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I2SD Final-Project-slideshow - Fall 2012


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Slideshow presentation of the final project for the Introduction to Sustainable Design course at MCAD.

This project focuses on two main certifications for sustainable design and industrial production: B Corporation and Cradle to Cradle, and how they can be applied in the local context of Colombia (South America), for the manufacturing process of skateboards made from local colombian bamboo.

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I2SD Final-Project-slideshow - Fall 2012

  1. 1. MCADSDO - Fall 2012Introduction to Sustainable DesignFinal ProjectMauricio Rodríguez Applying sustainability in the making of products: “From A to B, to C... HOW TO MAKE THE MOVE?”
  2. 2. Introduction What we (almost) all want:“A delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world. With clean air, water, soil and power. Economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed.” (Cradle to Cradle’s main goal)
  3. 3. IntroductionBut, with the actual way we use natural resources, transform them into products and sell them in a globalized market, How can we make this POSSIBLE?
  4. 4. Introduction ...Creating sustainable solutions that integrate Social, Environmental and Financial issues andconsider users as real people, with particular needs. SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTAL FINANCIAL
  5. 5. IntroductionTo make this happen, we need to change the traditional way we make, sell, consume and dispose things.
  6. 6. Introduction From Cradle to Grave..."The design goals of early industrialists were quite specific, limited to the practical, profitable, efficient, and linear. [...]At its deepest foundation, the industrial infrastructure wehave today is linear: it is focused on making a product and getting it to a customer quickly and cheaply without considering much else.” ("Cradle to Cradle" by W. McDonough & M. Braungart.)
  7. 7. Introduction We must adopt a holistic perspective from which we synchronize our production with environmental cycles,allow ecosystems to regenerate themselves and eliminate waste and toxic materials... From Cradle to Cradle!
  8. 8. IntroductionCompanies and societies must be able to shift swiftly from a traditional, linear way of functioning to moresustainable and responsible methods of production. We all can help by changing our practices and adopting new sustainable ways of producing and consuming. Political & Designer Environmental Leaders Entrepreneur Consumers Manufacturer Framework for sustainable production/consumtion
  9. 9. Introduction Financial issues are critical to any business. It might seem difficult for companies to adopt sustainable practices in acompetitive and efficiency-centered world. However, there arenew but robust frameworks that can help organization take thenext step in sustainability without compromising the financial wellbeing, such as “B Corporation” and “Cradle to Cradle”:
  10. 10. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation-Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses thepower of business to solve social and environmental problems.-B Lab, a nonprofit organization, certifies B Corporations, the same wayTransFair certifies Fair Trade coffee or USGBC certifies LEED buildings.-In 2007, B Lab initiated a certification system for companies that wereinterested in distinguishing from “regular” companies by adopting a set oftransparent, comprehensive and comparable standards.-All B Corporations are purpose-driven and create benefit not just forcompany owners, but for employees, the community, and the environment.-B Corporations embed their values into the corporate governingdocuments so they can survive new investors, new management and evennew ownership.Source:
  11. 11. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation-In order to get the B Corp certification, a company must be fully operatingfor at least 6 months. This certification applies to both large and smallorganizations (even businesses with less than 10 employees).-A Benefit Corp is a state government legal corporate structure required bylaw to create general benefit for society as well as for shareholders.-Benefit Corp status is currently only available in California, Hawaii,Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont and Virginia.Source:
  12. 12. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation: Case StudyIn the skateboard industry, companies like Comet Skateboards,from Ithaca, NY are taking the next step in sustainability while keeping a succesfull business. "Comet Skateboards builds high performance skateboards in Ithaca, NY using environmentally and socially responsible materials and practices. This company does more than build the average deck for tricks and turns. Built out of environmentally safe materials, these boards reduce a buyer’s carbon footprint with every purchase. Comet Skateboards reduces its environmental impact while still providing a source of entertainment for skaters everywhere.” Jason Salfi (Co-Founder and President)
  13. 13. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation: Case Study Founded in 1997, It used to be based in Oakland, Calif. and they had to be transporting hardwoods from the North-East to California."In the beginning, Comet skateboards were cut using a jigsaw and shaped with a hand router at our space South of Market in San Francisco. These shapes were derived from the clean lines of early surf boards. Jason Salfi (Co-Founder and President)
  14. 14. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation: Case Study Around 2005, the founder, Jason Salfi, read a paper by aprofessor at Cornell University that talked about a soy-based resin that could work as a replacement to fiberglass.Within months they ended up moving the facility to Ithaca, NY"Comet moved its facility to the east coast to be within the shortest possible radius from where our wood is harvested.  This allows us to lower the milage that our materials travel, thus conserving thousands of gallons of fuel and lowering our carbon footprint.  Being close to our suppliers creates a connection that allows us to work on custom formulations and forestry techniques that ensure generations of trees in the future and a healthy forest." Bob Rossi (Engineer at Comet Skateboards).
  15. 15. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation: Case StudySince the beginning, Salfi had a strong vision of growing Comet as a more socially and environmentally sustainable skateboard brand. The development strategy was articulated around these five areas: Local Materials -All materials are sourced and -FSC certified wood and rubber. made regionally strengthening -Use of the safest and strongest local economies. glues, paints, and inks -40%+ of expenditures directed available today. towards local suppliers -Formaldehyde-free glue. -water-based coatings and inks. -high-performance e2e biocomposite technology.Community Durability-Interaction with the localskate scene and community. and performance-30% of employees from -Pressed one at a time withlow-income communities durable, people and planet safe-50% of employee health premiums paid by -Precision cut on a CNC routercompany guaranteeing perfect hole-Never put profit above people patterns and fluid organicand planet. shapes. -Air bladder sanders keep the precise shape while edges are hand-buffed to create smooth Waste rails. -Wood waste used to heat their -The boards are more durable facility. compared to conventional hard -Off-cuts from the rectangular edge boards. Smooth curves blanks used for making cutting hold up to impacts stronger." boards and other products.
  16. 16. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation: Case Study In 2011, Comet became a B Corporation to join a community of like minded businesses that aim to integrate the DNA of business with the vision on which triple bottom line companies were founded. Source:“In the action sports arena, Comet is an undisputed leader in social and environmental responsibility. Our B Corporation status shows our commitment to these principles. All B Corporations are purpose-drivenand create benefit not just for company owners, but for employees, the community, and the environment.” Bob Rossi (Engineer at Comet Skateboards).
  17. 17. Core Components From A to B... Becoming a B Corporation: Case Study-Comet Skateboards reduces itsenvironmental impact while stillproviding a source of entertainmentfor skaters everywhere.-Their products are shipped all overthe world and are used by thousandsof skaters, from professional toamateur riders.-Being a B Corporation has helpedthem differentiate their brand interms of real commitment withenvironmental and social issues.Comet is today one of the mostappreciated longboard brands in theworld. Source: / Photo: Marcus Bandy
  18. 18. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C... -Getting the Cradle to Cradle Certification- The next step: Comet Skateboards is committed to eliminating waste through “closed loop” manufacturing as outlined by the Cradle toCradle® framework, which considers the full life cycle of a product from the design phase to what happens at the end of a product’s life.
  19. 19. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...The Cradle to Cradle Certified program represents one of the broadest and most comprehensive environmental and social certifications available for products. The evaluation process looks at the complete impact of a product from the moment it is created to the time when its use is over. Comet Skateboards has committed to the process ofbecoming Cradle to Cradle Certified CM in 2012 and continuing on the path to obtaining the platinum level in the future. Source:
  20. 20. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C... The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute supportsorganizations that are looking to make safe and healthy products for consumers. Currently, more than 400 products have been certified. Products that meet the criteria of the Institute’s rating system receive the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM marks.It is a strong tool for integrating waste and food (or nutrients) into the production process with the purpose of eliminating toxicity and improving the energy exchange. Criteria for certification : Source:
  21. 21. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...The Planet Comet Skateboards’ mission is environmentally based: to make light, strong and fast skateboards, affordably, with cutting-edge materials in the most sustainable way possible. The company’s goal is to eliminate the concept of waste altogether and to create high-performance skateboarding products in a perpetual biological cycle that feeds the earth or the next generation of products. Source: / Photo: Marcus Bandy Source: 51% office supplies from recycled materials >50% of energy from renewable sources Source:
  22. 22. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...The Planet Comet uses natural materials including FSC-certified hardwoods, water-based paints, and zero formaldehyde glues that can safely biodegrade or be reused at the end of the skateboards use. Along with using ecological materials, the manufacturing process is transitioning to use only renewable energy sources and regional supply chain systems. Source: / Photo: Marcus Bandy "Since their materials are ecologically safe, they recycle or compost nearly all of their scraps which fertilize gardens, heat homes, make bonfires, serve as media for works of art, etc." Source:
  23. 23. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...The People Products are safe for people -both employees and consumers- as no toxic materials are used for its construction. Ithaca its a small town and they have been interacting with the local skate scene and community. They are committed to being a "Good Business" and that means a good Neighbor. They have a commitment for businesses being a force for positive change. Source:
  24. 24. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...The People >30% of employees are from low-income communities. >75% of employees participate in company-wide service days; all employees paid living wage. >50% of employee health insurance premiums paid by company. Source: / Photo: Marcus Bandy
  25. 25. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...Profit B Corp and C2C certification differentiates Comet from competitors and enhances brand value and reputation. The effort and results of developing sustainable skateboards translates to longer lasting pop, stiffness, and thus happier Skateboarders skating Comet Skateboards. Comet has now added a half dozen new skateboard shapes to their already diverse lineup, which includes street decks, pool decks, freeride decks, longboards, cruisers, and speed boards. Source:
  26. 26. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...Profit All products are high performance yet affordable and durable. Comet boards are carried by specialized shops and distributors all over the world. Comet ranks among the top five skateboard manufacturers on popularity and sales (according to Concrete Wave Reader’s Choice Awards 2012). Source:
  27. 27. Sustainability ChallengeThe Sustainability Challenge: From B to C... Source:
  28. 28. Sustainability Challenge The Sustainability Challenge: From B to C...Comet Skateboards is finishing the Cradle-to-Cradle certification in 2012 for their skateboard decks. They keep working in continuing on the path to obtaining the platinum level in the future.They are devoted to creating standards for other businesses to follow in order to make this world a better place. Example Product Scorecard. Source:
  29. 29. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context Manufacturing process in North America Raw Materials and components made in China Importing, distribution and retail sale in Colombia Skateboarding and specially longboarding is a rapidly expandingmarket. It’s growing at an exponential rate specially in developingcountries in South America, where it has found a fertile ground in crowded cities such as Buenos Aires (Argentina), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Bogota (Colombia).
  30. 30. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian contextMaterials and skateboard products must travel long distances before theymake it to the final customer in Colombia. This increases retail prices and carbon footprint because of the long distance shipping.
  31. 31. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context How can we learn from the Comet experience and apply the principlesfrom both frameworks to the colombian context in order to create local skateboards in a more sustainable way?
  32. 32. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context Energy -Renewable energy sources. -Regional supply chain systems. ENVIRONMENT -Colombia is a tropical country, solar energy could be used all year round.Local Bamboo-All materials could be sourced andmade regionally strengthening localeconomies. Materials-Bamboo is an abundant and -FSC certified rubber.sustainable alternative to wood. -Use of the safest and strongest(Chinese bamboo has been used in the glues, paints, and inksmaking of longboards for many years available Waste -Formaldehyde-free glue. -Off-cuts from the rectangular -water-based coatings and inks.-Colombia has one of the world’s blanks used for making cutting -high-performance e2elargest stocks of bamboo in the world. boards and other products. biocomposite technology.
  33. 33. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context ENVIRONMENTGuadua is a colombian bamboo that can be used for construction andindustrial purposes. It is abundant and grows so fast that it can beharvested in a sustainable manner, without compromising the forest andecosystems. It could be used as the main material for the construction oflocal skateboards.Following Comets research on clean glues and resins, it could be a goodmove to find this kind of materials developed by colombian researchcenters or universities in order to avoid toxic/synthetic resins usuallyemployed in manufacturingClean energy sources like solar panels could be employed in themanufacturing process. Colombia has good weather and good amount oflight all year round.
  34. 34. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context Bamboo Laminating processBamboo growthand Harvesting SOCIETY Bamboo skateboards manufacturing process Bamboo skateboards retail sale
  35. 35. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context SOCIETYColombia has an established culture of bamboo. Bamboo is usually grownand harvested in the central area of the country, used as a soil preserverin plantain and coffee fields.Local bamboo has been used for centuries as a local constructionmaterial for vernacular architecture and crafts.It is harvested and transformed into construction material for thearchitecture industry and a small industry of furniture making.The use of bamboo for skateboars manufacturing could become a newlocal industry that would create new jobs and contribute to the alreadyexisting bamboo economy.
  36. 36. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian contextLocal brand Panamasharing shelves withinternational brands FINANCIAL Venezuela Ecuador Perou Competitive Chile Affordable price 100% Colombian (Inclusive sport) Skateboard
  37. 37. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context FINANCIALThe manufacturing of a local skateboard offered at a competitive pricecan bring many benefits to the local scene, the shops and the riders, bycreating national identity of products and incentives to promote nationalindustry.Many local riders just cant afford an imported board because of importtaxes and increased costs. The opportunity to have a high qualityproduct at a convenient price can lead the way to a whole new market ofriders.A colombian manufactured skateboard could open new markets inneighboring countries and benefit from free-trade agreements betweenSouth American nations.
  38. 38. Strategic recommendations Bringing this certification to scale: the colombian context 100% Bamboo Made in ColombiaThe path to a sustainable certification such as B Corporation or Cradle toCradle can be a difficult one, specially for small companies in developingcountries.However, the overall benefits that can be drawn from this certifications aretangible, specially in a globalized and competitive market where internationalquality standards and environmental regulations are part of the game.If the strategy is implemented form the beginning, the new colombianskateboard company can become a pioneer in the country and grow towards asustainable future.Designers, entrepreneurs and customers are more and more sensible to thiskind of initiatives. For sure, the field is still unexplored in Colombia, but isbetter to be ahead as it will guarantee a good place in the competition and willensure a better environment for future generations.
  39. 39. Strategic recommendations30 Companies have been certified as B Corporations in SouthAmerica (according to Manuel Camacho, B Corporation ExecutiveDirector for South America).5 Colombian companies have gotten the B Corp Certification, such as:Acción Verde ( ( Verde ( ( Plaza (
  40. 40. Thank You!Bibliography:[1] "B - the change we seek" on CometSkateboards blog ( by Bob Rossi.[2] "Social Savyy Decks" on TrendHunter ( by Jamie Danielle Munro.[3] "The Jason Salfi interview: Shredability & Sustainability". on Wheelbase Magazine( by Marcus Bandy.[4] "Design Is The Problem" by Nathan Shedroff. Rosenfeld Media, New York, 2009.[5] "Cradle to Cradle" by W. McDonough & M. Braungart. Vintage Books, London, 2008[6] "B Corp Community: Comet Skateboards"[7] "Comet Skateboards Commits To Cradle To Cradle Certification" on Green Ecoservices([8] Personal Interview with Manuel Camacho, B Corp Executive Director for South America. MCAD SDO - Fall 2012 Introduction to Sustainable Design Final Project Mauricio Rodríguez