Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Announces 2015 Innovator Award Recipients

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Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Accoya, Lauffenmühle, Werner & Mertz, wet-green, and former Institute President Bridgett Luther to be honoured at Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Celebration.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Symposium and Innovation Celebration is a gathering of business leaders from across industries engaging in a ‘community of practice’ around Cradle to Cradle philosophy.

I encourage more manufacturers to get on the path. Join us in the movement to making the world better.

Tonight at the annual Cradle to Cradle Innovation Celebration, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute will award leaders across industries that are designing for upcycling and making products with safe ingredients that are perpetually cycled and manufactured in ways that respect humans and the environment. The evening celebration follows the second annual Product Symposium where business leaders have gathered in New York City to engage in a community of practice around sustainable design and the Cradle to Cradle® philosophy.

This year, the Institute is recognizing the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with the Cradle to Cradle Systems Innovator Award. The Foundation is accelerating the transition to a circular economy by collaborating with partners across the globe to develop circular business initiatives and build capacity. As a true systems innovator, the Foundation seeks to inspire this generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy. This is achieved by work focusing on four areas: insight and analysis, business and government, education and training, and communication.

“The Ellen MacArthur Foundation presents an ambitious, systemic plan to transform the traditional industrial economy into one that prefers regenerative materials powered by renewable energy. Its leaders have made incredible strides in accelerating the circular economy, making the Foundation an ideal choice for this year’s Cradle to Cradle Systems Innovator Award,” said Lewis Perkins, newly appointed President of the Institute. “Through the work of the Foundation as a circular economy champion, the global economy is more empowered to support a closed-loop, restorative system that benefits all.”

Following a tradition of honoring pioneers in the circular economy, the Institute is awarding four organizations that have crafted regenerative and Cradle to Cradle-inspired product designs with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovator Award. This year’s awards honor Accoya®, Lauffenmühle, Werner & Mertz, and wet-green®.

  •     Accoya is a high-technology wood produced in a low-energy process using only sustainably sourced timber made from the fastest growing species. Through the acetylation process, the part of wood that readily bonds with water is replaced by acetyl groups, which are naturally occurring especially in the more durable wood species. Thus, the Accoya process mimics nature, and without adding any toxic substances, it values material health to the highest level possible under Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard. At end-of-use, Accoya can be treated similar to untreated wood and recycled or upcycled; used as a clean fuel source for utilities; or if just discarded will be 100% biodegradable over time.
  •     Lauffenmühle offers infinito® yarns and rework® textiles that consist of a blend of cellulosic fibers deriving from FSC Certified wood bound with biodegradable synthetic polymers. Awarded Cradle to Cradle Certified GOLD, both infinito® yarns and rework® textiles have met Platinum levels in Material Health. All raw materials, ingredients, chemicals and dyes will safely biodegrade. Lauffenmühle has redefined its manufacturing processes, gradually optimizing its environmental protection, resource conservation, and, above all, waste prevention and safe biological regeneration.
  •     Werner & Mertz is a pioneer in sustainable, high-performing cleaning and sanitizing products for professional industries and consumers. The company began its journey in the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Program in 2013, introducing a new product range with biodegradable ingredients, using 100% renewable energy, and optimizing in-house production of packaging materials from post-consumer recycled PET content. Today, all 18 green care professional products are Cradle to Cradle Certified GOLD.
  •     wet-green successfully developed a plant-based tanning agent made of olive leaves, olive oil waste water and olive pulp from the Mediterranean region. The process uses olive tree waste, which leaves all trees standing and no plant sacrificed. wet-green provides a regenerative, biodegradable design suitable for a Platinum level score in the Material Health category under the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard. The product is designed to produce leathers showing good shape retention but also softness, lightness, and durability fit for use in furniture, the automotive sector, and shoes/leather goods and clothing.

After five years leading the Institute, co-founder Bridgett Luther recently announced her resignation. Under her leadership, the Institute and the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program has met many milestones and remarkable successes, including training a dozen global consulting firms to help companies pursue certification and certifying nearly 3,000 products. At the Innovation Celebration, the Institute will be proud to recognize Bridgett with the Cradle to Cradle Leader Award for her momentous achievements and devoted guidance.

“I applaud the more than 200 companies that have gotten on the path to Cradle to Cradle certification. It has been a pleasure leading the Institute, and I know the organization is in good hands,” she said. “I encourage more manufacturers to get on the path. Join us in the movement to making the world better.”

The 2015 Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium and Innovation Celebration hosted in New York City today is dedicated toward helping every participant visualize their own path to safer materials, perpetually cycled. Participants will be learning, sharing and collaborating across the full day’s program of plenaries, panel discussions, case studies, and breakout sessions. For more information, please visit C2CProductSymposium.org.

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About Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to turn the making of things into a positive force for people, the economy, and the planet. They steward the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Program, which is a system for assessing and constantly improving products based upon five categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship, and social fairness. The Institute is headquartered in San Francisco, California with satellite offices in Amsterdam, NL, Venlo, NL and Raleigh, NC.

Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark that is owned and licensed by MBDC.
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a certification mark licensed exclusively to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

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