Independence, openness, and transparency are the Institute's first objectives for the certification protocols. [1] It is a holistic, economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free. In their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart presented an integration of design and science that provides enduring benefits for society from safe materials, water and energy in circular economies and eliminates the concept of waste.. That’s why everyone in the industry uses it and suppliers are used to working with it. Once the shoes have been manufactured, they are distributed to retail outlets where the customer buys the shoe at a reduced price because the customer is only paying for the use of the materials in the shoe for the period of time that they will be wearing them. Chem. If we hit a C2C hurdle, we don’t just give up. 4 In an article published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology (Fall 2006), “Design for the Next Generation: Incorporating Cradle-. The central design principle of eco-effectiveness is waste equals food.”15 Once a product had been designed so that, at the end of its life cycle, it could safely be returned to industry (through recycling) or nature (through biodegradation), pollution and depletion would therefore disappear, resulting in what McDonough called “virtuous closed loops,” in which industrial and natural elements were recycled over and over. In August 2002, the DfE steering committee met to discuss its course of action regarding the use of PVC for the arm-pad skins (the outer layer of the arm pads) on the Mirra chair. De Pree, who purchased and renamed (after his father-in-law) the company in 1923. The fundamental goal of Cradle to Cradle system is to ensure sustainable businesses maintaining positive impact on people and planet. to price and sell the chair, and logistical support for handling the products coming back to Herman Miller. Due to the timing of the product launch and the required tooling lead time, the product team hedged their bets and proceeded with the tooling for a PVC part from the start so they would be able to launch the Mirra chair on time. Customers could return the chairs to Herman Miller once they were finished with their useful life, or if they wanted to upgrade to newer chair models. We’re committed to quality so if we want to get rid of PVC, we had better find a material that performs at least as well. Wing eventually identified thermoplastic urethane (TPU) as a possible alternative. For example, a fabric factory can eliminate all harmful technical nutrients by carefully reconsidering what chemicals they use in their dyes to achieve the colours they need and attempt to do so with fewer base chemicals. The company’s environmental efforts culminated in the early 2000s with the “Perfect Vision” initiative, a range of sustainability targets including zero landfill (previously established in 1991), zero hazardous waste generation, zero air and water emissions from manufacturing, company buildings constructed to a minimum LEED10 Silver certification, and the use of 100% green energy (renewable and environmentally preferable) to meet power needs; these targets were to be achieved by the year 2020. One potential example is a shoe that is designed and mass-produced using the C2C model. Braungart and McDonough contrasted their vision of design with traditional practice:13. The relationship of human diseases of the endocrine system and exposure to environmental contaminants, however, is poorly understood and scientifically controversial. The C2C protocol was based on two premises: The characteristic design approach of the last century was “cradle to grave.” It involved digging up, cutting down, or burning natural resources—releasing toxic material into the environment in the process—to make products that became useless waste at the end of their useful lives. Herman Miller worked with the supplier to get rid of the cardboard, and to make the packaging returnable and reusable. (See Exhibit 8 for Mirra chair sales forecasts.) Material reutilization, which is about recovery and recycling at the end of product life. Product DfE Score: The DfE score for the overall product is the sum of the three DfE weights for all components divided by the maximum DfE weight possible for the product (which is equivalent to three times the weight of the product). As Braungart and McDonough explained: “Herman Miller’s engineers were well informed about materials performance, but had very little knowledge about the composition of those materials. [citation needed] The academic research of companies lead to the elaboration of the Biosphere Rules, a set of five principles derived from nature that guide the implementation of circular models in production. The development engineers and supply chain group all preferred to stick with PVC—it was an inexpensive material providing the necessary characteristics (durable, scratch resistant, soft). The design consultants from Studio 7.5 and the Herman Miller development team attended the meeting. Cradle to Cradle® describes the safe and potentially infinite circulation of … The Cradle to Cradle ® philosophy therefore eliminates the concept of waste, and we are working towards a time when all waste or worn-out carpet becomes a source of nutrient, designing in features that allow old carpet to be entirely taken apart and reused. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Material health, which involves identifying the chemical composition of the materials that make up the product. The material is identifiable and marked. As observed by Schramm: DfE creates a lot of anxiety with our suppliers. Development engineer Doug Van de Riet commented on the impact of C2C: “Since there are so many materials out there, it’s good to get your choices limited by the C2C database. + Disassembly + Herman Miller was one of the top four suppliers in the U.S. office furniture industry. 27 Interview with case authors, April 18, 2006. (See Exhibit 5 for DfE score calculations.) The compression of. Effectiveness was achieved in product cycles when the materials used in the object could be not just recycled, but “upcycled.”14 For example, in the case of a plastic container, it meant that the container could be dissolved back to the polymer level, and the polymers could be reused as materials for high-quality applications, just as virgin plastic would be. Cradle to cradle manufacturing is a style of making things that keeps the future in mind. This saved Ford $30 million that would otherwise have been spent on mechanical treatment facilities. Currently, many human beings come into contact or consume, directly or indirectly, many harmful materials and chemicals daily. D.J. 9 Herman Miller website,, accessed February, 2007. achieving the company’s environmental goals. The change would save the company $2.5 million a year. He guessed that development engineers would also be more comfortable sticking with PVC because of product performance. Sustaining Our World Posted on November 15, 2018 by dmguion June 2, 2020 I just came across an interesting interview with Michael Braungart in which he proposes a new model for manufacture and consumption. 5 steps are outlined in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things:[1], Products that adhere to all steps may be eligible to receive C2C certification. What if we set a precedent with our customers that we can offer PVC-free products with no performance loss and at a reasonable price? exploration of the Cradle to Cradle design framework is a relevant reference point to reflect where design thinking might currently be, and is a sound basis for initiating a sustainability discussion. A major constraint in the optimal recycling of materials is that at civic amenity sites, products are not disassembled by hand and have each individual part sorted into a bin, but instead have the entire product sorted into a certain bin. . to-Cradle Design into Herman Miller Products” by Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell, the authors explain that “According to [C2C] material protocol, PVC is considered to be an ecologically inappropriate material because of its organochlorine content, its use and generation of Sales and marketing At the time, there was a fair amount of press about the C2C protocol. Will they start demanding that for everything? The roof is part of an $18 million rainwater treatment system designed to clean 20 billion US gallons (76,000,000 m3) of rainwater annually. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program began as a proprietary system; however, in 2012 MBDC turned the certification over to an independent non-profit called the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Braungart and McDonough observed that cradle-to-grave products were typically “downcycled” after use which resulted in a lower value product. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. A cradle-to-cradle design system essentially consists of two “metabolisms,” with the first as “biological nutrients” such as biodegradable packaging that can safely be returned to the environment, and the second as a closed loop cycle of “technical nutrients” consisting of high-quality synthetic and mineral resources that are perpetually recovered and remanufactured [4]. Seating: A wide variety of chairs ranging from work chairs to lounge chairs, Systems furniture: Matching furniture collections (including structural elements) for offices or cubicles, Filing and Storage: Filing and storage cabinets. See for instance the LCA-based model of the eco-costs, which has been designed to cope with analyses of recycle systems. The design of the building itself is based on several parameters to show a holistic approach to sustainability. [21] The cradle-to-cradle model in some implementations is closely linked with the car-free movement, such as in the case of large-scale building projects or the construction or redevelopment of urban environments. For nonconforming material, the DfE team worked with the supplier to find substitute inputs or a completely new material. Nevertheless I am still waiting for a detailed proposal for a design of the other 99.99 percent of the Airbus 380 after his principles. [32], "Cradle to Cradle" redirects here. By contrast, [the] cradle-to-cradle approach mirrors nature’s regenerative cycles so that at the end of its useful life, a product and its component materials are used to make equally valuable products. PVC had gotten a lot of bad press since the death of 87 people, many firefighters, due to toxic fume inhalation in a fire fueled by PVC pipes at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in 1980. For example, we’re working with a German plastics company who uses a vendor that refuses to share their chemical information with us. “Cradle to Cradle certification provides a framework for product optimization based on the principles of designing with safe and healthy materials, using clean renewable energy and water, celebrating diversity, and eliminating the concept of waste,” said McDonough. The C2C model can be applied to almost any system in modern society: urban environments, buildings, manufacturing, social systems. Once th… Example 1 The component can be down-recycled (recycled but into a lesser value product) and there exists a commercial recycling infrastructure to collect and recycle it: 50%. Experience has shown these axioms to be earth friendly.” It offered specific guidelines in the categories of Material Selection, Design for Disassembly, and Manufacturing. The shoe is mass-produced at a manufacturing plant that utilizes its waste material by putting it back into the cycle, potentially by using off-cuts from the rubber soles to make more soles instead of merely disposing of them; this is dependent on the technical materials not losing their quality as they are reused. Converting from cradle-to-grave to cradle-to-cradle is a difficult but necessary paradigm shift to reach a more circular economy, requiring manufacturers to think in cycles rather than in a linear way. aDfE Steering Committee members are shaded. The architects and engineers involved wanted to present the life cycle of a building in a compressed form with the pavi… Water, particularly usage and discharge quality. (See Exhibit 6 for an example.) Maintenance was affected by C2C insofar as any replacement materials (for cost reduction) would have to be assessed by DfE. We now spend less time in material selection. There was considerable up-front work to populate the DfE At that point, only a quick DfE assessment would be conducted as a double check, since the majority of issues should have been resolved in the Development phase. The project was overseen by a senior advisory team that included representatives from Advanced Projects, Engineering, Materials Research, Supply Chain Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Finance, and Marketing. The score of 50% was not a static threshold. This would require, at the very least, a different way, 25 Interview with case authors, April 18, 2006. Green = 100% have to be reported whatever the concentration, and other materials reported where they exceed 100 ppm. He also strongly believed that his firm served a moral purpose. To switch to TPU meant that Herman Miller would have to either pay its supplier to retool (costing over $100K), or try to modify the PVC tool to work with TPU. Recyclability (g), Proposed Mirra Assembly-Line Process Flow, Cradle to cradle. You can get your custom paper from Meanwhile, Gabe [Wing] and Scott [Charon] are managing this whole process on our end—meeting with our suppliers and with our suppliers’ suppliers, educating them on DfE, and helping them find alternative materials. 26 The National Design Awards are given by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor the best in. 21Michael Braungart and William McDonough, “The Anatomy of a Transformation, Herman Miller’s Journey ToSustainability with MBDC,” 2002,, accessed March 7, 2007. The results of the measures were entered into Herman Miller’s materials database for future reference. From retail packaging to human shelter, the Spring 2016 Challenge winners are outstanding examples of the way young designers and design professionals alike are stepping into the crux of this revolution, using Cradle to Cradle principles to pioneer ideas for innovative materials applications and, in turn, the circular economy,” Perkins said. Like with your own efforts to live by a cradle to cradle design, there are many advantages for companies using a cradle to cradle approach. The goal is for disassembly to create individual components that may have value when recycled. The sole might be made of "biological nutrients" while the upper parts might be made of "technical nutrients". Then Gabe [Wing] comes and says PVC is bad! The goal is for the chairs to be easily disassembled anywhere in the world. 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