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Cradle-to-cradle design

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  1. Why our current economic model is unsustainable
    1. A strained planet
    2. Consumers at risk
    3. One reason: the unplanned industrial revolution
  2. Why eco-efficiency alone is not the solution
    1. What eco-efficiency is
    2. Less bad is not good
  3. How C2C draws on nature to fix our model
    1. Nature as a source of inspiration for design
    2. Eco-effectiveness rather than eco-efficiency
    3. When waste equals food
    4. Whole-system thinking
    5. When growth becomes restorative
  4. How to apply C2C to product design
    1. Eliminating the concept of waste
    2. Biological and technical cycles and nutrients
    3. The ABC-X List
    4. Three categories of products
  5. C2C in action: Herman Miller and the Mirra? Chair
    1. HM and the environment: a firm commitment
    2. Thinking about the next step: the rise of the C2C idea
    3. Implementation of C2C
    4. Measuring results
    5. C2C beyond the Mirra? Chair
  6. C2C: the next industrial revolution?
    1. Potential benefits for companies implementing C2C
    2. Potential challenges for companies implementing C2C

Faced with the increasing damage inflicted on the planet by industrial development, environmentalists have traditionally argued that we need to put a halt on economic growth. This approach has neither been realistic nor efficient. Fortunately, a new way of thinking has emerged with respect to the relationship between the economy and the environment. With the creation of the Cradle-to-Cradle design protocol, architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart are crafting an economic model that, by mimicking natural ecosystems, will allow us to thrive while restoring, and not destroying, the planet.

[...] A matter of design Beyond the new legislative threat brought about by the EU initiative, one might wonder why we even have to resort to such extreme action as legislative regulation Why is our economic business model so destructive and why are we using it? According to Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart, it is all a matter of design, or lack thereof. In their book, Cradle-to-Cradle, Remaking the Way we Make Things[17], they explain that ?with respect to its negative consequences, the [design] assignment [for the first industrial revolution] would have to read something like this: Design a system of production that: Puts billions of pounds of toxic material into the air, water, and soil every year Produces some materials so dangerous they will require constant vigilance by future generations Results in gigantic amounts of waste Puts valuable materials in holes all over the planet, where they can never be retrieved [i.e. [...]


[...] ii. Industrial cycles and nutrients According to the MBDC website, a technical nutrient is material that remains in a closed-loop system of manufacture, reuse, and recovery (the technical metabolism), maintaining its value through many product life cycles.?[39] These include all the synthetic chemicals and metals that are used in the industry, from polymers (polyethylene, polystyrene ) to alloys. As we saw in part one, some of these nutrients can be hazardous, but others are actually extremely valuable components of the industry food chain that are lost when the product they are a part of is incinerated or landfilled. [...]


[...] Meadows et al., The Limits to Growth, Universe Books, New York Michael Braungart and William McDonough, Between Biology, Technology and Culture: Building a cradle-to-cradle framework for the biotech debate, green@work, November/December 2003 Available at: http://www.greenatworkmag.com/gwsubaccess/03novdec/perspect.html http://www.mbdc.com/c2c_gkc.htm Michael Braungart and William McDonough, Between Biology, Technology and Culture: Building a cradle-to-cradle framework for the biotech debate, green@work, November/December 2003 Available at: http://www.greenatworkmag.com/gwsubaccess/03novdec/perspect.html Michael Braungart and Bill McDonough, Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things, North Point Press http://www.natureworksllc.com/corporate/nw_pack_home.asp http://www.mbdc.com/c2c_gkc.htm Clean Product Action, http://www.cleanproduction.org/epr/ExistingPrograms.htm http://www.patagonia.com/enviro/pcr.shtml http://www.mbdc.com/c2c_gkc.htm Herman Miller Design for the Environment Program Advances Company's Sustainability Protocol for New Product Development, Press Release Herman Miller Environmental Brochure http://www.tropicalforestfoundation.org/ Herman Miller Environmental Brochure http://www.epa.gov/dfe/ Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC Conference Call with Herman Miller, 09/03/2005 Conference Call with Herman Miller, 09/03/2005 Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC Herman Miller Design for the Environment Program Advances Company's Sustainability Protocol for New Product Development, Press Release Herman Miller Design for the Environment Program Advances Company's Sustainability Protocol for New Product Development, Press Release Conference call with Shelley Zimmer, 12/04/2005 Conference Call with Herman Miller, 09/03/2005 Conference Call with Herman Miller, 09/03/2005 Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, Design for the Next Generation: Incorporating Cradle to Cradle Design into Herman Miller Products, June 2005 Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC Michael Braungart and William McDonough, The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller's Journey To Sustainability with MBDC [75]Conference call with Shelley Zimmer, 12/04/2005 Net Impact Conference, Workshop on Clean Products: Environmental Design and Materials Use, 11/12/2005 Conference call with Shelley Zimmer, 12/04/2005 Conference Call with Herman Miller, 09/03/2005 Conference Call with Herman Miller, 09/03/2005 Conference call with Shelley Zimmer, 12/04/2005 Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, Design for the Next Generation: Incorporating Cradle to Cradle Design into Herman Miller Products, June 2005 Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, Design for the Next Generation: Incorporating Cradle to Cradle Design into Herman Miller Products, June 2005 Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, Design for the Next Generation: Incorporating Cradle to Cradle Design into Herman Miller Products, June 2005 Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, Design for the Next Generation: Incorporating Cradle to Cradle Design into Herman Miller Products, June 2005 Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, Design [...]

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