One of the best tools available for shifting sustainable products from a narrow niche to a dominant force in consumer culture, this non-profit institute was set up last year to administer the standards and product certifications for sustainable products. It deals with all of the major impacts of a product but unlike most standards, it encourages “more good” innovation rather than “less bad.” However, it is rigorous and complex, and so far only a handful of “brave” companies have undertaken C2C Certification.

This site is the first major public presence for the institute and plays two major roles: On one level, it’s a call-to-action for designers and manufacturers to take up the challenge of Cradle to Cradle innovation; on another, it is an source for the details about how to do that in the real world. With easy access to the site’s five major sections it makes the C2C system far more clear, interesting and accessible to mainstream designers and manufacturers. And, with a registry of certified products and images of products in the real world, it also makes it clear that sustainable design is about everything, not just some green niche.

• A six-week mapping Web strategy to support the Institute’s long range goals began at the end of 2010; development started in earnest in January 2011 and the site was beta launched six months later.

• The first phase included brand, messaging, site redesign with a CMS backend, user accounts, a database of certified products, and newsletter templates for ongoing communications. New features, training materials and tools will continue to be added through the Summer.

• A team of eight people from Celery worked regularly on the site, but several dozen people contributed to the effort in a variety of ways including Bill McDonough, Yves Behar and Zem Joaquin, all of whom are members of the Institute Founder’s Circle.

• The site is built on Expression Engine CMS platform. Modular templates give the editor and designer the ability to combine 1-, 2- and 3-column modules on a single page.

• Since the beta launch, page views have increased by a factor of ten; similar exponential growth is expected with the broader public launch.

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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