What Bang & Olufsen’s new Cradle to Cradle certification means for our commitment to sustainable design…
Here’s the problem: the average lifespan of products are decreasing, while the generation of waste is increasing. How can we counter this? Our new Cradle to Cradle initiative is one solution. Launched at Salone del Mobile with our Beosound Level speaker in September 2021, it aims to show how these worrying trends can be reversed by commiting ourselves to simple, achievable steps.
Created by the American architect William McDonough and the German chemist Michael Braungart in 2002, the Cradle to Cradle design principles represent the most ambitious product certification standard in the world. The framework, standard and certification have been created by the Institute, which aims to support sustainable development and circular change, by introducing a replaceable, customizable and upgradeable approach to products. Bang & Olufsen’s approach to replaceable, customizable and upgradeable products is an addition to the Institute’s specific requirements in the standard. What’s more, it’s science-based, volunteer-led and audited by a third party, ensuring that the rigourous standards it sets are adhered to as closely as possible.
“By achieving Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze for Beosound Level, Bang & Olufsen proves that a paradigm shift from a linear to a circular system in the consumer electronics industry is both possible and feasible. The certification validates the circular design and sustainable production achievements for the speaker and paves the way for further circular technology developments.”
VP Strategy & Development at the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Created using modular design principles to improve its potential for longevity, our Beosound Level is the first ever Cradle to Cradle Certified® speaker in the Consumer Electronics industry. The portable, wireless speaker has been built with product circularity in mind. Not only can customers replace the batteries themselves, they will also be able to customize the speaker covers with new materials and colourways.
Furthermore, critical components will be serviceable, while our new replaceable streaming module has been frontloaded with the technology to improve performance over time and receive new features via software updates. Even the module itself can be replaced if streaming technology becomes outdated. Meanwhile, the Beosound Level has been built so that it can be easily dissassembled, to support a resource-efficient technical recycling process. We have also ensured that it has been designed and manufactured with more than 50% post-consumer recirculated plastic materials – all aimed at reducing waste and obsolescence.
We are proud to have become the first Consumer Electronics brand to have Cradle to Cradle certification – but we know there’s always room for improvement. Which is why our ambition isn’t simply to be the first, but also the most committed to circular design.
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