Cradle to Cradle

Forget about just reducing, reusing, and recycling!  It is not enough, as everything we recycle has to emerge further down on the value scale. The latest understanding in the search for true sustainability is that of Cradle to Cradle (a riff on Cradle to Grave). The idea is that the manufacturers take responsibility for using truly sustainable materials and recycling in a way which reuses just about everything.

There are hundreds of organizations and companies in Australia working hard to become more sustainable.

A concept originated by the visionary architect Bill McDonough,  Cradle-to-Cradle is a trademarked concept designed to revolutionize the traditional approach to material in our society.  The guiding principle is to upend “cradle to grave” practices and institute a philosophy of total material re-use.  The core tenets of Cradle to Cradle™ include:

Environmentally safe and healthy materials

Designed for material reutilization

Maximum use of renewable energy / energy efficiency

Maximum efficiency in use of water; protection of water quality

Socially responsible strategies instituted

Hycrete: the First Cradle to Cradle™ Certified Building Material

Low-impact, green materials

Manufactured responsibly

Energy conserved in manufacture – and installation

Recycled water used in process and solution

Socially responsible corporate practices

Cradle to Cradle™ seeks to up-end our throw-away culture.

As construction is a particularly resources intensive business, it is good to see some companies working hard to be more sustainable. You can read more about Hycrete here.

The company Verosol, which manufactures ecologically sustainable blinds (unfortuantely not in Australia!),  has a cradle-to-cradle vision also.

In Australia, many people and organizations are working to become more sustainable, and the ultimate goal is cradle-to-cradle.

Envirobusiness builds profitable business through smart environmental management.  Its functions are to:

coordinate environmental export business matching missions for 8 industry sub sectors

Broker partnerships for projects

Facilitate continuing professional development/ business development

Scope, oversee and conduct operational reviews, ISO 14001 audits, cleaner production evaluations for materials management, energy, water and waste minimisation, Greenhouse monitoring and credits administration, WHS and training needs analysis, redesign of products, EMS development, good green governance systems.

Greening the Boardroom shapes attitudes of decision makers toward sustainable development through

providing toolkits that make every decision a step in the right direction – towards sustainability

hosting regular events across a wide range of topics

sharing international information and lessons learned

rewarding improved corporate reporting

rewarding improved corporate socially responsible behavior

mentoring and executive coaching.

Friends of South East Queensland Founding Principles

Respect and care for community life and lifestyles in South East Queensland.

Respect and care for ecological integrity and the natural systems on which our healthy life depends

Social and economic justice with transparency

Democracy where individuals have a voice and conflicts are seen to be resolved through informed decisions.

The inspiring principles above are adopted from The Earth Charter

There are hundreds of organizations in Australia who are investing in green business and sustainability.  Lets work to make it thousands and thousands, especially converting the  biggest pollutors.  Can we do it?  Of course we can. We just have to have the human will to do it and start now.


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