Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge Winners Redefine Quality By Solving Health and Environmental Concerns

New York, NY — November 18, 2013 — The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Make It Right are pleased to announce four corporate Innovation Challenge winners who have designed building products that have the potential to revolutionize the affordable housing industry, redefine product beauty, and embrace the highest standards of environmental and human safety.

In response to the growing demand for more healthy, affordable, building products, The Institute in partnership with Make It Right inaugurated the Product Innovation Challenge in November 2012. Manufacturers were asked to create a building product that is safe, healthy, affordable, effective, and designed to be returned safely to nature or industry after use. Winners met the basic criteria of the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Product Standard, optimizing for material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

“Our biggest hurdle was picking only four winners - we had a number of great products for the affordable housing market,” said Institute President Bridgett Luther. “All of these winning products are good for the bottom line and the planet.”

The Challenge winners will be sharing a cash prize of $250,000 and they are:

1st place: bioMASON presents a brick that is “grown” instead of fired. A bacterial byproduct cements sand particles together to form a durable matrix. Because high heat is not required, these bricks have a much lower embodied energy and emissions profile while still having the positive environmental attributes of conventional bricks.

2nd place: Ecovative Mushroom® Insulation, is made from agricultural wastes bound together with a fungal material which is naturally fire-resistant and does not require added, toxic flame retardants or blowing agents that contribute to climate change. Additionally, the insulation is compostable and can return to nature after use.

3rd place tie: ECOR® is a sustainable alternative to wood, composites, aluminum and plastic. ECOR® advanced environmental composites present an expanded family of innovative natural building materials that are strong, lightweight, flexible, and environmentally friendly. ROMA Domus Mineral Paints are derived from natural materials, washable, free of toxic chemicals, free of asthmagens, hypoallergenic, prohibit bacteria that form mold, and absorb CO2.

"Make It Right is always looking for innovative products that can help us increase the sustainability and affordability of our homes," said Tom Darden, Make It Right's executive director. "We're excited that the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation prize winners are creating products that address some of today's most important challenges facing designers and builders."

Through the Challenge, building product manufacturers are showing what’s next for the affordable housing market, where they have the opportunity to provide solutions to human and environmental health around the world.

Winners were honored at the Institute’s Innovation Celebration in New York City. The event recognized leaders in product design and innovation for their efforts to create better products for our world using the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM program principles. Leading global brands such as Puma, Shaw and Herman Miller were also honored for their leadership and achievement in innovation and design for the circular economy.

The Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge was sponsored by the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Jury members who selected the winners include executives from Make It Right, The U.S. Green Building Council, Google, First Community Housing, The Honest Company, Schmidt Family Foundation, Delta Development Group in the Netherlands, and GIGA in China.

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization created to bring about a large-scale transformation in the way we make things. The mission of the Institute is to turn the making of things into a positive force for people, the economy, and the planet. The Institute, using the Cradle to Cradle® framework, works with leaders from academia, the NGO environmental community, government and industry to establish a rating system for assessing and constantly improving products based upon five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. The Institute is governed by an independent board of directors and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

About Make It Right
Founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, Make It Right builds homes, buildings and communities for people in need. All Make It Right projects are LEED Platinum certified and Cradle to Cradle inspired—meeting the highest standards of green building.

About the Dutch Postcode Lottery
The Dutch Postcode Lottery was founded in 1989 to support charitable causes. Today, 2.5 million people in the Netherlands play every year, vying for hundreds of thousands of prizes each month. As they play, they’re supporting charitable causes: half the price of each ticket is distributed among 85 charitable organizations. Since the Postcode Lottery's founding, it has donated almost €4 billion to organizations working on behalf of humanity and the natural environment.

About the Schmidt Family Foundation
The Schmidt Family Foundation supports efforts, using best expert information, to help transform the world’s environmental and energy practices in the 21th century. Its mission, at its broadest, is to advance the creation of an increasingly intelligent relationship between human activity and the use of the world’s natural resources.

Media Contact:
Lauren Burke
Senior Advocate for Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
[email protected]
(714) 907-3293