Cradle to Cradle® is a comprehensive approach that claims to change today's industrial production. One of the challenges is to encourage companies and partners from science, government organizations and society to transform the respective industrial sectors.
Cooperation ranges from joint product development to research projects and marketing campaigns. When building a network, special attention is paid to the sharing of materials.
EPEA works for almost 30 years on the implementation of production methods using nature as a model on a large scale. A successful solution is the so-called material pooling. It enables companies to use material resources within a pool and also to exchange their specialized knowledge in the acquisition and transformation of sales-related nutrients. The result is a networking system, in which actors along the value chain can cooperate and thereby is beneficial to all stakeholders.
The core of such cooperation is a material database that retains ownership of technical chemicals, "nutrients" and materials. This material database passes the substances to participating companies in a leasing process, which in turn convert them into products and then make them available to consumers in the form of a service plan. After a defined period of use the material is collected and returned to the material database. At the same time information associated with these materials is also collected, managed and distributed among interested parties.
This way, the material database ensures an accumulation of knowledge about a certain material in the long term, thus enabling a true "upcycling" of the material.
EPEA develops C2C communities in different sectors:
Paper & Printing: EPEA is a leading player in the optimization of paper and printing products. We successfully work together with dozens of companies, from multinational groups like Carlsberg to small and medium-sized companies such as Gugler. After our collaboration with Gugler to optimize inks, additives and paper, the first publications were produced that can be recycled and composted in industrial processes or burned without additional filters to remove toxic by-products.
C2C inspired Buildings: EPEA aims to create buildings that return nutrients to the environment and allow a material flow management. For example Cradle to Cradle inspired buildings only use materials that circulate in biological or technical production processes, thus serving as a resource and whose effects are positive for humans and the environment. Hazardous substances are only used if they cannot enter the environment and can return into technical cycles that are based solely on renewable energy sources.
Textiles & Leather: EPEA strives for defined textile nutrients. The Application of the Cradle to Cradle® design concept leads to textile products which are healthy in a chemically defined manner. The material and design decisions made for this purpose are also aligned to obtain an ecological additional benefit of the products after their use either as biological or as technical nutrients. EPEA cooperates with textile producers and recycling service providers like I:CO for more than 20 years to close the textile cycle. Therefore EPEA is very familiar with the complexity of the highly globalized supply chains in the textile sector.