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    Erdmann Solutions proposes Circular Economy initiative

    news-releasesErdmann Solutions AG
    July 20th 2022

    Brugg, Switzerland:- Award-winning design and engineering agency Erdmann Solutions is initiating a Swiss National Collaboration Platform for Circular Economy (CE) in Pharma.

    The platform was launched at an informational networking event staged at the Impact Hub Basel last month.

    Founding principles

    The well-attended event hosted by Erdmann Solutions focussed on communicating the circular needs and potential of the Pharma industry and identifying a founding community of stakeholders committed to join and contribute to the collaborative platform.

    Speakers included Erdmann Solutions AG CEO Raniero Pittini, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Solutions Design and CE Manager Cedric Gysel, and ZHAW School of Management and Law Senior Lecturer and Researcher Dr. Albena Björck.  Novartis was also strongly represented, contributing presentations from its Lead for Environmental Sustainability, Emmanuel Oertle, along with Research Scientists, Elena Degl Innocenti, and Delphine Jeanpierre.

    The initiative is also supported by the NTN Innovation Booster for Applied Circular Sustainability.

    End-to-end design approach

    The Platform is envisaged as a non-profit organization, to encourage collaboration and innovation that embraces the Circular Economy (CE) Model, informed by Human Centered Design (HCD) concepts.

    Immediate priorities start with concerns for lab consumables and intermediate materials in Pharma with a long-term goal to broaden the scope to encompass the entire pharma value chain.

    Erdmann Design founder and President Raimund Erdmann said: “We want to identify the circular needs and potential of the pharmaceutical industry and to commit its stakeholders to join and contribute to the collaborative design platform. Furthermore, we plan to create pilot projects to test our solutions and showcase the impact of collaboration on CE in the industry.”

    Pioneering approaches

    Erdmann’s involvement is inspired by pioneering work recently undertaken with Janssen and Johnson & Johnson to incorporate CE concepts into basic product development, design and marketing of medical devices. For Janssen, Erdmann has been involved in helping the company envision a strategy to drive strategic change that involves creating a set of guiding principles to steer design and manufacturing of packaging and devices for sustainability, establishing a roadmap including key targets and milestone dates, and identifying specific challenges, opportunities and actions to benchmark delivery.

    “We start with the concerns for lab consumables and intermediate materials in Pharma with the ultimate goal of broadening our human-centered design scope,” Mr. Erdmann explained.

    Circular Economy Models

    In contrast with the linear economy, in which raw natural resources are taken, transformed into products and disposed as waste, the circular economy model aims to close the gap between the production and the natural ecosystem cycles – on which humans ultimately depend.

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) defines a Circular Economy as ‘an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design’ replacing end-of-life junking with restoration, more use of renewable energy, eliminating use of toxic materials that impair reuse and recycling and aiming to eliminate waste through superior design. The Ellen McArthur Foundation and McKinsey also define CE as being underpinned by transition to renewable energy and building economic, natural, and social capital ‘based on three principles: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; regenerate natural systems.’

    There is consensus that CE models are built around the ‘3 Rs’ of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, together with Remanufacturing, the repurposing of parts and components with value added through specialist expertise, with an ultimate goal of preserving and enhancing natural capital by controlling finite stocks and balancing renewable resource flows.

    CE Benefits

    Industry benefits are variously cited as reducing use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increasing energy efficiency, protecting ecosystems, and significant (up to 70%) material savings, as well as creating new jobs in specialist repurposing activities. Studies have identified business opportunities from lowering input costs and in creating entirely new profit streams from new markets, as well as enhancing supply security and reducing price volatility.

    Raimund Erdmann commented: “The planet’s health is our health. And there is an important role for the Pharma industry as any other to support the sustainable design development of this planet. The world is already waking up to the social, economic as well as environmental need for the shift from a linear to a circular approach for a sustainable design future.”

    Breaking down barriers

    The new platform will work to confront the main barriers to embracing the circular economy model. A Swedish study (Ritzén and Sandström, 2017) has identified these as financial (quantifying benefits), structural (assigning responsibilities), operational (controlling processes, attitudinal (knowledge and embracing change) and technological (the challenges in designing products to be more easily reused, recycled and repurposed).

    Erdmann Design is inviting its many life sciences industries clients and partners among design standards organisations to join the CE Collaboration Platform.

    “Are you in your company considering supporting circularity? Are you looking for allies to start with concrete actions? Join this initiative to meet and exchange with like-minded people from other companies and organisations to begin this journey in collaboration with Erdmann Solutions in Switzerland,” said Mr. Erdmann.


    Ritzén, S. and Sandström, G.Ö. (2017). Barriers to the Circular Economy – Integration of Perspectives and Domains. Procedia CIRP, 64, pp.7–12. doi:10.1016/j.procir.2017.03.005.

    About Erdmann Design

    Erdmann Solutions AG (Erdmann) offers award-winning human-centered Design and Engineering services that are particularly applicable to Life Sciences and Medical Precision Technology applications including pharmaceutical devices, patient monitoring systems, delivery robots, production systems and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

    The Erdmann Solutions Approach are built around Innovation, Human Centric Design underpinned by usability engineering and testing and Branding Expertise, bringing tightly knit and dynamic design teams to focus on innovation and real customer needs, with particular expertise in high-risk in technologies in Medical and Pharmaceutical Procedures.

    Erdmann Design Solutions was founded in Brugg, in the Swiss canton of Aargau, close to Zurich, in 1978 by industrial designer Raimund Erdmann, who still leads the company with the managing partner Raniero Pittini. Since then, it has won more than 65 outstanding awards for its work with companies worldwide.

    Further information at:


    Click on Erdmann Design explores circular economy concepts as trend in medical innovation for further information.



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