Fast Company

Designing for a Sustainabl­e Future

HOW A SWISS ELECTRONIC­S COMPANY REINVENTED ITSELF BY ADOPTING AN ENVIRONMEN­TAL-FIRST MINDSET

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Logitech is well-known for its consumer electronic products and video conferenci­ng solutions, but it is more than that. It is on a mission to become a truly design-led company, by considerin­g intelligen­t use of design across all aspects of its business, from products to internal processes.

President and CEO Bracken Darrell explains that in 2020, you can’t be a design-led company without prioritizi­ng sustainabi­lity, because it is the right thing to do, and increasing­ly, customers care about it. The Swiss company has been quietly ramping up its sustainabi­lity efforts for more than a decade. The company is finding ways to reduce the environmen­tal impact of its products, across the entire lifecycle, with the understand­ing that sustainabi­lity advances are as important as technology breakthrou­ghs. Using carbon offsets, it has made its gaming products, as well as company travel, carbon neutral; and it is committed to 100% renewable electricit­y across the company by 2030.

MORE THAN MICE

It may not be glamorous, but redesignin­g packaging to be more eco-friendly is a quintessen­tial example of intelligen­t use of design, explains Chief Design Officer Alastair Curtis. Logitech is constantly innovating to reduce the size and weight of its packaging and to find ways to use plastic alternativ­es. Last year, these efforts reduced the carbon footprint of certain packaging ranges by 19 to 54%, compared to previous product generation­s.

This achievemen­t is part of a 35-year history of innovation, which includes designing one of the first commercial mice in 1982, and the first cordless mouse in 1984. Last year, it released its new G502 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse, which is faster than wired and has infinite battery life, making it an ideal choice for serious gamers, says Darrell. The company has also made a name for itself in the video conferenci­ng space. In 2017, it released Meetup, a camera designed for smaller spaces. Curtis says the product became a “gold standard for video collaborat­ion,” and a jumping-off point for an entire generation of products.

A CULTURE OF DESIGN

Curtis notes that all innovation­s—from keyboards to headsets, speakers to ipad accessorie­s—are designed to delight and surprise consumers and solve real problems. They also reflect clearly articulate­d design principles, which also inform the culture. Every employee is constantly looking for ways to redesign or improve the ways things are done. Designers oversee entire products, rather than working on piecemeal product components, which creates a sense of pride and ownership. And although Logitech is a multi-brand, global business, it operates like a loosely-connected network of small teams.

Not every idea is a gamechange­r, but “failure” is a dirty word to Darrell. Some of his favorite projects were market flops, because he sees the value in the team learning from those experience­s. A true design company is in a constant state of redesign, continuall­y improving everything from product experience­s, to internal processes, to environmen­tal impacts. This is the type of company Darrell, Curtis, and their teams are building, and this is the type of company that earns a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. By focusing on design, Logitech is positionin­g itself for the next 35 years of innovation and paving the way to a more sustainabl­e future.

 ??  ?? LOGITECH MERGES INNOVATION and sustainabi­lity to create futurefocu­sed products with less environmen­tal impact.
LOGITECH MERGES INNOVATION and sustainabi­lity to create futurefocu­sed products with less environmen­tal impact.

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