A phrase invented by Walter R. Stahel in the 1970s and popularized by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book of the same name. This framework seeks to create production techniques that are not just efficient but are essentially waste free. In cradle-to-cradle production, all material inputs and outputs are seen either as technical or biological nutrients. Technical nutrients can be recycled or reused with no loss of quality and biological nutrients composted or consumed. By contrast, cradle-to-grave refers to a company taking responsibility for the disposal of goods it has produced, but not necessarily putting products’ constituent components back into service.


7 Responses to “Cradle-to-Cradle”
  1. Great Ray Anderson Interview on BBC

    There are few business leaders as well known as Ray Anderson in terms of having an epiphany about sustainability. Andersons’s company – Interface Carpet – is a leader in the quest to create a truly cradle to cradle company with…

  2. iobs says:

    For everybody who is interested, I keep a Cradle To Cradle Chronology here:
    It is a very comprehensive list of sources, publications, articles, videos, podcasts, interviews, events and milestones on the Cradle To Cradle subject. All nicely ordered in a chronological manner.

  3. Stahel has from the beginning emphasized the importance of the holistic approach and the economic, ecologic and social advantages of the loop economy:
    -The substantial economic differences between reusing goods and components versus recycling molecules,
    -The axiom of the smallest loop (re-use) as the most profitable one, which has to be considered in defining sustainable corporate strategies,
    -The necessity to close the liability loop in addition to the physical loops, especially in legislation and policy making,
    -The link between energy/resources savings and job creation in a loop economy – substituting manpower for energy.
    But never forget the fact that strategies outside the c2c thinking, such as sufficiency, can be substantially more sustainable than c2c solutions, and encompass all types of goods, not only durable ones.

  4. My vision and the f/b page to gather all my social capital please join us I want to make this undertaking as a LOOP Village prototyping activity! MY skype id is crisgar for any person/org/agency or FORCE that may make it happen Thank you


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  1. […] other economic models evolved. Some of them include blue economy, industrial ecology and cradle-to-cradle. Finally, the idea of circular economy emerged and is now incorporated in the guiding principles of […]

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