Ana Maria

Bio (50 words about you) Ana María Leal is a Sustainability and Eco Design Consultant based in Orlando, FL. She assists manufacturers and builders identifying opportunities and defining design strategies to improve products and building environmental profiles. As Sustainability Consultant she has worked on Cradle to Cradle Products Certification Assessments, Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations, recyclability Studies and Eco-design projects.

Languages: Spanish & English.

Mentorship strength
Product Design | Ecodesign | Environmental Product Sustainability | Cradle to Cradle and other environmental schemas.

Ana María Leal tells CEC about her background
“Working as product designer at Eastman Kodak, I started exploring environmental sustainability strategies for product design. That exploration opened up the door to a Master of Science in Sustainability with emphasis in Eco-design. Professional Sustainability work has focused on consulting for multinational consumer product companies, helping realize their sustainability goals. Given the need for sustainability action, Ana Maria decided to create her own consulting firm to work with manufacturers and builders design better products and spaces.

I worked on Ecodesign projects for Eastman Kodak in 2009-2010, and was at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology, working on Ecodesign project for AT&T.

At SGS NA, I worked as a Sustainability Consultant focusing on Cradle to Cradle General Assessments, Life Cycle Assessment for Product Design, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Health Product Declarations (HPDs), Ecodesign guidelines and recyclability studies. In this role, I had the opportunity to assist in the technical development of the Product Specific Rules of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), one of the pilot projects of the EU Commission Product Environmental Footprint (PEF).”

Greatest challenges when implementing circularity
“Due to the global supply chain, the linear business model and technology availability, finding the right material and suppliers willing to change status quo is the current challenge. Design for circularity takes time and needs commitment and collaboration from multiple stakeholders. As designers for the circular economy, we can take a first step by understanding the consequences of design choices and making design decisions that enable circularity. Our Design can set the path to recover better materials while encouraging the development of safer material choices.”


Best tip for a circular startup
A circular design idea can have several iterations before it is ready to be scale. Keep trying and if it is not perfect, it is better to have a good first circular solution that continue with the existing linear approach.

Hobbies: Biking and hiking surrounded by nature, know different cultures, listening to music.
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