Kickstarter, EDF Partner to Push for Better Product Development

Kickstarter PBC and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today unveiled new features on Kickstarter aimed at helping innovators evaluate and reduce the environmental impact of their products from the concept stage.

Kickstarter and EDF worked together to develop an information hub called the Environmental Resource Center, as well as a space where project creators are asked to publicly commit to environmental practices. These features will help thousands of people create sustainable products by embedding environmental considerations into the early planning stages.

“As a Public Benefit Corporation, Kickstarter is obligated to consider the impact of its decisions on society, not just on shareholders,” said Perry Chen, Kickstarter’s Chairman and CEO. “We’re committed to helping creators make environmentally conscious decisions, and these new features are our biggest step yet toward fulfilling that commitment.”

EDF Climate Corps is a fellowship program that empowers and connects environmental professionals with leading companies to help accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.

Kickstarter staff worked with an Climate Corps fellow Alexandra Criscuolo over the last nine months to conceptualize and develop the new features.

The Environmental Resource Center presents case studies and best practices from industry experts on how to assess, adopt and communicate sustainability efforts. With a digestible format and pointers to information around the web, the Center will serve as a starting point for research.

  • Long-lasting design — ex: EcoTruck, a toy made with a 300 percent heavier-gauge material than comparable toys for maximum durability and longevity.

These features will reach thousands of people who are on the path to making a product, as well as the people who choose to support them. Over the past year, 9,500 design and technology projects were launched on Kickstarter, attracting more than a million supporters.

“We’ve seen an increased interest from the public in knowing how products are made and how they'll impact our planet. Creators who are thinking innovatively about ways to produce sustainable products will gain an advantage,” said EDF president Fred Krupp. “The Environmental Resource Center is an important new tool for scaling sustainability throughout the entire Kickstarter network — and beyond.”

  • Consider how your product can be repaired if it breaks: “Make disassembly easy by choosing screws to bind parts instead of glue, for example.”
  • Design your product with recycling in mind: “Black plastics aren’t usually seen by optical recycling sorting systems, causing them to end up in landfills.”
  • Think carefully about your packaging: “Use sustainable filling materials like organic starch cushioning, instead of styrofoam.”

The Environmental Commitments feature is available now for design and technology projects in the US, Canada and Mexico, and will expand to other countries in the coming months.

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