Products from 10 companies have been selected as finalists for the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge sponsored by the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Three winners will be selected from this group and will share a cash prize of $250,000.
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, in partnership with Make It Right, launched its first Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge in November 2012. By June, more than 100 products had been entered in the challenge.
The Challenge: Create a building product that is safe, healthy, affordable, effective, and designed to be returned safely to nature or industry after use.
“We are delighted at the response to the challenge and the quality of the submissions,” says Bridgett Luther, president of the institute. “These innovations embody shared values of practical sustainability and entrepreneurship.”
From insulation grown from fungi, to roofing made from waste limestone and recycled plastic, to bricks grown by living organisms, the finalists are showing what’s next in the green-building scene. The ten finalists represent alternatives to a range of traditional building products, including insulation, paint, drywall, siding, roofing, bricks and construction panels.
- Ecovative – Mushroom Insulation
- Bellwether Materials – Softbatts Sheep’s Wool Insulation
- ROMA – Domus Mineral Paints
- StormWall Industries – StormWall panels
- GR GreenBuilding Products – GR Green Roofing and Siding
- bioMASON – Biobrick
- Ecococon – Straw Panels
- HaploBuilt – HaploBlocks
- ECOR – Universal Construction Panels
- Dutch Design Initiative – Reinforced Wood Wool Cement Board
To win the challenge, products must emulate the criteria of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.
Winning products must also be accessible for the affordable housing market, where health impacts from conventional building materials are rising at an alarming rate. Taylor Royle of Make it Right explains the significance of the Innovation Challenge for the future of affordable, green homes: “At Make It Right, we are trying to revolutionize the affordable home industry. We believe that well designed, sustainable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes can be built for the same price as conventional homes. If this is true, we have no excuse to build any other way. We are constantly looking for new products that would make our homes more sustainable, more affordable or, ideally, both.”
Winners will be announced Nov. 15, 2013 at the Institute’s Innovation Celebration in New York City. The event will recognize leaders in product design and innovation for their efforts to create better products for our world using the Cradle to Cradle Certified program principles. Some of the biggest brands in the world will be honored along with stories of emerging technologies and a look into the future of sustainable design.
Jury members who will select the winners include executives from Make It Right, 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.