Using eco-compass product evaluation

The eco-compass developed by Dow Europe is a useful tool for assessing the environmental impact of a product.
The eco-compass assessment is made by constructing a series of concentric hexagons, with each corner representing a different environmental dimension. These are (moving clockwise from the top of the diagram): a) service extension (for example making products last longer); b) revalorization (re-manufacturing, reuse and recycling possibilities); c) resource conservation (renewability of materials used); d) energy (consumed per unit of production); e) material intensity (weight of resources used per unit of production); and f) health and environment (risks to people and ecosystems).

The concentric hexagons represent scores of 0-5, starting with 0 at the centre and 5 at the perimeter. All uses of the eco-compass must start with a baseline product, which is given a score of 2 on all six dimensions. The product to be compared is then evaluated on a factor basis for each dimension - for example, if the manufacture of the baseline product uses 100 kWh of energy per unit of production, and the new product uses only 25 kWh, the new product scores a factor of four. When scores are plotted for all six dimensions, the eco-compass takes on a new shape, making it easy to compare its environmental performance with that of the baseline.

Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 15: Life on Land