Back to news overview

Stef Kranendijk, CEO Desso, leads debate at IMD on Desso’s Cradle to Cradle® business model

21 September 2012

Desso's ground-breaking Cradle to Cradle® business strategy will be the subject of discussion at a two day conference for members of IMD's Corporate Learning Network.

Stef Kranendijk, CEO of the European carpet and sports systems manufacturer Desso, and the architect of its commitment to becoming a Cradle to Cradle® company, will give a talk on how Desso has been building a brand new Cradle to Cradle® business model.

The talk is part of the IMD's Discovery Events programme. Organised by Professor Michael Yaziji, the theme is, 'Creating Shared Value: Learning from the Cherry Tree - Turning Trash into Cash'.

Professor Yaziji is a professor of strategy and organisation at IMD and spearheaded the partnership between the WWF and IMD to create the school's One Planet Leaders Programme.

The audience is made up of a wide range of senior managers from marketing to engineering, all united in their desire to explore business model innovations.

IMD, based in Lausanne, Switzerland has been ranked number one outside the US for executive education and its MBA programme by the Financial Times and the Economist respectively.

Stef Kranendijk will talk about how Desso is reinventing its business model according to the principles of Cradle to Cradle® design. The approach means that all materials and products are seen as healthy nutrients to be recycled either back into the technical or bio-sphere over and over again. In this way, Desso is developing a business model for the circular economy which will draw less from the planet's resources than the current linear model.

"This is not only the right thing to do," says Stef Kranendijk, "It also unlocks great new commercial opportunities for generating revenue. A recent report1 showed that European industry could unleash as much as $630 billion in savings by adopting circular models, equivalent to just below 4% of EU GDP." So instead of a linear economic model where products are made and then disposed of, the Cradle to Cradle® model is circular.

Desso rigorously analyses the chemical makeup of all its raw materials to ensure they meet Cradle to Cradle® standards. 

"Cradle to Cradle® is a broad philosophy which encompasses product design, materials analysis, energy and water policy through to sales and marketing," says Stef Kranendijk. "The aim is to be able to create products that have a positive impact on the environment and on people's health and well-being."

Through its Take Back programme, Desso is also able to take used carpets back and safely recycle or reuse the materials.

"Going Cradle to Cradle® makes our business model more robust and opens up new cash streams such as through our Take Back™ programme and product innovations inspired by the desire to create products that improve people's health and well-being."

Stef Kranendijk, Chairman Desso

By 2020, Desso aims to be able to collect 50,000 tonnes of post-consumer carpet via its Take Back programme, from which at least 50% will be processed through the DESSO Refinity® separation technique2 .

1) Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Co (2012).

2) Desso's Refinity® plant separates the yarn and other fibres from the backing, thereby producing two main material streams which can be recycled.

  • Share this page:
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • email