Corporate Responsibility

 
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Design for Sustainability


Design for Sustainability (DfS) is the process we use to minimize impacts of our products and guide them toward addressing global sustainability challenges. By introducing a full life cycle approach to assessing product impacts into the design process, we can minimize our products' footprints, while improving performance for our customers.

Customer-Focused Product Design

We recognize that our customers have sustainability goals and needs regarding material handling and usability of our products, as well as storage and disposal. We look to partner with our customers to address these needs and find solutions to support their sustainability efforts. Through Design for Sustainability, we consider environmental and social impacts of our products throughout their life cycles. As a result of our efforts, our customers will benefit in a variety of ways, including:
  • Reduced product and packaging waste, as well as waste removal and recycling costs;
  • Increased ability to attain their own reduction goals (e.g. energy, carbon emissions, waste, water, and other resource usage), as well as measure against their own overall sustainability objectives;
  • Reduced energy usage, carbon emissions and associated costs;
  • Reduced water usage and associated costs at facilities;
  • Reduced exposure to products containing substances of concern; 
  • Improved material handling; and
  • Improved ergonomics and usage.

Product Development Process

Our Product Development Process (PDP) consists of a rigorous stage-gate approach geared towards understanding customer requirements and ensuring that each product is achieving its performance hurdles before advancing to the next phase of the development process. This process also offers a format to integrate Design for Sustainability as a key consideration from early on in the concept definition phase, through product development and commercialization. Including sustainability content early in the process allows teams the most flexibility to make decisions that will ultimately have a lower impact, such as choosing more readily recycled materials or specifying an operating mode that requires less energy.

We developed our Design for Sustainability process in the PDP with a cross-functional team, including representatives from each business area, as well as the Quality, Procurement, EHS, and Operations functions. To ensure this process continues to get integrated within the PDP, we provide ongoing training, reference information and tools, and we organize forums for sharing best practices. We have identified champions within each part of the business to serve as the lead in incorporating this process into new product design. To equip our engineers, designers and technical leads with the capacity to implement this process and ultimately develop more sustainable products, we will provide training for use of the sustainability assessment tools and guidelines for reducing impacts.

Product Sustainability Criteria

The Design for Sustainability process is structured to be employed at specific points during the PDP and identifies several criteria for ensuring product sustainability in each of the following areas: materials, emissions and energy, waste, water, packaging, and usability and innovation. These criteria form the basis for assessing which of our products meet our 2015 goal to offer more sustainable products within at least 10% of our product families.

The criteria target reductions in some impact areas, set minimums in others and guide our teams to increasingly integrate sustainability into product design. Examples include:


Impact AreaExamples of Design for Sustainability Criteria

Materials


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  • Reducing the amount of material 
  • Choosing more readily recyclable materials
  • Reducing or eliminating substances of concern

Emissions and Energy


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  • Reducing energy consumption during product usage
  • Reducing the energy- or carbon-intensity of the manufacturing and distribution processes

Waste


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  • Designing to increase manufacturing yield and reduce scrap
  • Designing products to be more easily recycled
  • Developing end-of-use options for products

Water


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  • Reducing water consumption during manufacture or usage of product

Packaging


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  • Reducing the mass of packaging while maintaining or improving performance
  • Increasing the amount of recycled content in packaging

Usability and Innovation


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  • Improving ergonomics
  • Improving product handling and maneuvering
  • Improving ease of use and product interaction

We are also establishing environmental impact profiles for many of the materials we use in our products to help our product teams select materials that not only optimize product performance for our customers, but that will also improve environmental performance and safety.

To learn more about how we are implementing this process, read about Design for Sustainability with our EZ-Fit™ Manifold. The design team incorporated sustainability principles into the development process for this product, focusing on ease of use for the customer and reducing materials consumption. The EZ-Fit™ Manifold demonstrates several improvements over the previous product model, resulting in savings along our value chain in both materials usage and customer resource savings.

 
 
EZ-Fit Manifold

EZ-Fit™ Manifold
for universal laboratory filtration

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Product Quality & Safety

Product Quality & Safety
The foundation of our product commitment, embedded in all we do.

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