Want to change how products are developed? Here’s a chance to make an impact.

“MBDC is a product and process design firm dedicated to revolutionizing the design of products and services worldwide.”

So reads the self-description of a design firm working with clients to redesign how their products are conceived, created and disposed of.

MBDC was founded by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart in 1995. In 2002, they released their groundbreaking book on sustainable product lifecycles, Cradle to Cradle.

They were so interested in redefining how products are created that they printed their book on a polymer film rather than paper, because they believed it to be a more sustainable process.

MBDC moved on to develop a Cradle to Cradle Certification program that allows companies to demonstrate that their products met certain ‘green’ criteria in their design and manufacture. According to their website:

Cradle to Cradle Certification provides a company with a means to tangibly, credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design and helps customers purchase and specify products that are pursuing a broader definition of quality.

This means using environmentally safe and healthy materials; design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency; efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production; and instituting strategies for social responsibility.

If a candidate product achieves the necessary criteria, it is certified as a Silver, Gold or Platinum product or as a Technical/Biological Nutrient (available for homogeneous materials or less complex products), and can be branded as Cradle to Cradle.

They are currently developing a second generation of their certification criteria and are seeking public input.

If you’re interested in reviewing and commenting on their proposed criteria, here is more information. In addition, here is a summary of the criteria [PDF] as well as the current draft version of the entire program [PDF].

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