Avnet Insights: Driven by Customer Demand, Engineers are Designing for Sustainability


Rising customer demands for sustainability are playing a key role in engineers’ design efforts coming out of two-plus years of pandemic-driven disruption and the ongoing components shortage. A newly released pulse survey from leading technology distributor, Avnet, found that majority (78%) of respondents who view sustainable product design as an opportunity have made progress in implementing it into their business strategy.

Globally, respondents found many sustainable design solutions to be important, especially visibility around availability and lead times (81%) and component end-of-life management (77%).

Additionally, the survey uncovered what tactics are being implemented

  • Most are currently using or plan to implement designing for longevity (77%) and low-power design (77%).
  • Nearly two-thirds are or plan to leverage connectivity (64%), software that prolongs product efficiency or life cycle (62%) or designing for recycling (60%) or reuse (57%).
  • Around half are or plan to avoid non-renewable resources (50%), edge computing (48%) or artificial intelligence (47%).

“Our latest research indicates that efforts around sustainable design are further ahead than we may have anticipated, especially given the disruption to component availability and supply chains which have been a stringent focus these last couple of years,” said Stacy Mendez, Director of Global Strategic Planning and ESG, Avnet. “It is encouraging to see companies redirecting that focus to efforts that can help promote sustainable design in components and, beyond that, their end products.”

Avnet found customer demand is, by far, the most effective driver behind their customers’ use of sustainable design tactics. Four-in-ten (40%) say customer pressure will be the most effective catalyst. Less than one-fifth believe government regulations (15%) or the desire to gain a competitive advantage (10%) will be an effective catalyst for advancing the use of sustainable design tactics.

“It is clear that customers are seeking sustainable options, which means demand for sustainably designed products will only continue to grow,” added Mendez. “Engineers should seek opportunities to incorporate sustainable design from the very start of the product development process. Therein lies the opportunity for customers to leverage the design and engineering capabilities of an end-to-end distributor to guide them from ideation to product development, even through to end-of-life, with sustainability priorities top of mind.”