Cradle to Cradle® Business transformation

The EU has declared a climate emergency, movements like “Fridays for Future” are fighting for more environmental protection and draft legislation for more responsibility in the supply chain is in the pipeline. There isn’t a day that goes by without reports and discussions on the impacts of climate change and the future of our planet. In this context, UNEP has defined 17 global goals – the so-called SDGs. In the meanwhile, these are recognised and embedded as top sustainability goals in all sustainability systems and reporting obligations. But the questions is: How can these by achieved by companies?


Paradigm shift for growth 2.0

Over the past years more and more companies have developed a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, which is generally based on avoidance and efficiency enhancement. As a society, we no longer have the time to align our activities to being just a bit greener, rather we must rethink our current systems and practices.

The Cradle to Cradle® design framework views sustainability as an innovation opportunity. Where products and services are designed to have a positive impact, successful business will be beneficial for the company, the employees and the environment.

Companies must therefore position their business step by step to becoming “beneficial” and start to see sustainability as an innovation opportunity. In this way the company’s core business will have positive impacts on the environment and society instead of distinguishing between CSR-reporting and industrial production in accordance with the principles of the linear economy (take-make-waste), as is common practice today.

Companies will then be able to take on responsibility for society and the environment, while being successful and profitable at the same time: externally as a result of the development of sustainable products or services and internally through the stepwise implementation of measures at the company’s sites and within the company structures. 

CRADLEBILITY® – Method of transforming a company into a Beneficial Company

The CRADLEBILITY® method has been developed in cooperation with Drees & Sommer to drive the transformation of firms forward to becoming Beneficial Companies with a positive carbon footprint. Sustainability should no longer merely be considered an “add-on” for CSR communication, but as a driver of innovation for a credible, circular and successful company. The core of this method is to define goals and measures in all company-relevant and product-related topic areas and implement these step by step: whether at building level, in the form of energy and mobility concepts or through the sustainable transformation of procurement. The method can be broken down into four steps:



In step one, the status quo of the company is determined within the scope of a screening. For this, among other things, the key drivers of the company’s transformation, existing and planned business models, innovation fields, previous sustainability activities at the company sites as well as the internal and external communication are considered.


Setting Goals

Based on the screening, a cluster of topic areas is then determined in which goals and the necessary actions to achieving them can be defined from an internal and an external perspective. Then sustainable business models, for instance, or the expansion of renewable energies will generate positive effects - both internally and externally. A roadmap is created to define and set goals. Based on business KPIs, e.g. percentage of sustainable products or services, the developments can be made measurable.



In order to achieve the set goals and integrate their implementation into existing processes, a roadmap is created containing thenecessary measures, and coupled with the set-up of centralised data management.  The company’s transformation is accompanied by internal (and external) communication to promote the commitment of the employees and jointly develop solutions.  



The implemented measures (and the corresponding KPIs) are credibly communicated both internally and externally in a Cradlebility® report section in the management report. If wished or required by law, a formal report in accordance with the usual reporting standards will also be prepared.


The set goals and implementation of the measures is checked annually and further developed on an ongoing basis.


Development of a business integrated sustainability strategy

Topic areas are identified within the scope of the screening, in which either measures have already been implemented or in which positive added values for business, society and the environment are planned to be created in the future. Every company has its own goals and every business achieves different impacts. Jointly, we develop measures tailored to the company: this may be the generation of renewables energies, product optimisation according to the Cradle to Cradle® design framework, the transformation of procurement, development of mobility concepts or the promotion of biodiversity. 


The implementation of these measures is supported by a Cradlebility® roadmap, visualising the goals. The roadmap is designed for the internal and external communication of credible commitments. It now becomes possible for all companies to give their business and their employees a positive agenda: i.e. to jointly create positive added value as a Beneficial Company.

What added value does the CRADLEBILITY® method offer?

Transformation into a Beneficial Company

Development of a Cradlebility® roadmap

Credible communication of goals in the Cradlebility® report

Motivation and commitment of employees through a positive corporate agenda

Added value for people, environment and business