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Putting Eco-Effectiveness into Practice

This chapter looks at the future of applying cradle to cradle methodology and the possible optimistic outcomes. The chapter uses the example of the Rouge, Ford Motor Company manufacturing plant, whose current chairman William Clay Ford Jr. has taken on the immense burden of re-designing the entire plant to meet not only a modern car market but also using the opportunity to ensure that social and environmental concerns are explored at an early stage so that they become forces that help postively shape the entire manufacturing process at every scale and for all participants. The chapter goes further to show how currently the practice is simply to substitute, take an existing process or “recipe” and evaluate each ingredient in order to substitute less bad materials while trying to maintain the valued characteristics of the former recipe. This method is flawed because it is inherently conflicting and shortsighted in so far as it leaves no room for completly original ideas. A better method the chapter argues is to start at the beginning with an open-ended question such as what do i want to achieve. Rather, in the case of Ford, instead of asking how can i make the car better, ask how can we create efficient transportation for the modern world. Therefore the designers are not rooted or handicapped by outdated idealogy and can freely respond to contemporary social, environmental, resource, market, etc. conditions to make the best solution possible now.
Five guiding Principals:
1) Signal your intention, “commit to a new paradigm, rather than to an incremental improvement of the old.”
2) Restore, “strive for good growth, not just economic growth”
3) Be ready to innovate further, “remember that perfection of an existing product is not necessarily the best investment..”
4) Understand and prepare for the learning curve, “change is difficult, messy, and takes extra materials and time.”
5) Exert intergenerational responsibility.
The last principal and the end of the chapter focuses on the value of ownership. with some beautiful logic in the form of a quote from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, “The earth belongs….to the living…” Meaning contemporary generations should not create debt of any form to be paid by succeeding generations.

by Tandhika Excellentio Yochanan

Categories: Uncategorized
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