If you work on a circular solution or products, you can get lost in the complexity of quality labels, marketing strategies, advice and prohibitions. RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment wants to help designers contribute to safety, health and sustainability within circular design. That is why we are looking for partners to share knowledge and experiences.

RIVM is involved in DIRECT, a project that aims to develop a method for determining the impact of a product or development. To make this method accessible and practical, we work together with designers and other parties in the supply chains.  RIVM wants to establish a network of companies, institutions and people with whom we share knowledge, data and experiences. We want to know what knowledge is needed, what is desired and what works well.

Participating in DIRECT offers several advantages:

  • DIRECT supplies tools for optimum development of sustainable and safe products. We also make circular impact measurable. Many companies and organisations are currently using the methods that are available instead of the method that provides the best insight into sustainability goals.
  • Together we identify innovation opportunities within sustainable business practices. Sustainable innovation offers opportunities for differentiation, development and exploring new areas.
  • RIVM offers to streamline; we remove obstacles by creating insight into legal obligations, which saves time.
  • We help in removing and gaining insight into unnecessary obstacles in legislation and regulations. From DIRECT, we make proposals to policy on safe by design and the circular economy to provide structural support.
  • Did you know that the independence of our institute is set down in statutes? RIVM is a reliable and honest partner for government, society and professionals. This means that we work accurately and that we are reliable, accountable and impartial. This way, we guarantee the quality of our work.

Safe & Sustainable by Design

Safety, health and sustainability are particularly important in a circular economy, besides efficient use of raw materials. When basic resources are re-used in new products, health risks should be avoided. In addition, recycling is not sustainable if it requires a lot of energy or leads to the emission of harmful substances.
We still know little about the environmental impact of a product and its’ processing at the waste stage. It would be much better if safety and sustainability were already at the forefront of product design. We call this Safe & Sustainable by Design.

Would you like to participate?

Are you a circular designer? Think, share and learn with us! We are currently working on three research directions:

  1. Biocapture of CO2 from the air using algae, followed by chemical production based on microalgal technology.
  2. Circular design of plastic medical devices.
  3. The use of nanomaterials in solar panels.

Are you a designer of chemicals or products not mentioned above but interested in collaborating? Then you can also contact us.

Participating in DIRECT is free of charge and involves proposing a case. If you need an expense allowance, this is negotiable. Do you want to introduce a case study? We would love to hear from you! We are also open to other responses or sharing experiences.

Our call will close on Friday,14 June 2019. You can respond by emailing susanne.waaijers@rivm.nl.