EcoDesign Circle: Ecodesign as driver of innovation in the Baltic Sea Region was a three-year (2016–2019) development project partly funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme of the European Union. The project was for developing circular economy and related business, research and educational activities with the means of design.
In the course of the first EcoDesign Circle project the understanding of designers and design organizations in ecological product design and circular business models was increased. The output of the project included, among other things, the EcoDesign Sprint tool for developing business operations of companies; the EcoDesign Audit evaluation model for defining the level of circular economy and the use of design in companies; the EcoDesign Learning Factory training program, the touring exhibition Reconsider Design, and the website Sustainability Guide. The target groups of the project were designers, companies, circular economy experts, various organizations and the public sector, plus schools and universities.
The Lead Partner of the project was the Umweltbundesamt UBA of Germany. The other partners were Internationales Design Zentrum Berlin (Germany), Eesti Disainikeskus (Estonia), Lithuanian Designers’ Society (Lithuania), Design Forum Finland (Finland), Stiftelsen Svensk Industridesign (Sweden) and Gdynia Innovative – Pomeranian Science and Technology Park – Gdynia Design Centre (Poland). The total budget of the project was 2.2 M €.
As part of EcoDesign Circle, Design Forum Finland has created the EcoDesign Sprint tool where companies get to know ecodesign and circular economy, as well as circular design methods, together with circular design professionals. The goal of the Sprint is to provide the client companies with new business concepts in accordance with circular economy and thus develop the business operations of the company, creating competitiveness and more sustainable products and services for it. Design Forum Finland also piloted the EcoDesign Audit tool, created by Eesti Disainikeskus, with the companies selected to participate in the Sprint.
With EcoDesign Audit, companies and organizations can evaluate their readiness and capacities for ecodesign. With the tool, the organization’s prospects for circular design and suitable approaches can also be recognized.
EcoDesign Audit was developed by Eesti Disainikeskus.
Sustainability Guide, created in the course of the project, presents circular business models, principles of ecodesign and best practices from companies excelling in circularity. The international website was developed and is maintained by SVID (Stiftelsen Svensk Industridesign).
Learning Factory Ecodesign is a practical and creative workshop where one can learn the basics of circular economy and how to create circular business models. The workshop was developed by the experts of Fraunhofer IZM.