Supply chain detox is sparking demand for cradle-to-cradle materials
A huge opportunity exists to develop new, safer materials as companies look to phase out hazardous substances and textiles from their supply chains.
The move towards cradle-to-cradle (C2C) and net positive strategies is forcing organisations to re-examine the chemical make-up of many of the materials they source and use - and this is leading to a demand for sustainable alternatives.
According to Bridgett Luther, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute - an organisation which operates a C2C certification programme and provides product designers and manufacturers with systems-based guidance - there is an untapped market waiting to be exploited.
"One of the challenges is that as companies go through the certification programme, they may find that some of the materials needed haven't yet been invented," she said.
"It is estimated that about 67% of materials needed do not yet exist. Similarly we're finding that there are lots of safe and healthy materials out there, except nobody knows about them."
This 67% figure, she added, presented a huge market opportunity, especially for chemical companies.
"They have the capacity now to create the materials that people are going to be asking for in the future."
Read a more in-depth interview with Bridgett Luther and the work of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute