EPEA is an independent institute that develops solutions under the lead of Professor Michael Braungart. In cooperation with producing companies, EPEA’s interdisciplinary team aligns products to Cradle to Cradle design goals with tools that have been developed for this purpose.
The aim of the Cradle to Cradle design concept is to improve the quality of products so that they:
- Have an improved consumer quality for the user
- Pose no health risk at any stage of their Life Cycle
- Are of both economic and ecological benefit
- Can go into technical or biological cycles
The Cradle to Cradle method of production is in direct contrast to the “Cradle to Grave“ model in which material flows are formed without any conscious consideration for protecting resources. Rather than attempt to reduce the linear material flows and present-day methods of production, the Cradle to Cradle design concept envisages their redesign into circular nutrient cycles in which value, once created, remains of worth to both man and nature.
Cradle to Cradle Design distinguishes between two types of products: those for consumption (e.g. cleaning agents, cosmetics) that safely enter biological systems, and products for service (e.g. TV sets, cars) that safely enter technical systems to be apart of new future product generations. Certain dyes from DyStar were assessed by EPEA to ensure they safely end up in biological systems. Regarding dyes, not only the application scenario of textiles designed for technical cycles has to be taken into account, but also their contribution to waste water during a dyeing process.
The Cradle to Cradle Assessment Methodology applies human health and environmental health hazard criteria endpoints as a basis of a chemical’s evaluation. In connection with the specific use scenario and related routes of exposure, a rating of A, B (OK), C (tolerable) or X (problematic) is generated for each material.
DyStar delivered data according to some EPEA Assessment criteria. Those DyStar products which met these criteria were placed on “Positive-List” (project related, not publicly available): Chemicals, materials and auxiliaries which are at least tolerable for inclusion in a Cradle to Cradle product according to its intended use, depending on available toxicity data. Please find the positive list in eliot.
For the management of companies, engaging a Cradle to Cradle Design process has many advantages. It not only makes risks, purchasing, and process management more transparent and optimizes so called “environmental and waste costs“, but also allows a better understanding of social aspects along the supply chain. Cradle to Cradle Design optimizes environmental, economic, and social effectiveness in an overall added-value cycle. This is the motivation for DyStar to cooperate.
For more information about Cradle to Cradle Design, visit their website at Cradle to Cradle. To learn more about DyStar’s application of the Cradle to Cradle design on its products, Contact Us.