Materials Science

Evaluating feedstocks and materials for products and packaging.
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The materials science service’s primary goal is to move toward more sustainable and circular material use systems. There are growing consumer and customer expectations for products and packaging to be sustainable, coupled with increasing global regulatory pressures. Across the value chain, from material manufacturers to retailers, companies are focused on incorporating more sustainable materials into products and packaging that will reduce Scope 3 emissions, enable circular end-of-life solutions, and be safer for humans and the environment.  To meet the ever-growing criteria for more sustainable materials, companies must balance key sustainability impacts while avoiding unintended consequences or regrettable substitutions, ensuring impact tradeoffs are understood and mitigated, while maintaining optimized product performance.

Anthesis Group’s unique service offerings use digital tools to help clients manage sustainability, performance, and business criteria for the materials in their products or packaging. The materials science service’s primary goal is to move toward more sustainable and circular material use systems.  This is achieved through the combination of digital tools and expert knowledge to determine where material selection can enable circular products through identification of durability, reparability, or other improvements, while maintaining lower footprints. When circularity systems are not applicable to the product or result in higher footprints, materials with lower impact in regard to material reduction, improved end-of-life fate, or mitigation of environmental impacts are identified, and implementation plans are created.

Feedstock Assessment and Supply Chain Resiliency: Environmental, social, and supply resiliency risks for industries and companies are becoming more apparent as transparency across supply chains grows. To better understand these risks, key feedstocks within a company’s purchased material or product portfolio are determined. A risk and opportunity assessment is conducted to determine hotspots and key target areas for feedstock sustainability and supply chain resiliency improvements.

Sustainable Materials Assessment: The highest volume of materials in a product portfolio are analyzed to determine the impacts based on key lifecycle assessment (LCA) impact factors. An evaluation of sustainability hotspots is conducted based on the LCA impact factor assessment, and recommendations are provided to mitigate such hotspots.

Value Chain Assessment for Material Sustainability: Environmental and social risks are mapped for key materials and actions for improvement across a single product’s value chain. This approach provides a comprehensive understanding of environmental and social impact areas throughout a product’s lifetime to determine hotspots and mitigation of tradeoffs between impact areas to help companies avoid “carbon tunnel vision” and to improve the overall sustainability of the materials used in products or packaging

Alternative Materials Assessment and Selection: Alternative materials with improved sustainability impacts are identified based on key sustainability criteria for the product category. A framework is developed to prioritize criteria and select viable alternatives with improved sustainability and similar or improved performance. A wide range of criteria are evaluated and prioritized to ensure that tradeoffs are known and mitigated. Material sustainability certifications can be identified and recommended to aid in tradeoff mitigation.

Innovation Scouting for Alternative Materials: A technology landscape that identifies innovative and more sustainable materials is constructed, based on sustainability, material property, performance, and business criteria. The materials identified in the landscape are ranked based on replacement feasibility and maturity to develop recommendations and next steps for selection of innovative and more sustainable materials.

R&D Pilot Projects Assessment for Implementation of New Materials: Through engagement with key stakeholders, such as product development and marketing, an implementation roadmap to incorporate more sustainable materials within a single product or product category is developed based on the client’s product development process. The roadmap will include a project plan with high-level actions and key stakeholders required to achieve each project milestone aligned with the product development process.

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