Desso has been named amongst the top businesses to watch by Dutch trend watcher Hilde Roothart. In her book, ‘MOOD11’, she identifies the top trends of the current year as being OPPOSE, BEHAVE, ADAPT, REDUCE, CLEAN, BLOW and UPLOAD. The recognition has been awarded based on Desso’s Cradle to Cradle® strategy, which is used in this book as a working demonstration of the trend ‘CLEAN’.
Along with Desso, the top companies to watch includes Ikea, AkzoNobel, Albert Heijn, Apple, Unilever, Patagonia, Vitra and Aveda. The trend ‘CLEAN’ is Rootharts observation of the growing efforts towards a solution to the global problem of too much waste and pollution. Roothart explains that consumers place great importance on contributing towards a better environment, both through the use of products that are more environmentally friendly, and by changing their behavior in order to save energy. However, Rootharts research has shown that consumer knowledge on energy saving activities within the home is limited. Meanwhile, more and more companies are developing more sustainable production processes for more environmentally friendly products, and they are making sure to communicate this to consumers, with the call to them to take part, and take responsibility.
In this way, Roothart identifies Desso as being a prime example of a company that is – from an early stage – already operating under this principle. She identifies and explains Cradle to Cradle® as being an excellent strategy that plays into this ‘CLEAN’ trend.
Cradle to Cradle® design requires that products are made from pure materials that are safe for human use and can be biologically or technically recycled at the end of their useful life. It sees carpet as being made up of nutrients that can be reused in an unending cycle, whereby old carpet can be remade into new carpet, again and again and again. Desso started with their largest product group: carpet tiles for business use. With the launch of DESSO EcoBase®, they are the only carpet tile manufacturer in the world to have achieved Cradle to Cradle® Silver Certification for an entire carpet tile product. Furthermore, Desso have also taken steps to ensure that carpet recycling takes place, by implementing a Take BackTM system to collect carpet at the end of its useful life and recycle it into new carpet. This was also no easy feat, and required considerable investment and innovation to create their unique Refinity® separation technique – allowing Desso to fully recycle old carpet into new carpet products within their own production facilities.
Stef Kranendijk is pleased with this recognition: “This was an unexpected and very welcome recognition from a highly respected trend watcher here in The Netherlands. Our Cradle to Cradle® innovation strategy – defined in 2007 – has led us onto an exciting path that we’re proud to be discovering. Aside from the recognition, it is fantastic to have someone so highly regarded actively spreading the word about Cradle to Cradle® – demonstrating that, step by step, we can all make the shift towards a circular economy”.