Optimization of all products & industries through C2C - Our services at a glance

Our Services

We are an innovation partner for our customers and business partners, with the aim of jointly orienting the business for the next industrial revolution – the Circular Economy. In a comprehensive Cradle to Cradle® consultation, EPEA develops and innovates processes, products, buildings and entire urban districts, together with partners from the business world, the public sector and the world of science.  Our common goal is to improve the quality of all types of “assets”, making them beneficial to humans, the environment and the economy.

 

To this end, we draw on our 30 years of expertise and our knowledge of chemistry, biology, environmental science and the property sector in order to optimise products of all types regarding their material health and recyclability for a Circular Economy – we call it “science-based consulting”.

As an accredited assessment body for the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM certification standard for all types of industrial products, we meet the highest of confidentiality requirements as a “Knowledge Trustee” when working together with product manufacturers and suppliers of components and chemicals, in order to check and optimise all information relevant to products and processes.

Workshops _Start to Re-Think

The development of Cradle to Cradle® products and circular processes requires holistic solutions. In workshops, employees from different departments and disciplines are brought together to discuss project-related innovations: whether these are circular business models, product design, buildings, take-back systems or roadmaps for company transformation.

 

C2C Workshop: EPEA Services

Product related material and chemical assessment

The identification of suitable materials/chemicals for products and processes using human and environmental toxicological criteria is the bedrock of Cradle to Cradle® products. The first step is the determination and definition of the substances used in a product. This status forms the starting point for a re-design or the development of a new product concept. Using an ABC-X categorisation, all the constituent substances are assessed and, if necessary, subsequently optimised. The assessment criteria used by Cradle to Cradle® is based on the following steps:

  • Registration and identification of products and their constituent substances by CAS Registry Number (from a Bill of Materials, material safety data sheets, etc.)
  • Use of the comprehensive EPEA database and, if necessary, research in external databases as well as in scientific literature on individual substances with regards to ecotoxicology
  • Incorporation of the likelihood of exposure in a relevant scenario and recyclability for estimating the resulting overall risk
  • Creation of an overall recommendation for future handling of the product or substance in question

C2C-pre evaluation and C2C-optimization

EPEA offers a Cradle to Cradle® pre-assessment for products, in order to concisely estimate the Cradle to Cradle® potential and identify the potential next steps.  The Cradle to Cradle® pre-assessment is a preliminary examination of a product and based on the data made available by the customer and, where appropriate, publicly available data on general materials and product components.  This makes it possible to estimate the product’s suitability for a technical or biological cycle, and to identify potential aspects which do not concur with the Cradle to Cradle® principles.

The result of the Cradle to Cradle® pre-assessment is a statement on the product’s Cradle to Cradle® potential, in combination with recommended next steps:

  • Detailed evaluation of materials in a Cradle to Cradle® scenario
  • Material and product optimisation or a search for alternatives
  • Certification according to the Cradle to Cradle® product standard

On the basis of the results of the Cradle to Cradle® pre-assessment, we work with the manufacturer to optimise the product and its supply chain.  Here, we make use of our unique attributes:

  • 30 years of experience and knowledge building in working with manufacturers and suppliers according to the Cradle to Cradle® design principle
  • Science with practical relevance – we call this “science-based consulting”
  • Contributions from our international network and cross-industry activities

Material Statements by EPEA as an independent material trustee

As an independent material trustee, we draw up material statements on the topics of health, recyclability, CO2 footprint and environmental impact. The “Material Health Statement®” (MHS) is a declaration instrument and makes it possible for manufacturers of products, components and chemical products to communicate transparently regarding the material health of the materials used, product safety and the environmental quality of their products. In order to effect significant changes however, we must go beyond cataloguing, screening and assessment. Products must be optimised for current and future uses. For this reason, the MHS also documents the product development and the product optimisation process. Based on this, the “Material Reutilization Statement” (MRS) makes it clear how and with which processes the product circulates in the cycle.

Ideally, an MHS and an MRS are created during initial product optimisation or innovation development, based on the Cradle to Cradle® design principles. The MHS and MRS can be created for products at every point in a supply chain, including intermediate products. Here you can find the guideline for development of an MHS.

To describe the lower CO2 emissions associated with a product designed to be recyclable, we draw up a “Material Carbon Statement” (MCS) on the basis of ISO 14040, and a “Material Environmental Statement” (MES) to describe the overall environmental impact.  This allows the advantages of the Circular Economy to be illustrated transparently, which is not possible with simple creation of a classic EPD.

Product Circularity Passport® by EPEA

Today, downcycling is standard practice when recycling materials.  Products are often not developed to be disassembled and recovered.  The exchange of information, particularly with regards to product composition and disassembly steps and between stakeholders, is insufficient.   Product Circularity Passports® are a Cradle to Cradle® instrument to accelerate the implementation of a Circular Economy. By closing information gaps, Product Circularity Passports® ensure transparency and pave the way for the introduction of circular products.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ product certification

EPEA is one of four accredited assessment bodies (including Material Health assessment) of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII), which awards the certificate “Cradle to Cradle Certified™” to products and materials. The quality standard of the Cradle to Cradle® product certificate comprises five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness. If desired by the brand or the product manufacturer, EPEA carries out the evaluation of materials and processes required for certification and draws up a certification report for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII).  

Depending on the rating in the individual categories, a product may be certified at a basic, bronze, silver, gold or platinum level.  The certification must be renewed every two years.  During re-certification, special consideration is given to whether the strategies from the previous certification processes for the optimisation/withdrawal of materials or substances have been implemented and whether the company is pursuing strategies in the areas of renewable energy, social fairness and water.

The result is a certificate which is valid world-wide and communicates achievements in the five evaluation criteria. More information are available in our C2C Certified™ Abstract.

Cradle to Cradle Certified Certification process of EPEA

C2C Communication

Successful Cradle to Cradle® projects and the implementation of innovations must be communicated in a credible manner.  This not only motivates internal employees, but also externally demonstrates the company’s commitment to working on solutions.  We are happy to draw on our experience from hundreds of Cradle to Cradle® projects to find appropriate and meaningful communications for every sector of industry.  Furthermore, we offer a tried and tested process for business transformation to a circular business in the form of the Cradlebility® roadmap.

For visual media communications (photo and film), we are happy to put you in contact with agencies specialising in the area of Cradle to Cradle® communication who can produce a swift introduction to the topic.  The focus lies here above all on the creation of a positive and credible visual vocabulary.

Here is an overview of our services:

Buildings

Energy efficiency, CO2 savings and the use of renewable energies are now almost standard criteria in the construction of new buildings. However, in view of the overall challenge facing the construction and real estate industry, this is far from sufficient.

 

 

Cities & infrastructure

In order to solve today's tasks for the conversion and new construction of cities and infrastructures, it requires the cooperation of various disciplines. Therefore, we at EPEA have set ourselves the goal of developing holistic concepts to create sustainable solutions for cities and their infrastructures.

 

 

Business transformation

The EU has declared a climate emergency, movements such as "Fridays for Future" are fighting for more environmental protection and draft laws for more responsibility in the supply chain are ready. Not a day goes by today without the effects of climate change and the future of our planet being reported and discussed.