Accoya and the Circular Economy (C2C)
A perfect fit
Wood sustainability varies, but the certifications that Accoya has been awarded provides assurance that our product is truly sustainable.
By significantly enhancing the durability and dimensional stability of fast-growing, abundantly available certified sustainable wood species, Accoya provides compelling environmental advantages over scarce slow growing hardwoods, woods treated with toxic chemicals, and non-renewable carbon-intensive materials such as plastics, steel and concrete.
Wood sustainability varies, but the certifications that Accoya has been awarded provides assurance that our product is truly sustainable. In the USA both our FSC® and Cradle to Cradle™ Gold certifications (EPA Recommended Private Sector Standards/Ecolabels) demonstrate our exceptional environmental credentials. You can review all our certifications here.
As a result of increasing global population and consumption, and a linear ‘make-take-waste economy’, our planet is overexploited resulting in depletion of the world natural resources, a huge waste problem, toxic emissions and ultimately global warming.
Against this backdrop it seems unimaginable to keep mass consuming carbon intensive materials from non-renewable resources such as plastics, concrete and metals when there are alternatives (sustainable woods) freely available. Although there are various initiatives within the concept of the circular economy that emphasize closing the loop of the so-called technical cycle for non renewable materials, in reality, this is more an exception to the rule than current practice, see also the Sustainability Comparison.
Essentially, sustainable building materials produced in the biosphere (bio-cycle of the circular economy) have three huge ‘green’ benefits over techno-cycle materials:
- They are renewable (if managed well; an unlimited source of resource)
- They have a very low, possibly even negative carbon footprint
- If designed well (bio-cycle compliant additives, coatings & adhesives), they are biodegradable, returning back into the bio-cycle becoming nutrients for new plants/trees.
Based on these three criterion, wood sustainability has huge benefits over other materials.
Accoya – C2C Gold and C2C Platinum (Material Health) certified
Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is a design philosophy developed by Michael Braungart and William McDonough inspired by the circular economy concept. Since 2005 the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ product standard was developed and has been highly adopted in Western markets as being the most stringent product certification fitting with the incentives of the circular economy.
Through the certification process the C2C product standard steers designers and manufacturers through a continuous environmental and social improvement process in which the product is assessed in five categories; material health, material recycling, renewable energy and carbon management, water management and social responsibility.
Our acetylation process fits perfectly in the bio-cycle of the C2C concept. Through the acetylation process, the part of wood that readily bonds with water is replaced by acetyl groups which are naturally occurring especially in the more durable wood species. Thus, the acetylation process mimics nature, and without adding any toxic substances, it ensures performance and material health to the highest level possible under C2C standards: the platinum level for which it has received a separate award.
Also at end-of-use, Accoya provides no challenges whatsoever. It can be treated similar to untreated wood and thus can be re- or upcycled in various ways. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Accoya has been certified at the C2C Gold level since 2010, as the only structural building material around.
It is for these reasons that Accoya is prescribed in many C2C inspired projects such as the new C2C office of the Municipality of Venlo, Early childhood center in Wassenaar by the famous Dutch architectural firm Kraaijvanger, and the first C2C inspired business park 2020 in Hoofddorp by Delta Development. Furthermore, Accsys Group is actively supporting the Built Positive movement initiated by the C2C Product Innovation Institute, to further promote the adoption of C2C design principles in the Built Environment.
See full scorecard and certificate at www.c2ccertified.org
A large benefit of C2C certification is that, especially at the higher certification levels (Gold & Platinum) it contributes to several credits in recognised Green Building Schemes such as LEED and BREEAM.