On Thursday 19 July, Europe’s first Cradle to Cradle Product Certification Training centre was opened in Venlo, the Netherlands. The venture was launched by the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute of San Francisco, USA. The institute is the holder of the C2C certification mark and therefore bears responsibility for the global certification of C2C products. The Product Innovation Institute also benefits from funding by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
The Municipality of Venlo eagerly responded with pride to the institute’s decision. ‘Hosting such a unique European venture is a huge honour,’ said Stephan Satijn, Alderman for Economic Affairs and Chairman of the C2C ExpoLAB Foundation. ‘It is highly significant that this organisation based in San Francisco has chosen our city as the bridgehead for its further expansion throughout Europe. Particularly when one considers that there are still just around a hundred companies worldwide which are actually putting the C2C principles into practice. And a relatively large proportion of these companies are based in the Venlo region. We are therefore literally operating at the cutting edge.’
The training centre is housed in the Innovation Tower (Innovatoren) where C2C ExpoLAB also has its offices. The centre is basically designed to train consultants who will assist companies in acquiring certification for their products and manufacturing processes. The institute in San Francisco is to issue licences to this end, based on the latest insights. Its Chairperson, Bridgett Luther, explained that Venlo became conspicuous as a result of its leadership and pioneering position. The training courses are scheduled to commence later this year, depending on the level of demand.
C2C ExpoLAB’s Director, Roy Vercoulen, is ‘almost bursting with pride that Venlo has basically been declared C2C’s European capital. This is absolutely vital to the future of the region, while we also thank the honour to the innovative capacity and enterprise of the companies here which operate in this particular field.’
The term C2C was coined around the turn of the millennium by William McDonough and Dr Michael Braungart. The core of their philosophy is that products need to be developed which are both safe and healthy; while furthermore serving as the valuable raw materials for new products at the end of their life cycles. This should enable both considerable savings and the development of new earning models. The Venlo region embraced this philosophy in 2007, when it became clear that is was the most favourable means of securing economic growth and creating distinguishing capacity for the region.
‘The What question is no longer an issue in the debate on the matter of futureproof production methods,’ Alderman Satijn concluded. ‘Companies are now interested solely in the How, or the means of putting the philosophy into practice. In this regard, the Venlo region and C2C ExpoLAB are already setting a good example.’
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C2C ExpoLAB is partly funded by the European Union’s Interreg IVB programme and the Limburg Chamber of Commerce.
Cradle to Cradle certification is awarded on the basis of five points for attention:
1) Safe and sustainably extracted raw materials
2) Recycling of materials
3) Sustainable energy, environmentally aware operating methods
4) Care for water
5) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Training centre contact details:
Sint Jansweg 15
5928 RC Venlo
C2C ExpoLAB Foundation
Roy Vercoulen MSc
T 077-396 8007 | M 06 - 5246 1128