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Cradle-to-Cradle Quality: The Role of Management Systems

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Abstract

The product certification standard Cradle to Cradle (C2C) claims to offer a new, holistic understanding of quality by integrating material health, environmental, and social criteria into product design (Braungart, McDonough, & Bollinger, 2007). Our paper aims at gaining in-depth knowledge on the linkages between C2C and management systems – as base and facilitator for innovation. Through three replication case studies on C2C pioneers we identified three different management system configuration patterns: implicit/add-on, hierarchical, and integrated. Our paper shows how integrating environmental, health, and social aspects into the perception and management of quality could boost innovativeness and lead to high value C2C products.

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