Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

160 Design for low-impact materials As discussed elsewhere in this report, sustainability initiatives in the passenger shipping sector have until recently focused largely on reducing harmful emissions while ships are at sea. The chance to improve the sustainability of ships by making better choices of construction and design materials and products therefore represents a significant opportunity to cruise and ferry companies, as there is still so much scope for improvement in these areas. And for the design companies that work in this sector, there are great opportunities to provide services such as environmental consulting and eco-design, which can future-proof both the ships they work on and the business processes of their clients. Regulation is an important factor in driving uptake of sustainable design solutions. The European Commission is considering developing sustainability principles and other appropriate ways to regulate a variety of aspects of products, including improving product durability, reusability, upgradability and reparability, addressing the presence of hazardous chemicals in products, and making them more energy- and resource-efficient. It is also looking at ways to increase recycled content in products; enable remanufacturing and high-quality recycling, reduce carbon and environmental footprints; and restrict single-use products. Other ideas it is considering are to introduce a ban on the destruction of unsold durable goods and incentivise product-as-a-service models. Digitalisation of product information and rewarding products based on their different sustainability performance are also being debated.1 Given that sustainable products should be built for the long haul, it is important to look for qualities such as longevity, durability and modularity, featuring open source designs that allow for easy dismantling, disassembly, reconstruction, adaptation and repairability. “Consider reversible interconnection technologies (for example, screws are better than glue) and labelling the parts,” is the advice of Interreg,2 while the Sustainable Furnishings Council says: “80 per cent of the environmental impact of any product comes from the materials used to make it. Find out what went into the product you’re considering.”3 PRODUCTS AND MATER I ALS “ 80 per cent of the environmental impact of any product comes from the materials used to make it. Find out what went into the product you’re considering” Sustainable Furnishings Council 1 Source: European Commission, Communication from the Commission 2 Source: Interreg, Product Sustainability Guide 3 Source: Sustainable Furnishings Council, Quick Buying Guide