Sustainable Energy


Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas






Closed Looped Cycle Production: A Key Solution to Climate Change Mitigation.

Closed Looped Cycle Production (CLCP) is inspired and derived from the innovative design and manufacturing concept known as “Cradle to Cradle” (McDonough and Braungart, 2002). This sustainable design philosophy demands asking a basic question “Am I doing the right thing?” CLCP is focused on the development of products in which the materials utilized for creating a product become valuable nutrients upon reaching the end of their useful life. CLCP does not only seek to rationalize the use of materials and resources but involves a fundamental focus on the sustainable design of products and services based on the Cradle to Cradle principles to leap frog towards a closed-looped cycle sustainable manufacturing industry and system that will be able to deliver high-quality environmental-friendly products to its customers. This sustainable production development on its turn may incentivize nations to achieve closed looped cycle consumption patterns or circular economies.

Please see the following video for a brief introduction to the concept of Cradle-to-Cradle Design.

                                                                                                              (Source: Reggs,2010)

The proper design of products increases the eco-effectiveness or with other words the potential for the basic ingredients and/or materials contained in the product to be utilized again and re-enter the production cycle (technical “techno-sphere” or ecological “biosphere” cycle) and serve to devise a new product whose value is greater or comparable to the original one. In this manner, in line with the principles of Sustainable Materials Management and Sustainable Production and Consumption, the continuous extraction of commodities and resources (being generally energy intensive processes) is minimized, while also improving the environmental performance of processes of manufacture and throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Something fundamental in the Closed Looped Cycle Production methodology is the sorting and separation of materials in order to discard those that are toxic or harmful to humans and the environment. The following figure is an illustration of the product cycle following a cradle to cradle Cycles that define this concept; these are the biological and the technical cycles. The biological cycle consists of "biological nutrients" that can go back to the environment and become nutrients in nature since they are non-toxic and biodegradable. In the "technical cycle", there are "technical nutrients" such as metals and certain polymers that are distributed in closed-looped cycles of materials or fluids. Harmful materials and products are eliminated.

C2C Cycles


The CLCP approach is considered innovative since it distinguishes itself from the traditional methods of recycling or cleaner production in which the residues are used for the creation of materials or products of lower aggregate value and/or for a secondary use; or in the latter case, where attempts are made to make a product and a production process “less bad” or cleaner. The CLCP approach instead is design products, processes and systems that have a positive impact in the economy, society and environment.

Thus, the Closed Looped Cycle Production Program (CLCP) is an innovative tool that will contribute to sustainable development of industry in participating countries by reducing its dependency and continuous extraction of increasingly scarce commodities, improving energy efficiency as well as increase environmental performance due to the reduction of GHG emissions, solid waste and waste water generation among other environmental impacts, while simultaneously improving the productivity and competitiveness of businesses with a particular interest on Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).