Simplified visual of deconstructed raspberry under a magnifying glass

Sustainability Beyond
the Obvious

C2C Product Development

Leave A Positive Footprint

Cradle to cradle Sustainability Sustainable Economy Product Development EPEA Ecology Sustainable Business

Together with our collaborator EPEA, we offer the service "Sustainability Beyond the Obvious". Our goal is to develop products together with our customers following cradle-to-cradle design principles, which are long-term and also ecologically, economically and socially sustainable in practice.

Sustainability has long since become an essential criterion for successful products. However, many products falter, although they are developed with the best intentions because they fail to take a holistic view that includes sustainability.


In order to understand and actively shape the diverse interactions of today's products, a wide variety of disciplines must work together. It then becomes possible to develop truly sustainable products even under the strictest conditions – simultaneously being useful, environmentally friendly, and profitable.


Our Collaborator: EPEA Part of Drees & Sommer

EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency) is an innovation partner for environmentally friendly and recyclable industrial products, buildings and urban districts and develops solutions for the circular economy.

Their goal is not to be ‘not as bad as’, but to create positive value for people, the environment and business. Their method: the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ design principle co-developed by EPEA.


"The goal of Cradle to Cradle is not only to minimize negative influences, but also to leave a positive footprint. This creates products, processes, buildings and cities that are safe for people, healthy for the environment and successful for business."

Cradle to Cradle®

Cradle to Cradle® is a design principle developed in the 1990s by Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, William McDonough and EPEA Hamburg. It stands for innovation, quality and good design. It describes the safe and potentially infinite circulation of materials and nutrients.


All components are chemically harmless and recyclable. Waste in today's sense, which is created by the outdated "Take-Make-Waste" model, no longer exists, but only re-usable materials.

Source: EPEA

2 Cycles visualizing difference in biological cycle for consumer products and a technical cycle for service products.

The combined competencies of TEAMS and EPEA allow us to provide in-depth advice: at TEAMS, we stand for user-centred and brand-strategic design through to realisation. We combine this with the many years of sustainability experience and deep material and process knowledge of EPEA's experts.

With three key activities, we achieve sustainable product development:

Zoom in and out

Each product is part of a larger system. How is it used? Which trends influence it? How are the target groups changing?  What materials are used? Are they harmful to health? How are they manufactured and which supply chain delivers it to us? We cannot ignore these relationships and existing structures, but we must take them into account in the design process. This is the only way we can meet the requirements of sustainability.

Putting the user in the centre (Great UX)

For all systemic challenges, we must not forget who we design our products for – the user. Therefore, excellent usability and a health-conscious choice of materials are equally important.

Getting on the road

There are many reasons to shy away from change. However, we want to encourage our customers to go on the journey! After all, once we are on that path, new opportunities constantly emerge from which everyone benefits.

To make sure it is not a journey into the unknown, we offer three packages:

1.   Potential analysis

We carry out a "C2C potential analysis" so that our customers can assess the possibilities a long-term product development according to C2C principles can offer. In order to do this, a trend and market analysis is conducted and the effect on target groups and the product concept evaluated. Existing products are simultaneously given a "Quickscan" to gauge their C2C suitability. At the end of this phase, there are concrete proposals for action on how the product can be further developed, facilitating decisions on how development should proceed.


2.  Conception

In this phase, we produce specific product concepts following the action proposals of the potential analysis. In doing so, designs become more concrete: The product concept is drawn up, taking the whole system into account, and the usability and target group-specific designs are re-worked. At the same time, it is constantly re-assessed whether the chosen directions still follow the criteria of sustainability.


3.  C2C Implementation

Once the product concept is detailed and approved, we begin with the realisation.

Do you feel like getting started? We at TEAMS look forward to accompanying you and supporting you with our international network and cross-branch knowledge!

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