The paradigm of design Cradle to Cradle (C2C) has taught us that the best way to be sustainable is to imitate nature, where the waste of one system is transformed into nutrient for another. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is waste.
According to this model based on the circular economy, everything can be designed to be disassembled later and returned to the earth (biological nutrient), or be re-used as high-quality material in new products such as (technical nutrient). A process of continuous cyclability.
The current linear system of the economy (extract, manufacture, use, discard) has reached its limits due to the depletion of resources and of raw materials. While this model generates waste at all stages of production, the circular economy defends a regenerative industrial system, inspired in nature, that utilizes everything produced in an indefinite circular cycle.
This concept emerged in 2002 as an answer to the unsustainability of the traditional production model. In the book Cradle to Cradle: redesigning the way in which we make things, Michael Braungart and Willian McDonough launched an innovative proposal to the industry, based on three principles:
It is no longer a question of minimizing the damage at the end of the cycle, recycling products without a previously established strategy. We cannot continue manufacturing products thinking only about a single cycle of use and then discarding them, or recycling them with a substantial loss of quality or with complicated processes (infracycling).
What this new paradigm proposes is to reformulate the model and tackle problems from the start, from its conception. This involves designing them taking into account the best way of re-using them to utilize their characteristics to the greatest extent (supracycle).
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized standard of quality that is managed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII), an independent not-for-profit entity. The certification evaluates products according to criteria of circular economy, such as the health profile, cyclability potential or the use of renewable energies.
In the world more than 8,000 products have been certified. At Grupo Construcía, we are leading the way in Spain with our consultancy EIG, the only one accredited to make this evaluation in our country.
The criteria for obtaining this accreditation are demanding, but we are finding many suppliers who are ready to take that step. We are working hand in hand with them to manufacture cyclable materials that have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy.
More and more developers, architects and builders of the entire world are joining in this commitment to the future and opt for C2C Certified™ materials, which, additionally, facilitate the obtaining of credits for most programs of green certification (LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, WELL).
Cradle to Cradle Materials: healthy and cyclable
Applying the Cradle to Cradle principles to construction is a radical change and, at the same time, is very necessary in this industry, one of those that generates most waste. When using C2C certified products we are optimizing their useful life and ensuring that they can be used and re-used safely, because they do not contain substances harmful for people or the environment.
In short, it is a question of advancing to a new, more harmonious model that imitates nature and works to achieve a balance between what we take from it and what we give back to it.
In addition, Cradle to Cradle contributes to integrating social responsibility into the company strategy, understood as a process of continuous improvement, in which there will always exist aspects to be improved or negative impacts to be eliminate or mitigated. And it provides a valuable road map to improve the environmental and social impact of products and measure your progress toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).