The Dawn of a “Green” Era: Institute Established to Revolutionize Safety of Consumer Products

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Design & Culture

(May 20 — Mountain View, Ca)

There are a moments in time that truly stand out as industry milestones.

Thursday, May 20, at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Ca, was one of those groundbreaking instances. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger along with leaders from various fields formed the nation’s first non-profit dedicated to developing complete standards and metrics for products we use every day.

The Green Products Innovation Initiative (GPII), whose headquarters will be located in California, will positively transform how companies manufacture products – from their design to their production to the makeup of their products. The GPII will also affect research, innovation, economic growth and job creation for businesses.

A lengthy list of politicians, celebrities, and progressive people with environmental ties are supporting the GPII. Some distinguished names include California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brad Pitt, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Terry Tamminen.

The architect and designer, William McDonough, and his colleague, Dr. Michael Braungart, are key promoters of the GPII as well. McDonough and Braungart co-wrote the cutting edge book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, which calls for “the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design.” In fact, McDonough and Braungart’s manifesto, served as the one of the chief outlines for the making of this organization. Their nationally known design consulting firm, MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry), certified the GPII by comparing it to “Cradle to Cradle” protocols. Also, while GPI will now be responsible for endorsing products that meet McDonough and Braungart’s standard, other companies have already incorporated this set of rules into the making of their products.

Companies from many different industries have already demonstrated the rewards of designing and manufacturing products according to the “Cradle to Cradle” framework. Herman Miller, Shaw Industries, Ford Motor Company, Aveda, and Method Laundry are only some corporations that have already utilized this structure. To date, more than 300 products and 90 companies have taken part in the Cradle to Cradle certification (CM).

Eco-warrior, and a friend of OG, Zem Joaquin, is a member of GPII.’s board. Moreover, founders of GPII include Yves Behar, Wendy Schmidt and Chad Hurley.

With the solid framework of the “Cradle to Cradle” protocol and the backing of renowned individuals from many different scopes, the GPII is providing a backbone to crack down on unsafe materials currently in consumer products. Manufacturers will instead be able to find healthier alternatives for customers.

Here are some “not to miss quotes” from GPII’s commencement:

“California has the most comprehensive Green Chemistry program in the world, and our leadership in ensuring the products we use every day are safe for our families and environment has resulted in the Green Products Innovation Institute choosing to headquarter here in California,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This Institute will revolutionize the way we design products and serve as a benchmark for those who aspire to set new standards of environmental and human health and safety for all products sold in California.”

“California is the perfect birthplace for this Institute, but ultimately its reach is global, and it has been our long-held wish to see the principles of Cradle to Cradle applied globally,” said William McDonough, co-founder of the Green Products Innovation Institute. “Even before Michael and I wrote Cradle to Cradle in 2002, we have wished and worked for a safer and healthier world for ALL children of ALL species. That world is not just a wish anymore—it is here now, thanks to Gov. Schwarzenegger, the donors and supporters of the Green Products Innovation Institute, and the people of California.”

For more information about the institute visit: www.gpinnovation.org.

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One Response to “The Dawn of a “Green” Era: Institute Established to Revolutionize Safety of Consumer Products”

  1. The importance of this is almost universally understated. Not only should people be more aware of the actual composition of the things they buy, but we (as an industry) need to reign in and more precisely define what a product needs to be in order to be green.

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