Cradle to Cradle Certification Continues the Sustainability Cycle for Lindner Group
Consideration for the circular economy has always been a top priority for Lindner Group KG, a building product manufacturer based in Arnstorf, Germany. Three years ago, the company committed to that mission in a more formal manner by taking the first steps toward Cradle to Cradle certification.
Lindner certified its first product, the NORTEC raised-floor system, in January 2017. The interior system, certified Cradle to Cradle Silver, consists of factory-made, pre-finished, modular components; their assembly and construction allows access to the floor cavity, such as to perform maintenance of HVAC systems, by lifting any panel.
NORTEC was followed this summer by the LMD metal ceiling, a modular system available in hook-on, post-cap, cassette, baffle, corridor, or canopy formats. The Silver-level certification includes a Platinum rating for water stewardship, in part due to a manufacturing process that uses a closed water cycle process, as well as a Gold rating for social fairness.
Numerous other floor and ceiling systems, as well as the company’s wall systems, are expected to be certified in 2017 and 2018.
One of the hallmarks of Cradle to Cradle certification is ongoing product optimization, an idea already entrenched in Lindner’s philosophies as the company has always sought to improve the sustainability of its products. For example, Lindner developed a patented process to recalcinate the calcium boards in its floor system so that they can be used over and over, a crucial detail as the industry strives to achieve Built Positive concepts such as design for disassembly. Going forward, “Cradle to Cradle will be guidance to improve our products, and for new products it will be a standard,” says Marcel Gröpler, head of the Green Building Department for Lindner.
Tackling one of the most challenging aspects of a circular building economy, Lindner has introduced a program that encourages product repurposing rather than disposal. Customers receive a certificate that allows them to return the floor systems for reuse within 25 years.
As part of its mission for creating sustainably-minded products, Lindner has a green building division solely dedicated to environmental protection and focused on continual improvement of products and processes. Part of that process includes ongoing and permanent dialogue with partners and suppliers to improve raw materials to meet new and changing certifications and sustainability goals.