Tag Archives: Cradle to Cradle

#ShawLocalConvo encourages discussion on sustainability drivers

As part of Shaw Contract Group’s prequel to GreenBuild 2015, we decided to engage Twitter followers directly with a tweet chat focused around safe building practices, material health and trending issues around sustainability. Followers can chime in using #shawlocalconvo to answer questions, share resources and respond to other  opinions. Featured guests @RachelGutter, SVP of Knowledge for the U.S. Green Building Council, and Shaw Industries Product Sustainability Manager Kellie Ballew shared their insight and provided clarification as needed. Some of the condensed highlights from this conversation is shared in the feed below:


The conversation about designing for a positive impact is ongoing – stay tuned for additional content around material health and sustainable topics leading up to GreenBuild.  Another tweet chat is scheduled to occur during the event – so make sure to follow our feed.   We’ve also slated several speakers for Conversations in the Park, so make sure to visit us in booth #1305 for these opportunities to engage with sustainability leaders.

Visit shawcontractgroup.com for detailed information about our approach to material health and product sustainability.  Shaw’s corporate-wide sustainability goals and initiatives are communicated in our 2014 sustainability report.

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Design is Good Energy. View Shaw’s 2012 Sustainability Report.

Shaw Industries’ latest corporate sustainability report shares our progress and investments in environmental and social responsibility. Highlights include:

  • Reclaiming and recycling more than 600 million pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2006
  • More than 60% of Shaw products now Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM)
  • 3 more LEED® certified facilities
  • An 8.3% energy intensity reduction since 2007
  • A 33.7% water intensity reduction since 2006
  • 56,196 associate volunteer hours to community causes
  • More than $2 million in contributions to community causes

sustainability report 2012

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Cradle to Cradle Goes Beyond Sustainability in New Book, The Upcycle

"Good design would allow for abundance, endless use and pleasure." - The Upcycle

When William McDonough and Michael Braungart first thought up their “waste equals food” vision, there were doubts on  how far this idea would go. Now, ten years after putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into practice, William McDonough and Michael Braungart have envisioned the next step In the solution to our ecological crisis.

In the duo’s new book, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance the idea for the future is that we don’t just use or reuse resources with greater effectiveness, but we actually improve the world as we live, create and build.

For them, the questions of resource scarcity and sustainability are revolved around design. They see the Cradle to Cradle ideas being put to use in designs of products, buildings and business practices  Factories are being re-imagined not just to sustain life on the planet but to grow it.

In The Upcycle (and in general), McDonough and Braungart’s mission is to flip our very understanding of the human role on earth: Instead of protecting the planet from human impact, why not redesign our activity to improve the planet? We can have a beneficial footprint and abundance for all.

Since the beginning of Cradle to Cradle, Shaw Industries has adopted those ideas and incorporated them into how we make our products. Shaw Industries is mentioned in The Upcycle as a pioneer in the early integration of Cradle to Cradle ideas, alongside other large, international companies like Herman Miller, Steelcase and Ford.

Like us on Facebook and share on our wall how you make everyday Earth Day for a chance to win a copy of The Upcycle by William McDonough and Micheal Braungart.

Image: Amazon.com

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Look to Nature to Solve our Design Challenges

Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart

Janine Benyus

How does a river filter fresh water? How does a spider manufacture resilient fiber? These are the questions that biologist Janine Benyus are asking, along with architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, to make products safer and more environmentally friendly. The fact is that nature has already given them a head start.

Viewing nature as a source of ideas, rather than merely a source of goods, goes way back in history among indigenous people; however, Western industrial culture has mostly dismissed the idea to academic research.  Thanks to work of Benyus, Braungart, and McDonough, such ideas are starting to become a reality. From oil-repellent coating inspired by water bugs, to using prairies as
 a model to grow food sustainably,
 to observing how chimps cope with illness, the possibilities of learning from our planet’s unexplored sources of intelligence are endless.

Read more about the work of McDonough, Braungart and Benyus in making the world a more sustainable place in this article in Christian Science Monitor.

Images: CNN, GreenatWork

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Meryl Streep and Her Cradle to Cradle Inspiration

British Prime Minister, iconic chef, nun, magazine editor, therapist. Meryl Streep has played many roles in her acting career, but in her spare time, she is adding environmental activist to her list. As the special guest at the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute Gala during Greenbuild earlier this month, she shared how friend and Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute founder Bill McDonough inspires her to be more environmentally conscience. She talked with Fresh Dialogues about how she stays ‘green’:

The 2012 Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute Gala with Bill McDonough, Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep

Why should we care for the environment?
“We’re all part of the ecosystem. We’re all connected. You can’t go around in a bubble…”

On why Bill McDonough inspires her:
“Unlike so many environmental messages which are negative: “don’t this…don’t that!” Bill approaches things in a positive, restorative, beneficial way…with a focus on abundance. His mantra is a beautiful thing: “Designing a safe, healthy and delightful world for the love of all children, for all species, for all time. He’s a fervent optimist. His cup is never half empty or even half full. It’s always full of water and air. We were both profoundly affected by similar things: Silent Spring (the book by Rachel Carson) and concern for the impact of toxins on children. He’s the consummate multi-tasker. He leaves me breathless.”

On the roots of her environmental consciousness:
“It all goes back to being a mother. That’s the most invested relationship. You pay attention, perhaps for the first time. What is going in your child’s mouth? What’s her environment like? What will the future be?”

On how playing acclaimed chef, Julia Child influenced her green journey:
“We need to think about the provenance of our food. Where does it come from? Is it produced locally and with concern for the environment?”

Yves Behar of Fuseproject, Meryl Streep and Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability at Shaw Industries. Photo: Drew Altizer Photography, Claudine Gossett For Drew Altize / SF

During her Gala speech, Streep also praised the work being done by Brad Pitt, William McDonough and Tom Darden through the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans (an organization of which Shaw is a strong supporter of).

Streep also shows her support to the environment by helping raise awareness of toxins in food and the environment in her work with the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition.

Image: Susan Sarandon Twitter

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