Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More Cradle-to-Cradle Products

In addition to Herman Miller's "Mirra Chair", there are many other companies which are undertaking Cradle-to-Cradle supply chains in which the components are reclaimed at their end of useful life, broken down, and remade into new products with little to no added raw materials (in essence, the product is completely "recyclable", but without the loss of material strength or usefullness which is often associated with recycling). 

This article, which discusses another company pursuing the Cradle-to-Cradle goal is a carpet company which takes back all used products at their end of useful life and reforms new carpets from the used ones.  http://www.educated-exec.com/news/2012/03/cradle-to-cradle-why-dessos-ceo-chose-green-carpets.html

The idea of Cradle-to-Cradle manufacturing, while possibly not yet a clear economic choice, has promise for the future.  With more and more of the population undergoing development and a move to more industrialization and commercialization, raw materials will only become more expensive.  A company which eventually does not have to purchase raw materials in order to conduct business, but forms its supply chain into a complete circle, will certainly have a competitive advantage far into the future.

What types of products might have a difficult time with the cradle to cradle concept?  Could all products, if recapturing enough raw materials, in essence become closed supply chains?

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