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Products and Design
Cradle to Cradle Institute Receives Funding for Online Ed Program for Product Designers

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has received funding from the Alcoa Foundation to develop a new web-based education program for product designers, according to a recent announcement.

Available starting June 9, the course will challenge participants to explore and apply design strategies to ensure that the materials that go into each product can return safely to industry or nature at a product's end of life.

The free course will be self-paced and provide strategies, tools and examples of the five quality categories of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program — a recognized leadership standard in designing for the future. Besides material reutilization, the program also rewards design considerations for material health, use of clean energy, water stewardship, and social fairness.

"This simple idea is central to working in partnership with the planet to support a high standard of living for more than 9 billion people in 2050," said Bridgett Luther, president of the Institute. "The design revolution starts with designers. Imagine if everything we made had a beneficial impact on the planet's resources. This course will challenge designers to rethink their designs in the context of making the world a place of abundance."

Alcoa says the course content will be supported by ongoing live events where attendees can interact with the Institute's extensive network of experts, including manufacturers, academic leaders and industrial designers.

Following the online course, participants will be encouraged to submit a workable design for a product that would be eligible to receive the Cradle to Cradle Certified mark, demonstrating their command of design principles that focus on material reuse. The top designs and designers will be featured at the Institute's annual Innovation Celebration — a gathering of the world's leading designers, change agents and influencers.

Alcoa is encouraging all those interested to register online to receive updates on the program as they develop.

In February, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute launched a product registry designed to increase transparency from manufacturers. The registry allows consumers, designers and builders to make wiser, healthier decisions and calls for greater transparency from the manufacturer. Other features include improved overall site speed and the optional certification scorecard, which is a summary of levels achieved in the five categories of certification optimization: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.

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