Sustainable product design is often believed to be more expensive. However, new research finds that adopting sustainable design processes has helped 22 percent of UK businesses to significantly reduce their costs.

Meanwhile, roughly 40 percent have experienced no increase in costs at all from making their products more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

That’s according to new research from services and consulting giant Capgemini.

Despite this, the remainder of organisations have no plans to implement sustainable design, despite the environmental benefits – which include 67 percent of the organisations that have introduced it reducing their carbon emissions.

The report examines the importance of “thinking beyond isolated design problems and considering systems in full” – from the early stages of product design through to the selection of materials and end-of-life management.

UK organisations that are already implementing sustainable design strategies have experienced increased revenue growth (69 percent), improved customer satisfaction (71 percent), and increased employee engagement (78 percent) as a result.

Despite this, challenges do remain. Lack of availability of sustainable materials (reported by 52 percent) and lack of data to measure impacts (60 percent) are among the biggest challenges.

The report also found that the top motivator for 61 percent of the organisations already implementing sustainable product design, or planning to do so in the future, is pressure from regulators.

“With regulation set to tighten in the future, including around product life extension and recycled materials used in products and or packaging, businesses that aren’t already implementing sustainable design must reconsider in order to safeguard from the risk of future regulatory non-compliance,” says the company.