Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Announces First-Ever Product Symposium and Awards Leaders in Innovation

From Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute

The Schmidt Family Foundation, the DOEN Foundation, Ecover, I:CO, Mosa, and TRIGEMA Inh. W. Grupp e.K. to be honored at Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Celebration

NEW YORK, November 14, 2014 – The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute kicked off its two-day Innovation Celebration & Product Symposium event yesterday in New York City. This year’s theme, “Learn, Share, Collaborate, Celebrate,” is focused on Cradle to Cradle product innovation and began on Thursday, November 13th with an inaugural full-day workshop at Steelcase’s WorkLife Center, shared-interest Co-Creative Dinners, CEO Leadership Dinner, and leads into today’s full day of activities, including the annual Cradle to Cradle Innovation Celebration Awards Dinner.

This year, the Institute is honoring trailblazers in the circular economy with its Cradle to Cradle Products Innovator Award, Cradle to Cradle Systems Innovator Award and Cradle to Cradle Leaders Award.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovator Award recognizes three organizations that have revolutionized closed-loop and Cradle to Cradle product design, including Ecover, Mosa and TRIGEMA Inh. W. Grupp e.K.

Ecover, a pioneer in the development of powerful, ecological cleaning products, was the first Cradle to Cradle Certified™ professional cleaning product and truly takes cleaning products to a new level with its complete range of powerful cleaning products that are safe for people and the planet.

Mosa is an innovative Dutch ceramic tile producer furthering sustainable building products in international markets. Its vision is that in the future, buildings will consist of nothing but sustainable building materials designed and produced in a responsible manner and can be used without health risks.

TRIGEMA Inh. W. Grupp e.K., established in 1919, is the largest German manufacturer of sportswear and casual fashion and has all its production departments housed under the same roof in Germany. TRIGEMA is committed to state-of-the-art production technology and social and economic responsibility.

The Cradle to Cradle Systems Innovator Award recognizes I:CO, an important system for closing the loop between consumers and apparel and footwear manufacturers. I:CO, short for “I:Collect”, provides the global infrastructure to ensure the valuable material resources from unwanted textiles are collected for reuse and recycling into new products, therefore helping create a sustainable fashion future.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard helps address the market demand for ever-scarcer resources and communicate manufacturers’ commitment to their sustainability initiatives. Two organizations that help make this work possible — The Schmidt Family Foundation and the DOEN Foundation — will be given Cradle to Cradle Leaders Awards.

Founders of The Schmidt Family Foundation and the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), Wendy and Eric Schmidt are focused on bringing transformative change to how we approach, explore and protect the world’s limited natural resources. The foundation, through its grant-making arm, The 11th Hour Project, supports more than 150 nonprofit organizations in program areas including climate and energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and our maritime connection. The Schmidts were among the earliest funders of the Cradle to Cradle Innovation Institute and Wendy Schmidt served as its first board chair.

The DOEN Foundation, supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, was the first investor in the Institute. DOEN has similarly supported various like-minded social, sustainable and innovative organizations in the Netherlands and abroad for nearly 25 years. The DOEN Foundation believes in a green, social and creative society and aims to support organizations driving sustainable, cultural and social initiatives forward.

“We are so thankful for The Schmidt Family Foundation, the DOEN Foundation and all of the Cradle to Cradle product innovators that are transforming the market to offer safer alternatives across industries,” said Bridgett Luther, President of the Institute. “We wanted to create a two-day event that helps the Cradle to Cradle community of certified product companies share best practices and collaborate with each other in order to accelerate their leadership in sustainability.”

Thursday saw the first-ever Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium, a full day dedicated to leaders in Cradle to Cradle product design, innovation and certification. Moderated by Marc Gunther, editor-at-large of Guardian Sustainable Business U.S. and Contributing Editor and Co-chair, Fortune Brainstorm GREEN, the symposium was featured an opening session on the Impact of Cradle to Cradle Certified Innovation & Optimization, three breakout sessions with optional topic tracks, and a closing collaboration and wrap-up. The evening concluded with separate dinner events:  Co-Creative Dinners, broken up into shared-interest groups meeting at local restaurants and a CEO Leadership Dinner, with a panel discussion moderated by Gunther with speakers such as Arthur Thomaes, CEO of Royal Mosa, Coert Zachariasse, Owner and CEO ofDelta Development Group, Philip Malmberg, CEO of Ecover, and Wolfgang Grupp, Sr., CEO of TRIGEMA.

This morning begins with a closed meeting between Cradle to Cradle Certified product marketers participating in a lively discussion on best practices and shared learning. It will be followed by product manufacturing tours made available by MechoSystems and IceStone. The evening is dedicated to honoring certified companies and organizations leading the way into the new, circular economy.

Founding Board Member and Chair at the Institute Warner Philips said, “This has been a very big year for the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program and the world is a better place for it.” 

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