An engineering perspective in which the environmentally related characteristics of a product, process, or facility design are optimized.
An EPA partnership program working with individual industry sectors to compare and improve the performance and human health and environmental risks and costs of existing and alternative products, processes, and practices. DfE partnership projects promote integrating cleaner, cheaper, and smarter solutions into everyday business practices.
The Design for Environment approach is grounded in comparing performance, costs, and the risks associated with alternatives. It uses cleaner technologies substitutes assessments (CTSAs) and life cycle tools to evaluate the performance, costs, and environmental and human health impacts of competing technologies. A goal of DfE is to encourage pollution prevention, front-end, innovations through redesign rather than relying on end-of-pipe controls to reducing potential risks to human health and the environment. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
A general term for designing things to minimise their environmental impact. This could be by making them more energy efficient, easier to recycle, remanufacture or repair, or using materials that are less toxic, or renewable or recyclable. Sometimes called eco-design or green design (though the latter is less commonly used). It could also include designing, say, a service that would reduce the need for products (see 'dematerialisation' above).
Design for Environment is a concept trying to avoid environmental burdens of products, processes and services already in an early stage of the product development. Often the environmental Life cycle assessment (LCA) is employed to forecast the impacts of different (production) alternatives of the product in question, thus being able to choose the most environmentally friendly. Different software tools have been developed to assist designers finding optimised products (or processes/services).