Cradle to Cradle: The Cradle of the Circular Economy

The Circular Economy is based on the Cradle to Cradle® design concept created by Prof. Michael Braungart and EPEA scientists from 1991 onwards, and later further developed together with the US architect William McDonough.

Linear economic models reach their limits

The classic linear economic models are reaching their limits. With resources becoming ever more scarce, many branches of industry are now under increasing pressure to remain competitive without compromising sustainability. This is where the Cradle to Cradle® design concept comes in, with its two cycles, the biological and the technical.

Copyright: EPEA                                                                                                        © EPEA & Returnity Partners

The aim: A positive footprint with optimised nutrient cycles

Companies must attempt to manage their products and the raw materials they use in circular models, to enable closed nutrient systems to be created. And that not as downcycling, but as upcycling. The aim is to create a positive footprint with optimised nutrient cycles. This is the only way to ensure that the economic benefits are actually delivered. The methods and instruments developed and implemented by EPEA relating to material banking and the material passports come into play here.

Cradle to Cradle® and the Circular Economy: A future-proof strategy

The Cradle to Cradle® design concept combined with the Circular Economy forms a future-proof strategy that brings together innovation and an increase in quality, working simultaneously at an economic, social and ecological level.

EPEA founder and owner Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart about the connection between Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle®: „I appreciate the fact that Circular Economy is explicitly connected to Cradle to Cradle. Without Cradle to Cradle the danger exists that Circular Economy becomes another hollow buzzword without offering the necessary conditions and related framework which are needed to make a true transition”. In an essay, published by the online magazine Europe´s World he emphazised „a Cradle to Cradle economy is Europes only future“ (Europe´s World, 16. Dezember 2015).

EPEA supports Circular Economy with its scientific input

EPEA is supporting the Circular Economy with its scientific input. In late 2015, EPEA joined the "CE 100" initiative formed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) as an Affiliate Member. The initiative brings together large and small companies wishing to realize the economic benefits of the Circular Economy underpinned by the Cradle to Cradle® design concept.