From cradle to consumer

The Green Products Innovation Institute marks the historic launch of a non-profit organisation promoting sustainable design.
GPII logo by Yves Béhar.
GPII logo by Yves Béhar.

The recent launch of the Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII) as a non-profit organisation marks an effort to provide resources to companies for more sustainable design, based on the cradle-to-cradle (C2C) principles.

GPII was launched in California, backed by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and marks the first time that the protocol, created by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr Michael Braungart of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, has been granted to an institution to issue at their own discretion.

Yves Béhar of Fuseproject is one of the founding members of GPII and responsible for the visual identity of the organization. He says of GPII: “It is simply the opportunity for change on a scale never achieved by the design profession before.”

In 2002 McDonough published “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things”, in partnership with Braungart. The publication served as a manifesto for C2C design, giving specific details on how to achieve the objectives of the model.

C2C posits that sustainable design, based on the laws of nature, can help to transform the consumer economy into a regenerative force.  C2C is a blueprint for the redesign of products and ingredients to ensure that old products become the raw material for new goods and services. It’s not about curbing growth but about following nature’s laws in building a sustainable economy. By adding environmental intelligence and creative design, growth would include the restoration of natural systems.

GPII is promoting the C2C framework as a large-scale model for eliminating toxic chemicals and other impacts that adversely effect the environment. GPII hopes to make the C2C framework more accessible to academic institutions, research organisations, government and NGOs by providing C2C certification, training materials and support.

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