Cradle To Cradle Design Helps Inspire Creativity
Stef Kranendijk, CEO of Desso explains the company’s Cradle to Cradle strategy:
CIRCULAR economy is the latest sustainability buzzword. It is simply about moving away from a
linear model of ‘take, make and waste’ to a sustainable and circular model of material flows leading to much less waste.
In 2008, we changed our sourcing and manufacturing processes to create products made out of materials that can be safely recycled over and over again, as well as contribute to the health, wellness and wellbeing of those using them. This is called Cradle to Cradle design.
Deemed as radical by the carpet industry at the time, Cradle to Cradle design became the core of our business strategy and one of the three drivers of our product innovation policy alongside functionality and creativity.
Cradle to Cradle principles helped us think differently. Firstly, we considered how to use materials more efficiently and introduce ingredients that can be recycled or reused again and again.
After a detailed study of all the materials in our carpet tiles, we began phasing out unacceptable chemicals with plans for them all to be eradicated by 2020. Each ingredient was placed in one of four categories (ABC-X) based on health and environmental criteria. The ingredients were then optimised by selecting replacements
if necessar y.
Three years on, over 90% of our polyamide (PA) carpet tile collections (representing 50% of our business) is Cradle to Cradle cer tified.
In 2011, we became the first carpet tile manufacturer with over 60% of our range using Econyl yarn from Aquafil SPA, made from 100%
recycled content, including post-consumer yarn waste from our Refinity plant.
This, coupled with the new EcoBase carpet tile backing, was a giant step forward. EcoBase enabled up to 97% of the carpet tile materials to be positively defined. With its standard polyolefin based layer EcoBase backing is fully recyclable in our own production process.
As a result we received a Cradle to Cradle Silver certificate for an entire carpet tile product.
In order to achieve our goal by 2020, all products must be designed with disassembly in mind, be sourced from positively defined raw materials for safe and endless re-use whilst using sustainable energy sources in the production. I also believe that our products should promote health, wellness and wellbeing and have a positive impact on people and the environment.
Furthermore, our new Take Back programme retrieves old carpets from customers and competitors to be recycled through our Refinity separation technique. Our goal is for 50,000 tonnes of post-consumer carpet to be collected by 2020.
Cradle to Cradle design has delivered better, more sustainable products while using more renewable energy sources. We now challenge others to do the same and adopt the Circular Economy approach.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.