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Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Receives $2.6M from the Dutch Postcode Lottery

SAN FRANCISCO:  At its gala ceremony in Amsterdam on February 9, the Netherlands’ “Dutch National Postcode Lottery” awarded a grant of 2M Euros, or $2.6M, to San Francisco’s Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in continued support for its work in guiding product designers and manufacturers in their efforts to make safer, healthier products.

Wendy Schmidt, Board Chairman and President of the Schmidt Family Foundation, thanked the Postcode Lottery for its faith in the mission of the Institute. “This award, which is a special grant from the Postcode Lottery, will enable our organization, entering its third year, to really lead a global transformation in our industrial processes, so that our everyday acts of consumption do not lead, inevitably, to the kinds of tragedies we are witnessing today--with plastic filling our oceans, landfills blighting our landscapes, and so many diverse life forms disappearing from the Earth.”

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit corporation founded in 2009 by designer and architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart, based upon their twenty years of work. Their 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, was the first analysis to define industrial materials not as product and waste, but as either biological or technical “nutrients,” that would either turn safely into compost or return to industry for reuse, thus regenerating the planet.

Their model, which eliminates the concept of “waste,” became the basis of a product certification framework in 2005. In 2010, McDonough and Braungart gifted that framework and certification mark to the Institute to continue bringing certification to industrial sectors worldwide, including the built environment, textiles, personal and home care, and healthcare.

Using the Cradle to Cradle® framework, the Institute works with leaders from universities, government, the environmental community, and industry to establish a rating system for assessing the constant improvement of products based upon five categories: safe and appropriately sourced materials; material reutilization; use of renewable energy; release of clean water from the process; and social fairness. Products meeting the transparent criteria of this rating system receive the Cradle to Cradle certification mark.

To date, more than 450 products and 100 companies have engaged in the C2C certification process, including Herman Miller, Desso, Berkshire Hathaway’s Shaw Industries, Steelcase, Ahrend, Royal Mosa and Aveda.

“Cradle to Cradle product certification is more than just a stamp of approval,” said Bridgett Luther, President of the Institute. “We are looking forward to affecting change around the world through more product certifications and thank the Lottery for their tremendous support.”
Recognition by the enormously popular Postcode Lottery provides visibility for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in Holland and throughout Europe, as well as in the United States.

The Lottery represents the investments of more than 2.5 million participants, with a total of more than 4.5 million lottery tickets sold in 2011, that raised more than 284M Euros for 85 charities working in the fields of conservation, environmental protection, developmental aid and human rights. 

Said founder William McDonough, "With this generous grant, the Dutch National Postcode Lottery has made a historic commitment towards the work of the entire Cradle to Cradle family of organizations. I am very pleased to see the Institute receive such a significant endorsement of its work certifying products that are safe and healthy for all."

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