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ACID Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day: Designing for Sustainable Consumption

In the realm of business and creativity, World Intellectual Property Day serves as a timely reminder of the pivotal role intellectual property (IP) plays in fostering innovation and progress. This year, as we celebrate this annual event, it’s crucial to spotlight the fusion between design businesses and the imperative to champion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—specifically, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Design businesses wield immense influence over consumption behaviours and production methodologies. From product design to branding, they possess the capacity to shape not just aesthetics but also the ethos of consumption. As we navigate an era of heightened environmental awareness, these businesses must recognise their role in driving sustainable practices forward.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 – “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”- acts as a guiding beacon. This goal underscores the urgent need for businesses to transition towards sustainable models that minimise waste, reduce environmental impact, and promote ethical practices throughout the supply chain.

Anti Copying in Design (ACID) have many ethically conscious members who are adapting and underpinning their business models on sustainable practices.

Jewellery designer/maker, Anna Mcloughlin, exhaustively went through the process to become B Corp Certified to evidence her ethical practices and be as transparent as possible.

Anna Mcloughlin said, “The climate emergency is real, and I don’t think businesses have any choice but to become more ethical and sustainable.

The big three main climate issues of energy, food and transport just must be considered and acted upon if we are going to be able to sustain the lifestyles that we have all become used to.

I’m also very much of the opinion that there is already enough of everything in the world, and that as creatives, it’s our job to seek out, transform and reuse the resources that are already in existence”.

ACID member, Chiselwood, kitchen designers, who have also designed and built a collection of eco homes, Fossdyke in Lincolnshire, inextricably fuse sustainability into their business model.

Mel from Chiselwood said, “At Chiselwood we always consider sustainability, both in the furniture we design and our new eco homes we have recently built. Many think eco means energy efficient and sustainably sourced, however to our company it is also about longevity.

Our philosophy is that our houses will not need attention for up to 30 years and many of our clients are coming back to revamp kitchens that have endured 25 plus years of use.

We believe building and manufacturing to last is the best outcome for companies leading in design in the future”.

Dids Macdonald OBE., CEO of ACID added, “It is up to us to leave a better legacy for our children and the theme for the 2024 World IP Day could not be more timely. With no second chances to save our planet, this is a crucial moment for visionary designers across various disciplines to use their unique talent for innovation to reimagine a better, more responsible world. Green IP will play an increasingly significant role by securing marketplace advantage for environmental innovators”.

For design businesses, this goal can be actualised through a multipronged approach:

1. Eco-Conscious Design: Embrace design philosophies that prioritise longevity, recyclability, and eco-friendly materials. By creating products that endure trends and minimise environmental impact, designers contribute directly to sustainable consumption patterns.

2. IP Protection for Sustainability Innovations: Intellectual property rights can be instrumental in protecting sustainable innovations. By safeguarding eco-friendly designs and technologies, businesses can incentivise further investment in sustainable practices.

3. Collaboration for Impact: Foster collaborations between designers, manufacturers, and policymakers to streamline sustainable production. By forming alliances, businesses can advocate for supportive policies and implement scalable solutions.

4. Educate and Inform: Design businesses hold the power to influence consumer behaviour. Educate customers about the benefits of sustainable products and transparent production processes. By empowering consumers with knowledge, businesses can drive demand for sustainability.

5. Embrace Circular Economy Principles: Shift from linear production models to circular economy principles that prioritise resource efficiency and waste reduction. Design businesses can lead the charge by embracing upcycling, remanufacturing, and repairability.

On World Intellectual Property Day, it’s essential to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between intellectual property and sustainable development. By protecting innovations that drive sustainable consumption and production, businesses pave the way for a greener, more equitable future.

In conclusion, design businesses are uniquely positioned to act as catalysts for transformative change towards sustainable consumption and production. By harnessing the power of intellectual property and embracing the ethos of sustainability, they can not only thrive commercially but also leave a positive legacy for future generations. Let’s seize this opportunity to innovate responsibly and design a world where creativity and sustainability go hand in hand.

You can read more on World IP Day and the SDG’s by going to World IP Organisation.

If you would like to support IP and design, you can sign our ACID IP Charter for free. It adds your name to a growing list of individuals who agree with our ethos of respect, ethics and compliance in design and helps us campaign for stronger design laws.

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