Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and materials information technology innovators Granta Design Ltd. have announced a new strategic partnership, combining Autodesk's Digital Prototyping vision with Granta’s materials information and eco design technology to help enable sustainable product design.
Granta and Autodesk are co-developing software that will add new sustainable design capabilities to the Autodesk solution. The companies are working closely to integrate Granta’s eco design methods into Autodesk software, helping designers to estimate the environmental impact of a product and make more sustainable design decisions. The new tools will access and use data from Granta’s world-class materials information database. As nearly 80 percent of a product’s environmental footprint is determined during the design phase, the combination of the companies’ technologies stands to significantly impact manufacturers of all sizes seeking to optimize product sustainability.
“The ability to optimize material selection based on environmental impact, in addition to cost and performance, is crucial to today’s manufacturers,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “We believe that companies of all sizes—not just large enterprises—deserve ready access to this information, and our partnership with Granta will help deliver that capability to Autodesk customers worldwide.”
Materials analysis and selection is increasingly important for companies to control a product design’s environmental impact, both to respond to customer demand and to comply with regulation. For example, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is in the process of updating its “Green Guides,” requiring manufacturers that claim their products are made with renewable materials to say how much of the product is manufactured with those materials, what those materials are, how they are sourced and why they are considered renewable. In Europe, the European Union’s recent Eco-design of Energy-Related Products Directive requires companies to use best practice in design for the environment to minimize the environmental impact of energy using products and energy related products.
“The market must consider sustainability for myriad reasons,” said Dr. David Cebon, Managing Director at Granta Design. “Granta is a leading innovator in data and tools for practical eco design. By partnering with Autodesk, with their breadth of industry-leading manufacturing solutions, we hope to make it easy for companies to adopt sustainable design practices into their processes.”