Cradle to Cradle Essay
Cradle to Cradle
The ? rst key aspect of Cradle to Cradle® in education is to move away from teaching children to feel guilty. We have faced a long period of all kinds of environmental disasters which has created a feeling that it would be better if we were not here. This is why people talk about minimising footprints. For education, however, that’s not a very positive message. There’s no doubt that sustainability has brought us a great deal of valuable expertise such as knowledge about supply chain management, logistics, toxicity, top soil, phosphate, nutrient recovery, material ? ows, etc.
There is a wide range of knowledge that we can now use and build on. However, this has also led to us feeling guilty for being alive and being on earth. If this is the basis for education, you will not be able to inspire people to do new things. You can’t be innovative working from guilt because you’re trying to minimise feeling guilty. We now have the opportunity to use 30 years of environmental debate for innovation. To put plastic into the ocean is just stupid, just like making chemicals that damage biological systems. People become more creative when they feel appreciated and live without fear.
It’s far more powerful to be proud of what you do. So the ? rst, and far most important thing is to tell children that we are happy that they are here. I’ve looked at over 50 different types of native tribes and learned that when people feel accepted and safe, they are always generous and friendly. Even the poorest of the poor share their things. I hope this book inspires teachers and educational policy makers to create more room for children and students to feel accepted and give them the opportunity to be proud of being here.
Noodle to Noodle? There are many approaches that can be taken when teaching children about our planet. However, I would kindly like to ask you not to confuse the concepts of industrial ecology, sustainability and life cycle assessment with C2C®, because otherwise it all just becomes ‘noodle to noodle’. Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 5 In my opinion, the concept of sustainability is especially unattractive for education. There is no innovation that is sustainable; otherwise it wouldn’t be an innovation.
Sustainability always remains within the realm of existing systems, i. e. it always stays in the same paradigm. And just so that we’re clear, if we stay in the same paradigm, we will destroy the planet. Minimising your footprint, doesn’t help; we need to do things differently. People have been trying to do things that are less bad for many years now, but that just delays the process. We’ll just destroy the planet a little later. That doesn’t make sense. Cradle to Cradle is about innovation, quality and beauty. It’s not ® And this requires long-term goals.
By teaching children to set longterm positive goals, like: In 10 years we want to be soil ‘positive’, the educational system could make a dramatic change and generate endless innovation. Cradle to Cradle® in education needs all your expertise This book showcases examples of the ? rst steps that are being taken to implement Cradle to Cradle® in education. Several institutions in the Benelux countries are looking at how to implement C2C® in their respective curricula. And there are similar developments in Denmark, Germany and Sweden as well. It’s amazing how fast it’s spreading.
C2C® helps empower students and teachers to become engineers, designers, architects, chemists, economists, communications specialists, managers, product developers, marketeers and urban planners because there is so much room to innovate. We need a change in education in all the different subjects. We need a whole range of skills to work together on solutions, and for that we need a whole range of quali? cations. Some people are more into operating things and others more into constructing, while some are more into conceptual work and others more into applying it.
To really make things work, we need C2C® principles to be applied to all ? elds. beautiful when it’s toxic. And it’s not beautiful when people can’t make a living either. These young kids want to be proud of what they do. Educational institutions have all the means to make young people feel accepted so they can be kind and generous. Sustainability is guilt management from the past. Why would we want to be less bad, when instead we can be good? Instead of talking about minimising our footprint, Cradle to Cradle is about making a big and positive footprint. ®
Positive intentions & goals Education is always about intentions: Where do I want to be? What do I want to achieve? What is relevant for the people I’m working with? 6 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® I would be delighted if this book could help bridge the gap between the universities of applied sciences and the traditional universities because we need to develop solutions together. We need to combine theory with applications for ? nding answers to the question of how can we do this. Cradle to Cradle® in education is about taking people as they are and supporting them to become what they want to be.
This means looking at a C2C society. It’s about looking at what the human role is on this ® While repairing the engine, the student mechanics automatically sorts the metals and other materials used, to make sure the other students have plenty of stuff to work with. Again. And again. And again. It has been a long day and Jeanne sits down for a second while watching over her lovely smelling hand creams, moisturisers and planet; it’s about innovation, a positive footprint, a system that allows us to be bene? cial, instead of less bad; it’s about giving people a long-term goal and a positive vision of where to go.
Cradle to Cradle is about a positive agenda. To reach that goal, everybody needs to be on board. All your expertise and all your skills are essential. I hope this book invites and inspires you to look at how to translate C2C principles to your ? eld. ® other skin products. She had been taught to read and really understand what is on the label. And these… she Kind regards, Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart Hamburg, February 2011 Cradle to Cradle® and C2C are registered trademarks of EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC.knows for a fact, have only nice, healthy things in it.
Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 8 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® Ljiljana Wiersma-Rodic PhD & Douglas Mulhall, Cradle to Cradle Chair, Erasmus University Cradle to Cradle® is an innovation framework developed by Michael Braungart, and William McDonough and their colleagues in the 1990s for designing products and systems that are explicitly bene? cial to the individuals involved as well as to the natural environment and society at large.
It is based on award-winning research started in the 1980s and continuing today at the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg Germany, for designing bene? cial economic, social and environmental features into products, processes and systems. The approach was originally known as the Intelligent Product System, and was awarded the Oce van der Grinten Prize in 1993. The approach is primarily an entrepreneurial and innovation concept that starts by determining the intended bene? ts of a product or service instead of focusing on minimizing negative environmental impacts.
Development and design of materials, products, production processes and entire systems are based on the principles of natural ecosystems, where the quality and effectiveness of material and energy ? ows are central features. Some examples of this include the development of human- friendly buildings that produce energy and clean air, or agricultural and other activities that help to restore topsoil as one of our most valuable natural resources. Much like in natural ecosystems, material ? ow partnerships play a key role in the implementation of Cradle to Cradle principles.
C2C functions in three distinct but inter-related categories Philosophy E. g. the concept of positive intentions and being bene? cial instead of ‘less bad’. The concept of C2C as an innovation platform for improving quality. These philosophical approaches provide an inspirational basis that distinguishes C2C from conventional ‘sustainability’. The philosophy of C2C also allows for further development of C2C as well as healthy discussion over what is the purpose of human beings on this planet, as described by Michael Braungart in his introduction. Principles Three basic principles that guide implementation of the C2C philosophy.
The distinguishing point about these principles is that they can each be implemented measurably so that progress can be determined toward a goal. Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 9 Application Tools The scienti? c, technical, economic, management and social tools that are used to implement the principles. C2C innovation starts by determining the intended value and de? ning one’s own positive, bene? cial intention. The process is then supported by a ‘road map’ prepared to ensure complementarity and synergy among the individual activities.
An example is the ABC-X or ‘traf? c light’ system of assessing product ingredients for their de?ned use. is a nutrient for something else. This includes materials that are not normally considered to be waste. One of the fundamental laws of nature holds that residual materials from the metabolism of one organism constitute food for another organism. In a society that is based on Cradle to Cradle principles, all materials that we consider to be waste serve as input (nutrients, food) for a new cycle of production, time and time again. In this way, Cradle to Cradle eliminates the concept of waste because waste = food. The Cradle to Cradle concept distinguishes between consumption products and service products.
Consumption products either get spent Principles The three basic principles of the Cradle to Cradle framework are: – Waste = Food (everything is a nutrient for something else) – Use current solar power income – Celebrate diversity (biodiversity, conceptual diversity and cultural diversity). Waste = Food (everything is a nutrient for something else) There is often a misunderstanding of this principle due to the quick and catchy but somewhat misleading title.
The important thing is not that waste becomes food for something else, but instead that everything 10 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® (consumed) or wear out during their period of use and, if anything is left over, it can be safely returned to the natural environment. Some examples of this include agricultural products like bread and butter, cosmetic products like soap and hand cream, and natural ?
Bre clothes and shoes. Such materials are considered to be biological nutrients, as they feed into a natural biological metabolism (‘biosphere’). Biological nutrients, e. g. wood, can be used in pre-de? ned ‘cascades’, where the quality deteriorates from one application to the next, but in the end all of the material can go back into the biological cycle, in ways that are bene?
cial for and thus not harmful to human health or the environment. As these materials come from the land, due care is required for these nutrients to indeed remain on land instead of ending up in the ocean, where processes of biological degradation are quite different to those of terrestrial ecosystems or a composting installation. Service products do not get consumed, but rather provide the user with a certain desired service. Some examples of this include cars, washing machines and TV sets.
These products are usually made out of metals and various synthetic materials, which originate from renewable or non-renewable sources and are often hazardous to human health and the environment. As such, they cannot be safely returned to the environment if they are completely disassembled into their component materials and disposed of after special processing. Those types of processes are usually impractical or too expensive, so it makes more sense to keep the materials in technical cycles where they can be reused and do not enter the environment in concentrations that are hazardous.
Moreover, they often contain rare metals that are available on earth in very limited amounts. For these reasons, they are considered technological nutrients and should be returned to the technological cycle (‘techno sphere’), where they will be used to make new products with the same level of quality, time and time again. A famous example of this is Herman Miller’s Mirra chair, which has been designed for disassembly and for its materials to be reused in high-quality applications at least 200 times.
According to Cradle to Cradle, the worst possible designs are so-called monstrous hybrids, consisting of materials that cannot be separated after use their period of use, and thus cannot be returned safely to either of the two cycles. Design for Sustainability Eco-efficiency C2C Environmental cost accounting Global view Partnerships in total chain management Product Stewardship / LCA Integrated managent systems Management system focus Pollution prevention Compliance – proactive Compliance – reactive Waste/ costs/ noncompliance Unprepared Aware/reactive Proactive Mainstreaming.
Outward view Inward focus Mature/highly integrative Use current solar power income The Cradle to Cradle concept assumes a reliance on renewable energy sources that ultimately originate from the sun, i. e. solar energy, wind energy, water and various innovative bio-based sources, provided that they meet requirements of the ? rst C2C Principle, and do not compete with food crops. For further explanation of current solar income please refer to Cradle to Cradle Criteria for the Built Environment (Mulhall c. s. , 2010) which contains an annex on C2C and Energy describing this more precisely.
Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 11 Celebrate diversity Respect for diversity in all its forms, including biodiversity, cultural diversity, and diversity of ideas and innovation to suit local conditions, is an integral part of the Cradle to Cradle concept. Instead of relying solely on legislation as a means to of reconciling the perceived con? ict between economic interests and environmental protection, Cradle to Cradle encourages designers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, material and other scientists alike to create systems and products that are bene?
Cial and add value to all three domains: the economy, society and the environment. under sustainability principles, individual mobile phones have become far more ef? cient, but collectively consume many times more materials and energy than they used to, because ef? ciency made them affordable for billions of users. Mobile phones produced under C2C principles are designed to make sure they can be effectively recovered at the same level of quality, not to minimize materials. This is a basic difference in approach for business.
This is why C2C is often referred to as ‘surpassing’ or ‘going beyond’ sustainability. There are many other differences between C2C and sustainability as illustrated in the scheme on page 11. It is important for readers to Cradle to Cradle versus conventional Sustainability In further sections of this book you will frequently see reference to ‘sustainability’ when interviewees are discussing C2C. This is because companies often include C2C under their ‘sustainability’ portfolios. But actually this is not the ideal way to approach C2C because there are fundamental differences.
Conventional sustainability usually attempts to minimize bad impacts through ef? ciency while C2C aims at improving bene? cial ones. To illustrate this let’s consider the case of mobile phones. Produced 12 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® keep this in mind when reading this book. It is also true that some application tools used for sustainability are also used for C2C1. 2. 1 Waste no more – The Van Gansewinkel Groep Roel Majoor, Organisational Development Manager (interviewed by Judith van Heeswijk) technological cycles. The constant conversion of waste into energy and raw materials is seen as added value.
The company transformed from a traditional waste collector into a supplier of sustainable raw materials and energy. They seek sustainable solutions for their waste streams and consider their knowledge of waste as something of value to partners. Their goal is to work together in early product design stages so that they can ful? l a role and help deliver pro? table solutions for waste streams. Given that Van Gansewinkel has embraced the Cradle to Cradle The Van Gansewinkel Groep is a major player in waste management in Western Europe.
It’s also one of the ?rst companies in Western Europe to fully implement Cradle to Cradle design in its business processes. The company’s sustainability ambitions have been translated into their business operations and into a strategy that includes Cradle to Cradle objectives. From their mission statement : 2 concept, this has also had implications for its operations and the way business (waste) processes are designed and managed. This means additional knowledge and competences are needed from employees. Since 2008, the company has been working together with EPEA to streamline knowledge in operations.
They found that a lot of implicit knowledge about waste management is useful for understanding the transition to C2C. There was less explicit knowledge about C2C basic Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 13 ”By seeing Cradle to Cradle as a guideline, we deal with raw material shortages and the CO2 problem. We assume opportunities and not debt management. ” The company sees waste as a source of new raw materials and energy. They see their role as one that closes the biological and principles, so the company had to acquire additional knowledge about this.
The EPEA shared these principles during a ?rst meeting. After that, practical knowledge and experience was even more important to bring employee knowledge up to a working level. The company understands that there is a signi? cant difference between knowing C2C in theory and predicting the way it will have to be applied in daily practice. The steps and processes have to be thought through and visualised several times to be able to thoroughly understand the principle. To really use C2C, insight into its use is essential. You have to make it your own. It is a radically different way of thinking and is, therefore, a paradigm shift.
This means it also asks for a paradigm shift from employees. And in relation to customers’ needs in particular it is becoming more and more practical, as it also means that you ask the customer to think about waste from another perspective. The Van Gansewinkel employee has to be able to communicate the principle to the customer. Communication is something that should not be underestimated in the transition to C2C. Van Gansewinkel used three different training courses: waste managers, sales and marketing managers. A total of approximately 150 people took the course.
The training course focused on large industry. 2 Sponsors training. A two-day EPEA training course for employees that need to know how to translate the C2C concept into the organisation. This training course was developed for managing directors, etc. 3 Advisors training: two one-day training in company courses for sales executives. It dealt with the basic principles and translating them into business operations. The training course focused on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 1 Champions training: A four-day EPEA training course, in which the theory is brought to life and cases are studied.
This training course was developed for regional management, key account managers, ‘Garbage Elefant’ – © Franny Thonhauser 14 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® Large industry is able to close the biological and technological cycles itself, but that isn’t the case for SMEs, which are often just a small link in the production chain. Therefore, they are more dependent on other companies to change production and waste processes. Van Gansewinkel has turned out to be a chain facilitator in some cases.
Van Gansewinkel has a reason for doing so because large volumes of waste are often necessary to be economically ef? cient. Competences Van Gansewinkel states that working with C2C principles is more important than knowing them. General change management competences are essential and the three change management steps are: Management noticed that employees invest more time and energy in their work than their role requires.
This is also evident at course reunions that take place a year after the training. Everyone is very willing to attend them and a lot of passion for the concept is shared. Technical issues From a technical point of view, it is mainly the strength of innovation that is important for the company.
The company is implementing biomimicry for its innovation processes. It starts by learning to understand processes in nature and, from there, to develop and innovate the company’s processes. It’s a link between biology and technology or taking the ecological system into the technological one. Knowledge management Knowledge management has been very important for the main issues surrounding C2C transition. Several knowledge centres were opened to gather information and knowledge on materials and processes. It is not only the operators who have access to this information, but also account managers and local waste managers.
These knowledge centres also provide information on where certain knowledge on materials is available and what speci? cs are accessible. 1 2 3 To raise awareness about the need for change. To highlight the momentum for change. To create a willingness to change It is only after you have taken these steps that you can work on the ability to change. The new competences for Van Gansewinkel were primarily change management ones. The main goal is to be able to address the story in a positive way, to tell it simply and convincingly, i. e. the sales pitch.
Telling the story is not about selling a product, but about conveying an ideology. The employees have indicated that using the C2C concept adds more depth to their work and energises them. Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 15 Seeing as the company is moving towards a more facilitating position in the materials market, it is focusing more on logistics and purchases. New business opportunities have also arisen, e. g. it’s investigating the possibility of producing and selling recycled glass for the consumer market. The glass industry is reluctant to invest though, so Van Gansewinkel has decided to develop this business on its own.
This shows how innovative its new role can be. Additional knowledge on the basic Cradle to Cradle principles is needed for vocational-level competences. The basic ideology has to be embedded, so that employees are able to convey it to others. Employees on the technical site who have a vocational education background have to deal with the concept when working on separation plants. The main part of the machines in the plants is developed within the company. Technical engineers and operators are consulted during the development of new separation lines.
This process actually hasn’t changed since C2C has been implemented. The operators are used as part of the developing processes. Only the perspective, goals and market needs have changed. Current developments within the organisation are expected to be temporary, because the transition to C2C is now leading the way. In the future, all the necessary changes will be made. The current change asks for a more project-oriented way of working and for employees to invest more time in it. Over time, however, products in the waste stream will be more and more assembled or degradable.
The company wants Knowledge and education At the moment, the company has to consult others in the new ? elds of expertise required. For the very ? rst time ever, they have three technical university trainees for these ? elds, i. e. Geometrics; Industrial Design, and Energy Sciences and Operation Management & Logistics. 16 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® to have its waste processes aligned with these products and material streams by then. At the moment, the company has to deal with different types of material streams. Over the next few years, all technical engineering education needs to focus more on design.
Design principles have to be taught to higher education and academic students. C2C principles also impact the organisation. A roadmap 3 has been designed to change facilities, e. g. the vehicles, human resource management (diversity and employing senior personnel,) and to make internal processes more C2C proof. They admit that pursuing these ambitions is sometimes a bit dif? cult ? nancially speaking. Desso is the ? rst carpet manufacturer in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to adopt the Cradle to Cradle design philosophy and they are planning further geographical expansion into Latin America.
Their carpets and arti? cial grass will be produced using manufacturing processes that rely on renewable energy, seek to conserve water and embrace social responsibility. Their products are made from environmentally friendly, pure materials that are safe for human 2. 2 Quality personnel – DESSO Joris Bressers, Human Resource Advisor (interviewed by Judith van Heeswijk) health and are designed in such a way that they can be biologically or technologically recycled 5 at the end of their useful lives.
Prior to formal Cradle to Cradle certi?cation being granted, products, materials and components must all undergo a rigorous assessment procedure. The initial stages of the certi? cation process comprise assessing raw materials in terms of human and environmental health criteria, and evaluating the manufacturing process according to recycling potentials, energy and water use, and social responsibility. EPEA will be supplied with detailed information regarding all the materials involved in DESSO’s products and processes. The future steps towards Cradle to Cradle certi?
cation are: – List all the chemicals a product contains. All compounds are also separated into their components (the base chemicals). Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 17 Carpet, carpet tile and arti? cial turf manufacturer Desso is one of the leading companies in its ? eld in Europe. Their Business Carpets division manufactures carpets for commercial locations such as of? ces, banks, retail units, public buildings, schools, universities, hospitals and care centres. Point 3 of DESSO’s innovation strategy is its ambition regarding Cradle to Cradle: 4.
“Cradle to Cradle: Developing products and processes that will contribute towards a better environment and better indoor quality. ” – Material Safety Data Sheets are collected as well as all toxicological and eco toxicological data. EPEA evaluates all chemicals on 12 different criteria and gives an overall assessment, i. e. red, yellow or green. – Work on phase-out plans for those chemicals that are given a red assessment. EPEA monitors these plans. – DESSO has already launched its innovative EcoBase® carpet tile backing – enabling the world’s ? rst Cradle to Cradle silver certi?
cation for an entire carpet tile product. Competences In 2007, when they started on their Cradle to Cradle journey, DESSO needed additional expertise in the company – primarily chemical expertise at the design stage. The marketing department also needed additional expertise on the basic C2C principles, in order to be able to communicate the added value of the certi? ed products. Special technical project teams were set up to develop new machines.
The key values encouraged throughout the organisation – and required At this point in time, 90% of DESSO’s polyamide carpet tile collection is Cradle to Cradle certi?ed. 6 from every employee to ensure a successful Cradle to Cradle work method – are ‘ownership’, common sense, ambition and integrity. Furthermore, Desso have seen that employees are motivated and driven by being involved in this ambitious, strategic change of direction.
A large group of employees from the company – from a variety of departments and disciplines – were given a training course at EPEA and this expertise has since been transferred into the production processes. EPEA has been contributing to further increasing knowledge within the organisation.
The company has found that it is one of the leaders in implementing the concept and therefore had to discover and tackle a lot of issues themselves in the early stages. 18 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® Employee commitment to the Cradle to Cradle goals is of utmost importance, along with a strong belief in the philosophy. If they see for themselves that implementing it works, and that the market responds positively, that creates great encouragement to move ahead. DESSO created a Cradle to Cradle awareness team tasked with raising awareness on sustainable issues within the organisation, such as waste management.
The company strategy places Cradle to Cradle as the top concern for every part of the organisation, and has identi? ed their production processes as the ? rst area to target. education organisations are sometimes not up to speed with the new developments within multinationals. The students are often not fully equipped with essential frontline knowledge. Moreover the multinationals have dif? culty ? nding new employees that can immediately take up a complicated subject like Cradle to Cradle and AkzoNobel needs these kinds of people as their ambition is to belong to the world’s most sustainable multinationals.
The company seeks to attract genuinely motivated and interested students. A real compassion is essential, especially when it comes to sustainable issues. AkzoNobel took the initiative to search for those students another way. With some partners (BECO, Royal Cosun, DPI Value 2. 3 Factory of the Future – Akzo Nobel Jan Verlaan, Ideation Manager (interviewed by Judith van Heeswijk) Centre, Search, Witteveen+Bos, and DSM), it developed a conceptual production environment based on sustainable principles, in terms of people (equity), planet (ecology) and pro?t (economy), for the total value chain.
The aim of this virtual facility is to close the biological and technological cycles of a product and its related manufacturing as much as possible. AkzoNobel has extensive global experience cooperating with educational organisations both on traineeships and on projects. The impression of Jan Verlaan, Ideation manager at AkzoNobel, that universities and higher The critical factor in developing this virtual Factory of the Future 7 is sustainable design, in which Cradle to Cradle principles form the foundation where possible.
The facility’s design showcases renewable energy, water management and active materials and transport management. Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® 19 The Factory of the Future demonstrates the feasibility of a typical chemical plant designed according to a continuous loops system, i. e. a production environment based on sustainable principles for a positive footprint. All the partners realise that existing processes have to be redeveloped for sustainable development. Therefore, starting from scratch is essential. The project aims to generate an open concept for the factory, one that can be used by other companies and projects to bene?
t society as a whole. The production environment will be suitable for a variety of sustainable products and production lines. The facility will be available as a training centre for users to train employees on new processes and products. The aim is to design not only a sustainable building, but also a sustainable production chain, which requires solutions at a much higher level. The Factory of the Future project also extends into a learning community. Students have to apply for the Honours course, which they follow for six months and which can lead to a graduation project.
AkzoNobel reckons it will particularly need people from different disciplines who relate to sustainability. Production chains will become sustainable and will, therefore, change in the near future. Nonetheless, other aspects of enterprise will change. Financing structures, business 20 Inspired by Cradle to Cradle® models, the legal system, policy, facility management, buildings, training, HR management, etc. ; all of these will change because of the increasing orientation towards sustainability that will become explicit when Cradle to Cradle is introduced into the organisation. They have people with chemical process.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 October 2016
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