Materials Innovators Engage Cradle to Cradle Protocol
In Fall 2007, the international materials consulting firm Material ConneXion announced a collaboration with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) to feature and promote MBDC’s Cradle to Cradle (C2C) protocol. Material ConneXion will host C2C workshops by MBDC staff and encourage material manufacturers to pursue C2C certification. In addition, C2C-certified products will be identified within Material ConneXion’s library. A third partner to this collaboration is the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency, based in Hamburg, Germany, and founded by MBDC principal Michael Braungart, Ph.D.
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Material ConneXion has a long-standing interest in sustainability, according to vice president Andrew Dent, Ph.D., but that is not its sole focus. The company began by helping customers, including designers and manufacturers across a wide range of industries, find “cool, new materials,” said Dent. Then the focus shifted to “cool, new materials available at lower cost,” he said, and now they’re looking for “cool, new materials at lower cost that are also sustainable.”
With its materials engineering expertise, Material ConneXion can help realize the principles inherent in C2C, according to Dent, which include reducing human health and environmental impacts, using renewable energy for manufacturing, and designing materials for recyclability into either the “technical” or “biological” nutrient cycles. “They’re chemists and designers, not materials people,” said Dent of MBDC. Despite this collaboration, the two companies don’t see eye-to-eye on some core issues. PVC, for example, strictly banned from C2C-certified products, appears regularly in products in the Material ConneXion library. Initial workshops and tagging of C2C products are expected in January 2008.
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This article was produced by BuildingGreen, Inc.- www.buildinggreen.com
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