Re-nourish, together with partner organizations including the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, has launched the Sustainable Design Auditing Project (SDAP), a public process to develop open-source metrics for measuring the environmental, social and economic impacts of the graphic design supply chain. The multi-stakeholder process is intended to provide the design supply chain with a more accurate, transparent way to manage sustainable decision-making across projects, companies, and the entire field.
Many would have us believe the design industry is changing from a dependence on designing commodity materials to experiences and systems. This may be true: with climate change and conventional resource extraction now recognized globally as a legitimate threat to human development, we’re rethinking our relationships with production, consumption and disposal. There are many opinions about how designers should go through this process, and what direction we should move in as an industry, and as a culture. But which direction the industry moves is irrelevant if the language used to articulate this new reality remains opaque and exclusionary. […]
A universally-accepted set of metrics that measure impacts and outcomes in meaningful ways will allow designers to explore the implications of new design methodologies and frameworks on equal footing. It will prevent one small group of people or one particular commercial interest from monopolizing the conversation. It will encourage transparency and accuracy instead of greenwash and platitudes. This is a matter of fairness and inclusion and justice – everyone with skin in the game (and that includes every designer who finds themselves grappling with their changing industry) must have access to a shared language to ensure private interests don’t dictate the terms of our existence.