ISO 14009 - Guidelines for incorporating redesign of products and components to improve material circulation

Introduction

Approved in September 2017 this standard development work is due to be completed in late 2020

Why is this standard relevant?

One of the major challenges that we all face in achieving sustainable development is the efficient use
of resources and reuse of the resources many times without diminishing their value, usability, etc.
Concerns over material circulation of products and components continue to grow globally, and
government policies are being developed accordingly. The widely-held perception is that strategy / planning for material circulation of products and components should precede the design and development of products and components.

The UN adopted 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015 and set specific targets for each of them to be achieved over the next 15 years. SDGs 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) and SDGs 12(Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) are directly related to managing natural resources. Considering that products are largely composed of natural resources, material circulation of products plays an important role in the sustainable use of resources.

These guidelines provide guidance on analyzing existing products prior to redesign, identifying measures for improvement and reflecting those measures into the redesign of the products and components with focus on material circulation. The guidelines help organization manufacture or assemble products to contribute to the sustainable use of the resources.

Expected benefit from the standard

These guidelines incorporate redesign of existing products for material circulation into EMS. The guidelines are expected to contribute to effective management of material circulation of products and components and thereby reducing business risks and creating new business opportunities.

Limitation and uneven distribution of resources are key concern for organizations, businesses, regions or countries that rely significantly on specific resources. Encouraging the use of the guidelines by businesses in the region / country allows them to minimize the risk of lacking supply, which leads to the circular economy including associated industries such as the reuse and recycling industry.

Scope of the standard

This international standard provides guidelines to an organization for managing redesign and redevelopment of their products in a systematic manner using the framework of Environmental Management System (EMS).

These guidelines are intended to be used by those organizations who use ISO 14001 or similar EMS to deal with the redesign of existing products and components as well as of individual components to enhance material circulation. The guidelines are applicable to any organization regardless of its size.

The term ‘material circulation’ encompasses reduction, reuse, remanufacturing, recycling as well as circular economy concepts for both materials and components of products. Service is excluded from the term “product” used in these guidelines.

This standard provides guidelines for reducing the use of materials, strengthening the recovery of materials, and improving the assembly / disassembly of product and components in order to enhance material recovery and to reuse components. Specific means for achieving these goals are:

  • Material use: simplify types of materials used for existing products and / or components.
  • Ease of assembly: simplify assembly and manufacturing of products and components to promote easy dismantling and separation of components, which enhance materials reuse, remanufacturing and recyclability of existing products.

What is the link to sustainable development? 

One of the major challenges that we all face in achieving sustainable development is the efficient use of resources and reuse of the resources repeatedly without diminishing their value, usability etc. Internationally, UNEP IRP (United Nations Environment Programme International Resource Panel) warns that at the current pace of production and consumption, mankind would consume 140 billion tons of natural resources in 2050, which is twice the amount of 2005. Such use of natural resources, that does not consider material circulation, has already resulted in instability of resources supply and serious environmental impacts. (Decoupling natural resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth, UNEP, 2011).

Limitation and uneven distribution of resources are key concern for organization, businesses, regions or countries that rely significantly on specific resources. Encouraging the use of the guidelines by businesses in the region / country allows them to minimize the risk of lacking supply, which leads to the circular economy including  associated industries such as the reuse and recycling industry.