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Cradle To Cradle criteria for the built environment


  • Douglas Mulhall

    (Erasmus University, Rotterdam)

  • Michael Braungart

    (Erasmus University, Rotterdam)


The positive agenda of Cradle to Cradle establishes a new paradigm for redesigning in the built environment. Cradle to Cradle consists of a philosophy, quantifiable principles, and implementation tools that together comprise an innovation platform for enhancing the quality of materials, energy and biodiversity. This platform generates social, economic and eco-effective benefits, which go beyond the conventional sustainability approach of using eco-efficiency to minimize environmental impacts. Cradle to Cradle is well known through earlier published works but most practitioners in the built environment are still unfamiliar with how to apply its principles. The framework here provides an introduction to the philosophy then translates the three basic Cradle to Cradle principles into criteria that can be quantifiably applied and evaluated. It further describes implementation criteria, which allow the innovative integration of defined financial, contract, and design application tools. Definitions of Cradle to Cradle energy in relation to climate change gases are also provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Mulhall & Michael Braungart, 2010. "Cradle To Cradle criteria for the built environment," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 75(04), pages 182-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekz:ekonoz:2010416

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    2. Lars-Morten Andersen & Raimund Bleischwitz, 2009. "Informational Barriers to Energy Efficiency - Theory and European Policies," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 15, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    3. Bleischwitz, Raimund & Bahn-Walkowiak, Bettina & Irrek, Wolfgang & Schepelmann, Phillip & Schmidt-Bleek, Friedrich & Giljum, Stefan & Lutter, Stephan & Bohunovski, Lisa & Hinterberger, Friedrich & Haw, 2009. "Eco-Innovation - putting the EU on the path to a resource and energy efficient economy," Wuppertal Spezial, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, volume 38, number 38.
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    More about this item


    innovation; cradle to cradle; eco-effectiveness; design criteria; quality guarantee;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction


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