Cradle to Cradle® certifications emphasize our commitment to the environment and product transparency.
We are excited to announce that we recently underwent the rigorous process of becoming Cradle to Cradle Certified™ for our recycled, outdoor furniture collections. Working with MBDC, the originators of the Cradle to Cradle® design framework and the Cradle to Cradle Certified products program, our products were evaluated on five categories, including material health, material reutilization, renewable energy/carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. Going through this in-depth evaluation provided us with a higher standard of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Cradle to Cradle® also aligned well with our vision to “Appreciate the Outdoors” and our founding on the principle of efficient and responsible reuse of manufacturing materials.
Upon being thoroughly investigated in these five categories, 93% of our products became Cradle to Cradle® Certified, with 84% receiving an overall Cradle to Cradle Certified SILVER™ rating and the remaining 9% of products with Richlite support pieces, receiving a Cradle to Cradle Certified BRONZE rating. We plan to expand the scope and certify the remaining products, namely accessories, and have 100% of the product line certified in coming years.
As the market has increasingly demanded product transparency and with LEED, Google Portico, and Healthy Product Declarations becoming increasingly influential, the Cradle to Cradle® certification was a natural and necessary next step for us. Greg Benson, our founder describes our motivation, “Our customers from across all sales channels are inquiring about the material makeup of our products, asking if they are truly safe for humans and for the environment. Having transparency with our company and our recycled products that we can share with our customers is the right thing to do, and utilizing a respected third party certification like Cradle to Cradle gives Loll credibility. Most importantly to us is that the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute not only certified Loll’s products, but the process with MBDC lays the groundwork for how we can continue to move our sustainability initiatives even further.”
Attaining a SILVER level on the material health category was an important goal for us. While working with 100% recycled post-consumer material is a positive asset, it can be challenging to know what is in the input stream. To ensure this achievement, MBDC worked closely with our HDPE supplier to understand what materials they are accepting and how it’s sorted. While the input stream is primarily coming from food grade bottles and consumer care bottles, additional testing was done to investigate the base resin material to ensure the input stream wasn’t being contaminated by heavy metals or organohalogens, a class of chemicals that has been associated with serious human health problems. The absence of these contaminants, along with other material optimizations, allowed 84% of our products to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certified SILVER™ rating for the material health category. Jay Bolus, President of MBDC, describes this achievement, “Loll Designs has put incredible effort into their Cradle to Cradle optimization process and overall design, and this work transcends industry by raising awareness of the materials and ways manufacturers can work with supply chains. In essence, the company has fine-tuned their material sourcing process by working with its supply chain to improve the way manufacturing partners make the products’ materials. We’re thrilled to have been able to assist and guide the team on this journey for creating positively designed furniture.”
For the material reutilization category the specification is that the materials must be recovered and kept in continuous cycles. Our products are 100% recycled, and also 100% recyclable. However, the HDPE material can’t be recycled with typical curbside recyclables, so to ensure they get recycled properly, we encourage customers to send parts or disassembled products back to us. We’ll remove the stainless steel hardware and aluminum inserts, recycle those, and then send on the HDPE material to an industrial waste processing facility where they can be repurposed into another useful product. By taking responsibility for products at their end of life, we are partaking in the circular economy versus the more traditional linear economy of make, use, and dispose.
With many certifications out there, and with even more of them being self-declared, we felt Cradle to Cradle was one to pursue in that it demanded third-party verification. It was also appealing because the criteria was based upon five categories, and wasn’t just looking at one snapshot of our business. Moreover this certification allows for a deeper conversation with our customers without them having to wade through a huge stack of bill of materials. We always strive to understand our impact on the environment, our employees, and our community, and the Cradle to Cradle certification process validated all we do to enhance these aspects of our company.