Bäch SZ – The circular economy is becoming ever more important. However, the implementation of principles such as Cradle to Cradle requires the collaboration of many partners. EPEA Switzerland has established a Network of Trust with companies dedicated to this goal.
Cradle to Cradle represents a framework of principles for the circular economy in which all of the materials used in a product are safe for both humans and the environment and which can be returned to the biological or technical lifecycle once the useful life of the product has come to an end. In this context, one of the core motivations during the development of a product is to empirically verify the contents or ingredients constitute >100ppm (parts per million; 0.01 percent). In this way, it can be ensured that products are suitable for Cradle to Cradle certifications. For this reason, all suppliers involved in the process must declare that they are prepared to transparently guarantee disclosure. Over the course of its longstanding activities, EPEA Switzerland, the accredited assessor for Cradle to Cradle Certified and Material Health Certified certifications, has built up a network of companies that are all signing from the same hymn sheet in this respect: the Network of Trust.
Within the network, EPEA Switzerland performs the role of trustee of knowledge and innovation. Accordingly, it is able to bring partners into contact with one another. When one company is looking for a supplier for a particular product component that complies with the Cradle to Cradle principle, EPEA Switzerland will either already have or ultimately find the right contact. However, EPEA Switzerland can also help with the placement of companies that possess important skills which are required for innovative developments. But of course, the organization does not only have contacts. It is also available to Network of Trust partners with its own experience. This may, for example, relate to strategic development processes, such as the establishment of a take-back system for products that are to be returned to the biological or technical lifecycle after use, or even the establishment of logistical framework for the materials required.
Various companies form part of the network, including the specialty chemicals group Clariant, the textiles manufacturers Wolford, Napapijri, Calida, Trigema, Mary Rose and OceanSafe, the cleaning product manufacturers of the brand “Frosch” and Green Care Professional brands, the printing firm Vögeli, the furniture producers USM and Flokk-Giroflex in addition to the parquet flooring specialists Bauwerk.