The Environmental Impact of Design on the Planet

At Chris Flynn Design we are very conscious of sustainable design. We will always try to implement strong principles in our working environment let alone the products we produce. We, therefore, like to consider the environmental impact of all design products. These include items such as paper, inks, packaging and printed materials throughout their life cycle. We also consider the design process from manufacturing to transportation and the final end product. We always think carefully about ways of reducing waste such as the number of materials required for an end product. Furthermore, we will always evaluate how the product will be used and more importantly how it will be disposed of. To guide us we often refer to The Bill of Rights for the Planet as the “Hannover Principles”.

Hannover Principles

The Hannover Principles were developed by William McDonough Architects for EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. They outline design principles, directed to shape a sustainable future for our planet.

“For the development and improvement of humankind, it is imperative to renew a commitment to living as part of the earth by understanding development and growth as processes which can be sustained, not exploited to impractical limits.”

The Bill of Rights for the Planet inspires an approach to design which meets the needs of the present without compromising the planet. These principles are especially relevant in all areas of our design process. I believe they are worth noting for all aspects of your business because in doing so we are most likely to help sustain a supportive future.

Bill of Rights for the Planet


Where ever possible we will always use paper and materials made from recycled sources. We are always on the lookout for new and inspiring solutions that help us to be kinder to our wonderful planet.

What changes have you made in your working environment for a sustainable future? … Do you think there is more we can be doing?

Feel free to comment I would love to hear your views.

The Bill of Rights for the Planet:

  • Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse, and sustainable condition.
  • Recognize Interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend on the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognise even distant effects.
  • Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry, and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.
  • Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist.
  • Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of products, processes, or standards.
  • Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems in which there is no waste.
  • Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income. Incorporating this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
  • Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor not an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled. 
  • Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and users to link long-term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.