Developing a fit-to-purpose management approach with a global manufacturer of high-tech industrial machinery

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TOMRA is a global leader providing solutions that enable the circular economy with advanced collection and sorting systems, and food processing by employing sensor-based sorting and grading technology. TOMRA’s mission is to transform how we all obtain, use, and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste.

Part of their ambition is to become a fully circular business. To support their strategic targets on sustainable product design, TOMRA needed a fit-to-purpose management approach.

The brief

To develop the management approach, TOMRA’s product development processes were to be reviewed to identify how sustainable product design could best be anchored.

A second aim was to identify relevant measures to reduce the environmental impacts of TOMRA’s machines from a circular design perspective, which was complementary to a concurrent LCA project. These findings were to be used to develop sustainable product design criteria.

In realising the project, TOMRA also wanted to build organizational ownership and knowledge of sustainable design by engaging a broad stakeholder group.

Our approach

To ensure the results were anchored with a strong understanding of TOMRA’s organization and included the insights of key stakeholders, Nordic Sustainability conducted a series of interviews with relevant functions.

A stakeholder group was consulted throughout the project and engaged via workshops and reviews sessions. This included a full-day workshop on sustainability in product design, where stakeholders contributed their inputs in development of the management approach.

To develop sustainable product design criteria, relevant circular design strategies were reviewed and integrated with learnings from product LCAs. The results were reviewed with the wider stakeholder group to understand organizational readiness and feasibility of the criteria.


Through the engagement with stakeholders, findings emerged that were summarized into executive recommendations, which included a prioritization and resource scoping for each recommended action.

The project also resulted in a first version of sustainable design criteria to serve as a guide for focusing resources towards the most impactful sustainable design strategies.

To implement the proposed criteria, Nordic Sustainability identified intervention points in TOMRA’s existing project models.

Nordic Sustainability took a very thorough and professional approach in their work, providing us with a strong foundation to continue development of more sustainable and circular products.