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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
  6. C2C: The next industrial revolution?
    1. Potential benefits for companies implementing C2C
    2. Potential challenges for companies implementing C2C
  7. Conclusion
  8. Exhibits

In March 2005, the UN released its Millennium Ecosystem Assessment , the first comprehensive scientific audit of the state of the planet. Completed over four years by 2,000 experts, the survey demonstrates that economic activity has destroyed 60% of the Earth's life-supporting ecosystems, threatening humanity's ability to sustain its standards of living. Thus, even though the Industrial Revolution has brought about a tremendous rise in the standards of living of most in the Western World, and although globalization is spreading this wealth to an increasing number of people in the developing world, a growing number of worrisome environmental trends suggest that our current economic model is not sustainable in the medium- to short- run.

[...] Building the infrastructure necessary for closing the loop 43 Exhibits 46 Exhibit 1 Human and ecological health criteria in MBDC's materials assessment protocol 46 Exhibit 2 - Final C2C score assessment for fictional product X 47 Exhibit 3 - Material chemistry assessment for fictional product X 48 Exhibit 4 - Disassembly assessment for fictional product X 49 Exhibit 5 - Recyclability + recycled/renewable content assessment for fictional product X 50 Exhibit 6 Plastic recyclability 51 Exhibit 7 Cradle to cradle iteration process at Herman Miller 52 In March 2005, the UN released its Millennium Ecosystem Assessment[1], the first comprehensive scientific audit of the state of the planet. [...]


[...] Cradle to Cradle Design models human industry on nature's processes, in which materials are viewed as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. Industry must protect and enrich ecosystems?nature's biological metabolism?while also maintaining safe, productive technical metabolism for the high-quality use and circulation of mineral, synthetic, and other materials.?[30] a. Nature as a source of inspiration for design Using nature as a source of inspiration for our economies is an idea that is fast gaining momentum years ago, in The Ecology of Commerce[31], Paul Hawken explained that restorative economy envisioned and described in this book . [...]


[...] In Cradle to Cradle, the authors further explain the concept through a concrete example: ?Most packaging (which makes up about 50 percent of the volume of the municipal solid waste stream) can be designed as biological nutrients, what we call products of consumption. The idea is to compose these products of materials that can be tossed on the ground or compost heap to safely biodegrade after use literally to be consumed. There is no need for shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, yogurt and ice-cream cartons, juice containers, and other packaging to last decades (or even centuries) longer than what came inside them. [...]

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