BSR Area 4


  • Logo UBA
  • Logo IDZ
  • Logo TU Berlin
  • Logo PPNT
  • Logo EDC
  • Logo MedinaArt
  • Logo DFF
  • Logo SVID

    Founded in 1974, the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) is Germany's main environmental protection agency with its headquarters in Dessau and around 1,500 employees. Our overarching mission is early detection of environmental risks and threats so that we can assess them and find viable solutions for them in a timely manner. Based on our findings, we provide federal bodies, such as the Ministry of the Environment, with policy advice. Furthermore, we also provide the general public with information. As environmental protection is a global task today, international cooperation is an important part of our Agency's work.

    With respect to ecodesign, UBA is involved in investigation and promotion of environmentally sound production and consumption patterns. Together with the Ministry of Environment, we award the German Federal Ecodesign Award that acknowledges environmentally and aesthetically convincing goods, services and concepts since 2012.


    »... The German Environmental Agency (UBA) initiated the idea for this project accrued from the experiences of the German Federal Ecodesign Award. In this context, we – UBA – closely cooperated with the International Design Center Berlin. This way we recognised the potential of design centers in the promotion and establishment of ecological design as a generally valid design principle for products and services in Europe. For us, ecodesign is an important means to support sustainable consumption and lifestyles. Currently, we want to spread the word to policymakers about design as a basis and chance for a circular economy and a circular society.
    s.Pro supports us in its the function as external project coordination office. The unique way of approaching circular economy from the ecodesign angle made it a really new experience for s.Pro.

    Some of UBA's previous outputs comprise
    • the ebook "How to do ecodesign"
    • the German ecodesign learning platform "Ecodesign kit"
    • the booklet "Green Products in Germany"

    Ecodesign is one important approach with sustainable consumption policies (see Germany's "National Programme on Sustainable Consumption")

    Conrad Dorer
    +49 340 2103 3388
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  • IDZ

    Founded in 1968, the International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) is one of Germany's leading institutions for design promotion. IDZ members include more than two hundred design-oriented companies, agencies, institutions and creatives. Alongside events and formats for member networking, the IDZ organises projects and events at national and international levels in active exchange with representatives from politics, culture and science.

    The field of design addresses far more than merely aesthetic issues. In the development of products, processes and services, design serves to integrate functional, emotional and social aspects that are based on people's actual needs. As a driver of innovation, design plays an important role in addressing social, environmental and economic challenges. Since its foundation, IDZ has focused on the promotion of sustainable design and has achieved great expertise in the field of ecodesign.


    »... Since its foundation in 1968, IDZ has focused on the promotion of sustainable design. We joined »EcoDesign Circle« to build on this mission and to engage in an international dialogue with different partners from across the Baltic Sea region. By taking part in this intensive exchange of knowledge and experience we could not only broaden our own expertise and draw attention to it on an international level, but also promote ecodesign as a holistic creative approach amongst SMEs, designers, students as well as the public.
    We were responsible for the Roadshow Ecodesign and the Circular Design Forum. Currently, we are looking forward to apply the EcoDesign Sprint methods during our first pilot on 'circular services' in Germany.

    © IDZ | Kühnapfel Fotografie
    Jutta Brinkschulte
    +49 30 61 62 321-24
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    With around 32,000 students, circa 100 course offerings and 40 institutes, the historic Technische Universität Berlin is one of Germany’s largest and most internationally renowned technical universities.
    The department "Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research in Electronics" investigates and teaches at the interface of technology, society and environment. The focus of the department is on the manifold interactions of technological and societal development and their impact on the environment as well as the influence of a changing environment on society. Three forms of knowledge are generated:
    • System knowledge - on the origins and character of complex social-ecological problems
    • Target knowledge - on the socially desirable and intra- and intergenerational fair development goals
    • Transformation knowledge - on approaches to solutions and transformation paths towards sustainability.

    The department "Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research in Electronics" focusses in particular on the electronics sector and investigates alternative practices of producing and consuming sustainable electronics.


    »... We joined the project because we wanted to combine creative design-thinking with life-cycle thinking. Furthermore, it gave us the opportunity to work together with the Nordic Countries, Poland and the Baltic States and to help SMEs, corporates and startups in the field of ecodesign and sustainable led innovation. In 2019, it won’t be enough for companies to simply acknowledge environmental concerns, consumers will expect commitment to be proven through action.
    Organisations will need to redesign their systems and business models to fit the circular economy where users are active participants, and sustainability is built into their products and services.

    In the current extension project of "EcoDesign Circle" we will adapt and pilot the "Learning Factory EcoDesign" for service design and digital solutions within a Circular Economy. We closely collaborate with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin.

    Max Marwede
    +49 30 46403-7989
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    A constituent part of the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park, Gdynia Design Centre (CDG) supports the development of creative industries, including companies and projects operating in the fields of industrial design, applied graphic arts, multimedia, architecture and fashion. It is a place where designers, entrepreneurs, students, and others passionate about design can meet and work together to promote smart design. In its daily work Gdynia Design Centre coordinates design-related initiatives and events, for instance by participating in international projects, running educational activities, and holding exhibitions and events to promote design, such as the Gdynia Design Days.

    One of CDG's core focus areas is to act at the intersection of design and entrepreneurship by promoting strong cooperation between designers and business people - particularly by helping SMEs acquire "design thinking". The Centre's extensive experience in this area includes leading interregional projects (such as Design EntrepreneurSHIP) with the aim of the transferring knowledge, triggering innovation and developing good practices in design and design-related fields. It also participates in a number of projects, such as EcoDesign Circle, as a project partner. Gdynia Design Centre collaborates with various organisations, companies, renowned designers and educational professionals whose main area of expertise is design management.


    »... We believe that circular economy is an idea worth to be spread. Intensive exchange of experience and cooperation with foreign institutions provide an opportunity to catch the wind in the sails, broaden the knowledge and get inspirations for the following years. Most interesting for us is the position of designers and their role in the life of products. At this early stage basic decisions regarding the type of material or energy input can minimise the overall environmental impact of a product or service. We are happy to share our discovered examples of companies taking advantage of using the ecodesign related solutions.
    Currently, we prepare a communication campaign on ecodesign / design for a circular economy.

    © PPNT | design centre
    Natalia Kawczyńska
    +48 58 880 82 33
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  • EDC

    The Estonian Design Centre is a development centre founded in 2008. The centre fosters the field of design and brings its members together. We help designers, entrepreneurs, public sector representatives, policy makers and everyone else who wants to promote the growth of Estonian design find each other, and we also act as their partners. Our everyday work consists of making design visible and acknowledging design as something that adds value. Good design means user- and ecofriendly solutions that work well and pave the way for innovation, both in business and the public sector.

    Our services are based on two of our main goals. First, our services deliver our main promise – to be a bridge in the design world, bringing together designers and clients. Our second aim is to talk about design as added value and something that fosters innovation. How does design create value? This is the question we answer in our workshops and trainings, master classes, training programmes, contact events, think tanks and seminars. We perform studies measuring the value of design. We focus on good design in our design blog, design map and design market. The best designs are rewarded at the Estonian Design Awards and – in cooperation with Enterprise Estonia – at the Entrepreneurship Awards in the Design User category.


    » ... We joined EcoDesignCircle to raise the awareness of circular economy and to increase the knowledge and know-how of ecodesign among SMEs and designers. Before this project, we have gained a good experience in conducting design audits in SMEs, it has proven to be very useful tool to raise awareness of design and it’s strategic use in SMEs. We wanted to see whether this tool could be adapted also to circular economy and ecodesign. Also, we wanted to be a part of a network of International institutions promoting ecodesign to exchange experience, broaden the knowledge and get inspiration.
    We have learned that there is a big difference in knowledge but we are very optimistic that our input can change the ways companies are thinking and acting.
    In the 'EcoDesign Circle project', we have developed the EcoDesign Audit and currently work on a "train the trainers package" for the project's ecodesign offer.

    Mariliis Alev
    +372 52 655 93
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    MedinaArt Ltd. was established in 2007 to implement marketing and consulting projects in the furniture market. Thanks to its founder Marina Lebedeva’s competences, the company’s services quickly became popular among clients in such areas as transportation, industrial and territorial development and NGO management.


    »... Today the Russian economy in general (incl. the Russian part of the Baltic Sea Region) is not in compliance with needs and requirements of emerging circular economy. Certain measures are taken by businesses and public authorities in order to raise awareness and switch to modern ways of trade and industy, but the systemic approach has not been developed yet. We would like to address this challenge and contribute to development and implementation of more systemic and up-to-date approaches to product design and manufacturing in the Baltic Sea Region. Even though ecodesign thinking and methods are widely applicable in many areas of trade and industry, we will focus mainly on furniture and we hope that by the end of the project a protoytpe in compliance with circular economy principles will have been developed and manufactured.

    Marina Lebedeva
    +7 (906) 270-64-17
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  • DFF

    Founded in 1875, Design Forum Finland is the national design promotion organisation in Finland, maintained by the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design. Its role is to strengthen the growth and competitiveness of SMEs through the means of design and strategic design management. It offers services and information that will help SMEs to evaluate, develop and apply the competitive advantages brought by design. Design Forum Finland's aims are to increase and share information and design knowhow, connect design agencies and future clients, and create new partnerships.

    Design Forum Finland organises a range of events, seminars, workshops and presentations. Its awards – the Fennia Prize, Kaj Franck Design Prize, Young Designer of the Year and Estlander Prize – promote and communicate the uses and benefits of design. Design Forum Finland initiates and participates in national and international research and development projects and creates competence networks. To its members, Design Forum Finland offers access to the most interesting projects and an opportunity to influence and participate in current design discourse. Throughout the years, Design Forum Finland has carried out design exhibitions and projects with a focus on ecodesign and corporate social responsibility.


    » ... We joined because we needed to raise the awareness and understanding of circular economy. We also want to help companies to build their “closed loop” businesses. The role of circular economy will be more significant and even bigger in the future.
    Circular design is a great way to develop new business models. The workshops proved that people from different positions with different expertise are together creating new positive thinking and innovations. We also learned that a workshop itself is not enough, there must be a plan how to implement new ideas into the company´s strategy after the EcoDesign Sprint workshops.

    photo by Mikko Ryhänen
    Saija Malila
    +358 44 727 2280
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    The goal of the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID) is to increase national awareness of design as a competitive tool and driver for sustainable development in all innovation and change processes. We aim to develop and deepen the understanding of design and design methodology in businesses, the public sector, research and society in general. We operate cross-functionally where we can link actors, disseminate knowledge and strengthen the potential for design-driven development. To foster this development, we create platforms and networks for growth and prosperity.


    »... We joined EcoDesign Circle to be able to increase the knowledge and know-how of ecodesign among SMEs and faculties. It’s an important work and fits our mission to work towards the SDGs. We hope for increased knowledge and that ecodesign will (soon) be the new norm. We’ve learned about the high difference in knowledge. But once you’ve opened someone’s eyes, you can’t turn a blind eye to the need of working circular. The sprints with SMEs have proven this and we’re happy to be part of contributing to this important change.
    During the project we have created the new and international version of our Sustainability Guide.

    © Lithuanian Design Forum
    Anna Velander Gisslén
    +46 708-95-65-20
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