One of the most important certificates for us is "Cradle to Cradle" (C2C). Cradle to Cradle is a concept that is becoming increasingly important within the context of the circular economy. It literally means "from birth to birth": Every product that is manufactured should ultimately enable a new product to be created, thereby avoiding waste. This idea originally comes from nature, which knows no waste.
For implementing Cradle to Cradle, two cycles are crucial:
The biological cycle is about ensuring that all raw materials and chemicals used in a product are biodegradable and harmless. The goal is to reintroduce the materials into nature so that they can serve as raw materials for further natural processes.
- In the manufacturing process for BlackSatino, all harmful chemicals are replaced by raw and auxiliary materials that can be broken down in a natural cycle.
The technological cycle requires that a product is designed in such a way that it can be repaired without losing value or that all of its components can be reused. This cycle goes beyond recycling. This is because recycling delays the linear process of production, use and disposal; ultimately, the products and their parts end up in the waste.
- BlackSatino hygiene dispensers are part of the technological cycle; as part of this, they serve as raw material again for new dispensers at the end of their operational life.
The EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency) is the guardian of Cradle to Cradle; it performs extensive evaluations in five categories to determine whether products meet the specified requirements and standards.
Products are rated from bronze to platinum. The idea behind this is that organisations should make their products more and more sustainable to increasing levels according to each new assessment. BlackSatino is currently Cradle to Cradle® Silver certified.
In order to maintain the Cradle to Cradle® certification, the EPEA assesses every two years whether products still meet the requirements or have increased. Certification is also evolving in the process: the requirements and standards are constantly being tightened. This makes it more challenging for manufacturers to obtain or maintain C2C® certification.
1. Material hygiene: All chemical components used are harmless to humans and the environment.
2. Reuse of materials: All materials of the product receive a new function after use. Either it is harmless waste that serves as food for nature (biological cycle) or we can use parts for a new product in the production process (technological cycle).
3. Renewable energy and CO2 management: Sustainable energy sources such as solar energy and water are used in the production process.
4. Responsible use of water: Companies that want to work according to Cradle to Cradle must demonstrate that they use their water in a responsible and efficient way and that their wastewater is clean.
5. Social fairness: Companies need to take responsibility towards their workforce and other stakeholders and verify standards in internal processes: this includes, among other factors, good production and work conditions, respect for fundamental and human rights, precautionary management and prevention of corruption.