addressed. In response a design proposal is produced that recommends stages work, along with the costs.

The brief is discussed at a “kick off” meeting with the designers and client.  A design specification is produced listing the “nice to have” and “must have” features . We look at existing products on the market and have a brainstorm session with the client. We search for existing patents on Espacenet. Looking at the patents can make us think if new ideas as well as make us aware of any ideas that are currently protected.
We “sketch up” the ideas from the brainstorm session and create more ideas. These are presented to the client and one or two are chosen to developed in to a 3D CAD model and a working prototype. We then find out what standards we need to comply with  and carry out a risk assessment.  Consumer trials are conducted and the feedback is recorded. Design modifications can be done and an instruction manual is designed. All our drawings, minutes from meetings and technical documents are kept on file so we can produce a technical file ready for CE marking.

If you want to sell products in the United Kingdom have a look at the UK government website to see what regulations you need to comply with. They are free to download.
If it falls under any of the regulations then you’ll need to have your product CE marked for sale in the Europe or UKCA marked for sale in the UK.

If it is not covered by any of the regulations on the government website then it must abide by the General Product Safety regulation 2005 (GPSR) but this doesn’t need CE or UKCA marked.

Go to the ​British standards website to find out what worldwide, European and UK standards your product might fall under. Some are voluntary others are legally required.

If you want to sell your product  in the European Economic Area visit the  European Economic Area  website see if your product falls under any of the directives or regulations (free to download). If it does you must get it CE marked. View the harmonised standards here and the BSi shop to search for relevant standards.

One of the items on that list is the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC). It covers the design of products that use energy (like dishwashers) or save energy (like loft insulation).

You will also need to comply with packaging and labelling directives, regulations and standards.

If you are using any electronics make sure they are compliant with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment legislation, and the  Restriction of Hazardous Substances legislation.

Visit ISO to view management standards, for example; quality control, environmental management, sustainability management, medical design, and risk management.

Standards are complex and time consuming  for product designers.   The BSI and companies like Intertek offer consultancy advice and testing services.