Platinum targets in all but one of the categories. To provide
additional insight into the product’s green attributes, score
cards are available that detail which requirements were
achieved, notes Glass.
Supporting Green Building Operations
With over 2,000 certified products, Cradle to Cradle has many
solutions that interface with building management, including
cleaning supplies, flooring, furniture, washroom accessories,
structural components, and interior finishes such as paints, ceilings, and wallcoverings.
Facility professionals should have a thorough understanding of
their sustainability objectives in order to choose products that are
in line with their needs, says Bolus. It would be too simplistic
to select items based on only their final level as you’ll miss
Beyond a product’s creation, every company must demonstrate
its commitment to social fairness. Under Cradle to Cradle,
sustainability extends beyond the product to all of the people
involved in its creation. “We want all stakeholders treated as
partners,” Glass says.
Companies can demonstrate holistic practices throughout
their supply chains by using audits such as B Corp, UN Global
Compact Tool, or Fair Trade. These assessment look at everything from equitable wages and working conditions to charity
giving and community engagement, Glass explains.
From these five areas, a Bronze through Platinum designa-
tion is awarded. Unlike other point-based systems, Cradle to
Cradle Certified uses the score from the lowest category as
the final certification level. This means that an item could
be awarded Bronze even if it has satisfied Silver, Gold, or
Maya Henderson, Sustainability Manager
Transparency for product health is important to our customers. However, it can be difficult to effectively disclose material safe- ty without violating agreements with our suppliers. Because
C2C assesses a product’s chemical ingredients without listing them
publically, this certification gives buyers insights about sustainability
and product health while honoring the privacy concerns of vendors.
For the carpet industry, we excel at material reutilization because
there are so many other applications for nylon 6, 6. Our company offers a reclamation program that accepts carpet from any manufacturer. We also include post-consumer recycled content into our offerings
as well as pre-consumer waste to minimize the use of virgin products.
Bentley is also mindful of how much energy is required to manufacture 1 square foot of carpet. Our carpet is produced in a LEED-EBOM
Gold facility that is supported by a solar array and renewable energy
credits, ensuring 100% of our energy is renewable. In addition to upgrading equipment, we have optimized our production schedules to
increase efficiencies throughout the mill. We also made a pledge with
the Better Plants Program in 2010 that committed us to a 25% energy
intensity improvement over 10 years. We actually met our target in
just four years and have set a new goal to achieve an additional 25%
Cradle to Cradle Certified makes it easier for facility managers to
uncover how a product was created without having to become an expert in manufacturing practices or ingredient chemistry. C2C provides
a better baseline for comparing products and their inherent properties, production practices, and reuse potential.
Howard Williams, Senior VP of Sustainability and
Kendra Martz, Sustainability Coordinator
Williams: Our company was inspired by William McDonough
and Michael Braungart’s book Cradle to Cradle. It brought us to a
realization that although we had already implemented some of these
practices, the Cradle to Cradle protocol gave us a structured and
C2C gives us a people-centered context for our work. It’s really a philosophy that promotes sustainable product design and
manufacturing behaviors. Without such a standard, one could make
unsubstantiated green claims and even have their product made in a
third-world country using child labor. However, with C2C’s third-party
verification and audits, customers are assured the claims are real.
As many of our products are aluminum, coupled with our material recovery programs, we are able to include high percentages of
recycled content. We also optimize energy use by purchasing carbon
offsets and using efficient lighting and motion sensors.
Martz: Water is a big focus for us as well. We use no-irrigation landscaping, low-flow fixtures, and water metering. We have also secured
compliance letters for our effluent discharge.
Facility professionals can have confidence that C2C is credible
because the product has been assessed, weighed against the C2C
Standard, and certified by a third party. It also makes selecting
sustainable products easier – you don’t need to decide what makes
sense because a toxicologist has done your homework for you.