SUSTAINABLE DESIGN IN SIGNAGE.
Written by Erik Sorensen Ruiz
March 16th – 2021.
The main objectives within corporate sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste and create healthy, sustainable and productive environments.
At Modulex, we are committed to conducting our business with the highest environmental standards and continuously strive to improve. By creating quality products with a longer lifecycle, we help protect the environment.
Our concern for the environment reflects in every stage of the product, from design to disposal. Sustainability begins at the very core of product design and production. Through sustainable and efficient design, products can be made to last longer, waste and pollution can be ‘designed out’ of the system. The environmental impact of a product diminishes drastically without having to solve complex problems – one can use design to avoid them instead.
Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment and people’s health and increase users’ comfort, thereby improving a building’s performance. Sustainable design includes optimising site potential, minimising fossil fuel consumption, using eco-friendly products, protecting and conserving water, enhancing indoor air quality and optimising operational practices.
Using this philosophy encourages decision-making at an early phase of production that will reduce the product’s negative impact on the environment and its users without compromising the bottom line.
How is sustainable design applied in signage? Here is how Modulex does it.
- By ensuring we understand our customers’ rates of change, we can advise on our most flexible products. Similarly, by engaging with wayfinding specialists and software, we reduce the number of signs installed in the first place.
- Selecting durable materials and applying protective coating ensures that our products can last as long as possible. Instead of focusing exclusively on handling waste properly, we can tackle the problem at the root and reduce waste in the first place. By offering long-lasting high-quality products, our customers do not need to replace products as often. Moreover, working closely with suppliers enables us to buy materials in bespoke lengths and cut down further waste.
- Modular design enables our customers to replace single components in their signage, without having to replace the whole construction. Old components can be re-used or recycled, closing the materials loop. Through modular design, we move towards a circular business model, where waste is reused, materials are optimized, and profit is maximized.
- Similarly, instead of finding ways handle dangerous chemicals properly, we simply design them out of our production line. We do not use heavy metals in our coatings and prioritize Greenguard Gold inks to reduce VOCs and improve indoor air quality. Additionally, when selecting raw materials, we prioritize those without harmful chemicals in their inventory.
- Carbon emissions are another main issue in corporate sustainability. Whilst offsetting is a valid way to balance emissions, the real solution lies at the core of the problem: reducing carbon footprint from the very start. By selecting low- carbon materials for our products, we reduce our carbon footprint at a design stage. This includes recycled, biophilic materials but also refers to locally procured materials, which are low-carbon due to reduced transportation.
- Manufacturing domestically and buying locally diminish the volume of fossil fuels used in shipping. Additionally, those savings translate in products of a higher quality and better design, and therefore last longer than those manufactured oversees at a lower cost.
- The manufacturing process behind a sign is equally important in order to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy. Efficient manufacturing technologies, safe and healthy inks, LED lighting, all help reduce overall consumption. This in turn lowers the carbon footprint of our company.
- Lastly, LEAN methodology has helped our factory in Billund optimize site potential and operational practices, whilst reducing energy use, space and time. LEAN manufacturing is a way for companies to achieve efficiency, sustainable practice and save costs by changing the entire philosophy and organization of a company.
Design is an pre-emptive way to reduce environmental impact efficiently, which should be embraced as a powerful tool. Whilst many sustainable strategies try to deal with problems in the best way possible, at Modulex we focus on how to avoid those issues by placing solutions at the very core.
Sustainability has been looked at as the way to reduce the impact on the environment. But today it is about having a positive impact on the world, and hopefully leaving better-off. To achieve this, strategies to change cannot be superficial anymore, but have to be grounded on the very operational foundations of companies. Design and LEAN efficiency are some ways this can be achieved.