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Shaw Joins McDonough, Schwarzenegger to Launch GPII


MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Representatives from Shaw Industries Group Inc. recently joined California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and William McDonough at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA, for an event marking the launch of the Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII). The first nonprofit institute of its kind in the United States, the GPII is dedicated transforming the way companies design and manufacture products by advancing the Cradle to Cradle® framework developed by architect and designer William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart.

“Over 10 years ago, Shaw’s EcoWorx carpet tile was the first product in the flooring industry designed according to Cradle to Cradle principles. With the encouragement and assistance of Bill McDonough, our commitment to the Cradle to Cradle design philosophy has evolved to fully embrace the concepts of reverse engineering, elimination of waste, safe chemistries, and closed loop technical nutrients,” says Vance Bell, Shaw’s CEO.

One of the first companies in the United States to adopt the Cradle to Cradle framework, Shaw holds its place on a high-profile list of companies already demonstrating the viability and benefits of products designed and manufactured according to Cradle to Cradle principles, including Herman Miller, Steelcase, Ford Motor Company, and Aveda.

“The tenets of Cradle to Cradle and the mission of the Green Products Innovation Institute align strongly with our own commitment to sustainability through innovation – the Shaw Green Edge,” notes Bell. “In passing on the Cradle to Cradle certification and protocols to the GPII, William McDonough and MBDC [McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry] are helping us move ever closer to a safer, healthier world by making the Cradle to Cradle framework more transparent and more globally accessible to academic institutions, research organizations, governmental and non-governmental entities and, manufacturers.”

The GPII will bring together thought leaders and practices from industry, academia, government, and communities to further advance the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, according to Shaw vice president of sustainability, Rick Ramirez. “The GPII is truly a groundbreaking initiative in terms of its potential to influence the entire cycle of product design, manufacture and reclamation.”

“California is the perfect birthplace for this Institute, but ultimately its reach is global,” adds McDonough. “Even before Michael [Braungart] and I wrote Cradle to Cradle in 2002, we wished and worked for a safer, healthier world for all children of all species. This world is not just a wish any more. It is here now, thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger, the donors and supporters of the Green Products Innovation Institute, and the people of California.”
Also supported by Brad Pitt, Robert Kennedy Jr., Terry Tamminen and numerous others, the GPII is set up to become a resource for those who aspire to achieve new levels of environmental and human health and safety for all products sold in California and beyond. Using the Cradle to Cradle certification protocol, GPII will work with leaders from academia, the NGO environmental community, government, and industry to establish both metrics and a rating system for evaluating products. Products that meet the criteria will receive the Cradle to Cradle network certification mark.

About the Green Products Innovation Institute
Based in California, the Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII) is a nonprofit organization focused on transforming the making and consumption of things into a regenerative force for the planet. GPII uses design, based on the laws of nature, to help commerce create products that are safe for people and the environment. This rethinking of how we design, manufacture, use and reuse materials will spur a new era of research and innovation, simultaneously driving economic, ecological and social prosperity.

About the Shaw Green Edge
Sustainability through Innovation TM: That’s the Shaw Green Edge®. It’s our commitment to create the most beautiful—and sustainable—flooring in the world; and to help create a better planet for our customers, our people and our communities in the process. Because setting the standard for environmental excellence, social responsibility and product design is more than our responsibility. It’s also good business—and it’s our legacy. For more information about the Shaw Green Edge, visit

About Shaw Industries
Headquartered in Dalton, GA, Shaw Industries Group Inc. manufactures and distributes carpeting, rugs, hardwood, laminate and ceramic tile for residential and commercial applications worldwide. A recognized leader in environmental stewardship, Shaw has implemented hundreds of sustainability initiatives and Cradle to Cradle design solutions, collectively termed the Shaw Green Edge. For more information, visit