The Circular Economy

A circular economy (often referred to simply as "circularity" is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ reusesharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling to create a close-loop system, minimizing the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources. All 'waste' should become 'food' for another process: either a by-product or recovered resource for another industrial process, or as regenerative resources for nature, e.g. compost. This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a 'take, make, dispose' model of production.

Proponents of the circular economy suggest that a sustainable world does not mean a drop in the quality of life for consumers, and can be achieved without loss of revenue or extra costs for manufacturers. The argument is that circular business models can be as profitable as linear models, allowing us to keep enjoying similar products and services.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy. 

Product designers, manufacturers and brands around the world rely on the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard as a transformative pathway for designing and making products with a positive impact on people and planet. From fragrances to flooring, t-shirts and jeans to water bottles and window treatments, thousands of products are Cradle to Cradle Certified. What’s more, a growing number of brands, organizations and standards also recognize Cradle to Cradle Certified as a preferred product standard for responsible purchasing decisions. 

Currently in its third iteration, the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard is rooted in the Cradle to Cradle® design principles established by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart. Standard requirements are developed through a stakeholder engagement process with input from technical experts, market leaders and the public. Version 4 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard will be available in draft form for public review and comment in summer 2019.

To receive certification, products are assessed for environmental and social performance across five critical sustainability categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. A product is assigned an achievement level (Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) for each category. A product’s lowest category achievement also represents its overall certification level. The standard encourages continuous improvement over time by awarding certification on the basis of ascending levels of achievement and requiring certification renewal every two years. 

          Brad Babines

Email: bbabines@gmail.com

Telephone: 1-614-402-4823