Mcdonough Braungart Materials-Assessment Protocol Being Used to Examine Shaw’s Eco Products

April 14, 2003

DALTON, GAMcDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) has been engaged by Shaw Industries to conduct an ambitious, in-depth evaluation to assess the environmental intelligence of Shaw’s Eco Solution Q® fiber.


“The ‘cradle-to-cradle’ strategy that Michael [Braungart] and I developed goes far beyond brute recycling,” says William McDonough, co-founder. “It embraces materials that were designed to be used as technical or biological nutrients—safe and healthy materials designed for infinite lifecycles. That’s why products like Eco Solution Q® are so important—materials brought to pure technical cycles, uncontaminated, forever and ever.”  

Shaw engaged MBDC to use its stringent protocol to assess and benchmark every chemical and material used in the production of Eco Solution Q®. Working both with Shaw’s process and materials engineers and its suppliers, MBDC’s staff scientists have, since last summer, been gathering and analyzing data on these chemicals and materials, benchmarking them according to the human and environmental health criteria of the MBDC Protocol. The assessment and benchmarking process is the first step toward the continuing environmental optimization of Eco Solution Q®. MBDC’s Protocol is used, moreover, to strengthen the products’ environmental benefits and bring them into true cradle-to-cradle life cycles.  

Shaw’s goal is to make its carpet materials and products fully cradle-to-cradle for true sustainability.  

Eco Solution Q® from Shaw Fibers contains a minimum of 25% recycled content, comprised of both post-industrial and post-consumer material, and it is fully recyclable back into carpet fiber through depolymerization.  

MBDC is a product and process design firm dedicated to transforming the design of products, processes, and services worldwide. The firm was founded in 1995 by William McDonough and Michael Braungart to promote and power a cradle-to-cradle through intelligent design. MBDC employs cradle-to-cradle design using strategies they call “eco-effective” (rather than using as a standard the widely promoted notion of “eco-efficiency”) to create products and systems that contribute to economic, social, and environmental prosperity.

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