The Waste Management McDonough Sustainable Innovation Collaborative aims to help producers, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers improve the recyclability of their products and packaging. It will also help businesses advance their sustainability objectives and measure results, the partners say.
The Sustainable Innovation Collaborative broadens the consulting services that both Waste Management and design firm McDonough Innovation already offer. The new company will work with firms and communities at all scales and across all industries because all companies contribute to the waste stream, says Tom Carpenter, Waste Management director, sustainability services.
Carpenter says Waste Management has seen a growing demand by manufacturers to address supply chain waste. He says the collaborative will combine design, recycling and material science expertise to guide waste-reduction strategies.
The new company’s collaboration with other firms will also increase profitability, McDonough says. He calls it “designing up from the dumpster” and says linking materials what would otherwise enter the waste stream and “sophisticated logistics” gives the Sustainable Innovation Collaborative a valuable perspective to help businesses improve product quality and reduce waste.
McDonough, an architect, is known for his work in sustainability through his design firm and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, which provides Cradle to Cradle consulting. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program is a circular economy system in which manufacturers and designers create products with technical materials that can be used in continuous cycles or biological ones that can be disposed of in any natural environment and decompose into the soil.
Waste Management and William McDonough announced the new company at Sustainable Brands 2013, which ended today in San Diego, Calif.
Also at the conference, CSRHub co-founder Cynthia Figge shared the results of a five-year study across a broad range of global companies showing the correlation between brand strength and perceived sustainability performance. Last year, the correlation more than doubled in strength, according to the study, completed in partnership with Brand Finance.
In a June 4 talk, Figge told conference attendees that CSRHub and Brand Finance analyzed more than 1,000 companies and found a .28 correlation between brand strength and CSR for 2012.