2024-05-25 17:48:55


Promoting Sustainable Design: Generating Revenue Streams for a Mission-Driven Non-Profit

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute offers certifications for products adhering to its rigorous—and world-famous—sustainable design methodology. Hoping to expand its impact and diversify its revenue streams, C2C hired us for help with product innovation and storytelling. Since that initial engagement, we've completed nearly a dozen projects with C2C, and are happily retained for ongoing support across all industry divisions.


To better understand C2Cs situation, we spoke with stakeholders in multiple countries, learning about the opportunities and challenges involved in expanding the movement around the world. Our work revealed important differences between markets—and even more important similarities. For instance, we learned that Europeans and Americans often used divergent (and sometimes incompatible) design terminology, but that there was a universal desire for cross-functional collaboration, no matter the language. Ultimately, we found that stakeholders needed pathways to applying the C2C methodology, not just knowing it.



Knowing that C2C's partners needed support applying the Institute's sustainable design methodology—and that C2C needed additional revenue streams—we worked out offerings that would equip organizations with tools, resources, and ongoing help, while also outlining possible structures for financial support.



To meet C2C's needs for greater impact and diversified revenue, we crafted a membership model and multiple campaign concepts to creatively reach audiences and drive them toward action. 




Upon launch, the membership model we designed quickly generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in membership revenue from organizations ranging from household brands to emerging startups and industry innovators. Since then, these members have converged for collaborative workshops and conferences, and are now gathering resources and support for new materials that will further advance the future of sustainable design.