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Can product design save the world?

Like cost cleansheets, resource cleansheets can help identify savings opportunities—in this case, CO2 reductions. When we analyzed an ordinary painkiller’s packaging, we found that raw materials had a larger CO2 footprint than the production process for the packaging. This suggested opportunities to reduce emissions—and costs.

Resource cleansheets increase transparency by breaking down CO2 emissions into value-stream subcategories

Resource cleansheets increase transparency by breaking down CO2 emissions into value-stream subcategories.

CO2 footprint of medication package, kilograms of CO2 per 100 pieces

A total of 4.12 kilograms of CO2 includes 0.02 kilograms for Electricity and 0.01 kilograms for Overhead.

Material components: 2.61 kilograms of CO2

  • Blister packacking is 1.12 kilograms of CO2 which is 43% of the CO2 footprint
  • Box is 1.11 kilograms of CO2 which is 42% of the CO2 footprint
  • Leaflet is 0.39 kilograms of CO2 which is 15% of the CO2 footprint

Production components: 1.48 kilograms of CO2

  • Leaflet is 0.07 kilograms of CO2 which is 5% of the CO2 footprint
  • Box is 0.22 kilograms of CO2 which is 15% of the CO2 footprint
  • Blister packaging is 0.59 kilograms of CO2 which is 40% of the CO2 footprint
  • Packing machine is 0.60 kilograms of CO2 which is 41% of the CO2 footprint

Notes

Note: Figures may not sum to listed totals, because of rounding.

Source: Resource Cleansheet by McKinsey

McKinsey & Company

To read more, see “Design cost-effective, carbon-abated products with resource cleansheets,” September 28, 2020.