NatureWorks' Ingeo biopolymer, made from plants, not oil, is the first product of its kind to become Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
Cradle to Cradle Certified is a multi-attribute program that assesses products for safety to human and environmental health, design for future use cycles, and sustainable manufacturing processes. The program provides guidelines to help businesses implement the Cradle to Cradle framework, which focuses on using safe materials that can be disassembled and reused as technical nutrients or composted as biological nutrients.
The certification is recognized by environmental experts worldwide for honoring innovation in sustainability. In the U.S., for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes Cradle to Cradle Certified products in its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) database for federal agency procurement. These certified products also are eligible for points in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification for green buildings.
"NatureWorks participated in the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Program process because we believe its holistic view of products is essential to understanding the true totality of sustainability," said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO, NatureWorks. "We are proud that Ingeo is among the first products in the world to achieve this distinction."
Unlike single-attribute eco-labels, the certification program takes a comprehensive approach to evaluating the design of a product and the practices employed in manufacturing it. Each product is evaluated in five categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Responsibility. Products can be Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM at one of four levels (Basic, Silver, Gold, or Platinum) based on achievement against criteria in all five categories.
NatureWorks worked closely with consulting firm McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) to collect data throughout the supply chain, assess all materials for impact to human and environmental health, and evaluate manufacturing processes for use of renewable energy, water stewardship, and social responsibility.
Products made from Ingeo span multiple industries and categories, including packaging, electronics, clothing, house wares, health and personal care, semi-durable products, and the foodservice industry.