On 25 February 2012, Malene Lundén from the Energiakademiet on Samsø Island was invited to make a presentation at Copenhagen Business School about the adoption and implementation of the Cradle to Cradle concept on the Samsø Island.
Aiming to be an insertion of real life experience into the theoretical frame of an academic course on Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in Service Organizations, the presentation brought concrete examples of how island communities take up the challenges of working with renewable energy sources to create more sustainable living environments.
Students in the audience took the opportunity to ask questions and discuss with Mrs Lundén specific issues related to the organization of renewable energy systems, the triggering factors and the key aspects which lead to the success of such extensive projects. The subsequent answers and discussions identified that on Samsø, one unique element which enabled the successful adoption of renewable energy systems was the clever combination of technology and investments, with a careful attention to the specific needs of locals and their daily routines. Ending the presentation on an optimistic note, Mrs Lundén invited the CBS staff and students to visit Samsø and learn more about the island’s present and future accomplishments in the area of renewable energy and sustainable development. On behalf of the Center for Leisure and Culture Services at Copenhagen Business School, Adriana Budeanu welcomed future opportunities to collaborate with Samsø EnergiAkademiet.
CRADLE TO CRADLE THEMES
The Cradle to Cradle® design concept is founded upon three fundamental principles:
Waste equals Food (materials)
The processes of every single organism in a living system contribute to the health and well-being of the system as a whole. The leaves of a tree, for example, its “waste”, fall to the ground where they are broken down and become nutrients for other organisms. Microbes feed off this organic “waste” and, as a result, return many valuable nutrients to the soil that the tree can profit from. The “waste” of one organism is thus nutrients for another. Plans made by humans that attempt to replicate this nutrient cycle – cycles in which waste no longer occurs – form the very the foundation of the material flow systems that are a fundamental component of the Cradle to Cradle® method of production.
Use current solar income (energy)
The first industrial revolution obtained its energy predominantly from the reservoirs of the past. Fossil fuels were used that had been created millions of years ago. Nuclear energy places great strains and very dangerous responsibilities on many future generations. Systems that are driven using solar energy are systems that are using today’s energy without having to put the futures of our children and their children at risk. It is most certainly within the capabilities of today’s technology to profitably incorporate the use of and reliance on solar energy into the design of production systems. The direct capture of solar energy is one possibility. Wind energy, created as a result of sunlight causing thermal differences in the atmosphere, is a further source. Biomass and other energy sources also form creditable possibilities.
Celebrate diversity (a.o. water)
Natural systems function and flourish through complexity. Compared to the standard solutions of the industrial revolution and to the uniformity so highly prized by globalization, nature supports an almost unending abundance of variety and diversity. How we go about manufacturing products must be similarly tackled with the same flair for diversity and variety. To concentrate on only the one criterion is to create instability and imbalance in a wider context and represents what we term an “ism”, an extreme, or completely detached, solution that is outside the actual structure of the problem. A theory then.
These three principles are reflected in the three themes the Cradle to Cradle Islands project focuses on: Materials, Energy and Water.