For Matthieu Paillot, co-founder & chairman of Kisaco and an environmental and energy engineer, “to go further in ecodesign, you have to succeed in lifting barriers”. In 2020, he co-founded Kisaco with the aim of facilitating environmental impact assessments and ecodesign for all organizations, large groups and small businesses alike.

The impact assessment represents a significant cost of around EUR 10,000 per product, and it is a complex process using traditional tools, so it involves knowing how to position oneself in relation to the market, and then finding suppliers who can reduce this impact. We wanted to support companies in meeting all these challenges”, he says.

An impact calculation in 10 minutes

Thanks to the Kisaco Maker software, every user in the company, whether in a marketing or R&D function, can find out the environmental impact profile of a product in just a few minutes. The assessment focuses on 16 indicators: global warming, eutrophication (generation of green algae), particle emissions, ionizing radiation...

Users launch the calculation, and then the tool provides the impact of the product for each indicator in ten minutes. You can enter the packaging and its origin, and the tool recognizes the INCI formulation, so all the users have to do is correct the quantities and proportions. This results in an overall impact calculated using the European PEF (Product of Environmental Footprint) method. The tool analyzes each product from every angle”, says Matthieu Paillot.

The calculation is based on regularly updated data from specialized databases, including Ecoinvent, as well as on data Kisaco chemical engineers have worked on.

We then deliver a profile, which is the weighted average of the 16 indicators calculated. This helps compare products within the same range and understand why one has more impact than another. Is it the transport? The formulation? The pack? And we also compare them with the market average to see whether we have a sustainable product or not”, he explains. “We work under confidentiality agreements. Users can only see what is relevant to their own products. The databases are secured and encrypted according to very high security standards, because they represent our customers’ intangible assets”, he adds.

Recommendations for improvement

To go further, the Lab Kisaco tool makes it possible to view the data of the product in its current version on screen, as well as the elements that could be changed to reduce the carbon footprint, so a before-and-after version can be created.

Finally, users can access recommendations prioritized according to their complexity and impact.

This is the ultimate feature of our tool. We try to be really practical and pragmatic, so we recommend both simple steps, such as removing overpackaging, which has a huge impact, and more difficult ones. Once our customers have understood where their impacts are, they can go get the solution(s) from suppliers whose impact we have also measured”, explains Matthieu Paillot.

These suppliers were assessed and confirmed as having a lower impact than the market average, with no other commercial agreements with the startup.

Use cases

This approach can be used at any stage in the life of a product: upstream, at the preliminary design stage, during development, to optimize the formula or packaging, or after the marketing phase, to redesign components and ensure the new configuration will have less impact.

It can also help obtain a score for your range, so you can rework priority products first. The results are not always obvious. Removing plastic, for example, does not always have the desired effect on the environment, or as regards climate issues”, warns Matthieu Paillot in conclusion.