Introducing the KD Sustainability Lab
Sustainability isn't new news at KD. We have been focused on it for years, with projects in this space stretching back over a decade.
Our purpose of Designing a Better World stamps sustainability into our DNA. The mission of improving the lives of people and the future of our planet gives our team daily direction and impetus.
Over the last 18 months, the world came to a standstill in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, with governments and businesses shifting focus. In a similar regard, a response is needed to battle the challenge of sustainability, setting goals and creating a detailed roadmap to achieve them. Every single business must contribute towards this roadmap and we want to help our clients support and deliver their sustainability commitments.
Our work has a positive impact on people, business and the planet. We believe it’s our responsibility to advocate and champion sustainable futures across the work we do.
From the start of a programme, we utilise expert thinking to embed a sustainability mindset alongside our commercial one, into our innovation and design activities. This gives sustainable, circular and regenerative solutions the best chance of success in the real world – meaning big ideas are put into action for the decade ahead.
We do this through our newly formed KD Sustainability Lab – An initiative tasked to deliver radical progress, commercial focus and accelerate change towards a more sustainable future.
Experts and change-makers from each of our capability teams consult on project work with a 360 ̊ sustainable perspective. By understanding the big picture without ignoring the detail, we provide the vision and evidence required to deliver measurable impact, helping businesses and brands grow and succeed whilst achieving ambitious sustainability targets.
What does it mean for our clients?
Elena Massucco, Head of Consumer
In the consumer sector, our focus is on the circular model. We have worked on the reduction of plastic for many years now, but the opportunity to create real impact is through circularity and regeneration. Doing less harm is no longer good enough and our clients and partners are investigating ways to restore ecosystems, reversing climate change and committing to net zero. This new era is characterised by collaboration between brands and businesses and open-source innovation. The next decade is unlocking new ways for brands to do business – a way that motivates employees and benefits the planet and all stakeholders.
Ben Webb, Head of Industrial
In the industrial sector the focus for KD is how we continue to support clients to consider design changes such as; intelligent automation as part of a digital transformation project, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT) as a connected ecosystem to drive efficiencies in process, data gathering, environmental modelling or monitoring via sensor integration to report on climate impact, or how the latest technology enhancements in renewable energy technology, i.e. energy harvesting, can support the everyday challenges faced in reducing the global demand on non-renewable energy sources. We are seeing clients with a product development need in the industrial sector being very conscious to emphasise re-use or retro fitting, as they face new product design to improve and/or reduce any future manufacturing impact to the environment. A move that clearly demonstrates positive steps towards a more sustainable future.
Kerry Briggs, Head of Medical
Safety and efficacy is obviously an absolute must in every medical product, with sustainability not really being on the radar until very recently. Over the past couple of years, we have seen the line between treatment in a hospital/ clinical setting and outpatient/ home settings blur. Patients have shown a desire to take control of their health, and when there is a choice, this has impacted the products they are now buying. Consumers are much more educated on sustainability and are no longer accepting that healthcare products cannot fit into this category. This, coupled with the changing aspirations of organisations such as the NHS, who are aiming to deliver net zero NHS by 2040, is pushing sustainability up the healthcare sector agenda.
This is providing a really interesting challenge; in many instances it requires a reframing of the lifecycle of products and therefore also the business cases behind them. By considering the impact of their products on the environment there is a significant opportunity for manufacturers to set themselves apart, both in the eyes of the user and procurement.
In the next few weeks, we will share interviews with some of our partners and clients, understanding their challenges and finding out more about our plans towards their sustainability goals. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter and sign up to our newsletter here to find out more.
KD: Delivering sustainable futures; Designing A Better World.