Cradle to Cradle: Troldtekt advances from Silver to Gold

Troldtekt has reached another milestone as part of its strategic work with sustainability: In 2022, the entire range of Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool products moved up a level in the sustainable design concept Cradle to Cradle – from Silver to Gold. The new certificate has been achieved after switching to new paint recipes in production.

After ten years of Cradle to Cradle certification at Silver level, the entire range of Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool acoustic solutions has now advanced to Gold level. The vision behind Cradle to Cradle is a world in which manufacturers design their products for a circular economy – in other words where the materials can be reintroduced in new cycles. The advancement to Gold level is primarily the result of Troldtekt introducing new paint recipes in production.

The switch to the new paint type means that Troldtekt is moving up two levels – from Silver to Platinum – within material health, which is one of the five categories of criteria counting towards Cradle to Cradle certification. And as Troldtekt is already at Gold or Platinum level in the other four categories, it triggers overall certification at Gold level. The certification was officially valid from 1 March 2022.

“More than a decade ago, we chose to base our business strategy on the Cradle to Cradle principles. Since then, we have optimised our production by switching to renewable energy, by systematically recycling waste and much more. Material health, and specifically the preservatives in the paint, have been the only barrier to achieving Gold certification. Therefore, the new paint recipes represent a milestone for us.”

These are the words of Tina Snedker Kristensen, Head of Sustainability and Communications at Troldtekt A/S:

“It’s not just a small corner of our range that is now Cradle to Cradle-certified at Gold level – it is the entire range of Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool products in either natural wood or painted in our standard colours white, grey and black. The certification also covers our design series and our brand new carbon-reduced acoustic panels based on the cement type FUTURECEM™,” she adds.

New recipes are part of sustainability initiatives

In practice, through working systematically with Cradle to Cradle Troldtekt now possesses in-depth knowledge of all the ingredients in the acoustic panels, right down to 100 parts per million. Analyses have shown that the panels do not contain any substances which are harmful to humans or the environment. Healthy ingredients are a prerequisite for being able to reintroduce products into new biological and technical cycles. And healthy cycles are the backbone of the circular economy.

The preservatives – biocides – in the paint for the acoustic panels have so far stood in the way of achieving Cradle to Cradle certification at Gold level. However, recipes have now been successfully developed that are based on newer and more sustainable preservation technology.

“Preservatives are necessary to avoid having to discard large quantities of paint due to spoiling and frequent colour changes in production. Since installing our new paint facility in 2016, we have collected and recycled excess paint – or ‘overspray’ as it is called – from our spray booths, which has cut the amount of paint we waste by 70 per cent. If we removed the preservatives, we would no longer be able to use the overspray due to microbial attacks. And this would result in total waste of approx. 200,000 litres of paint a year,” explains Vibeke Pedersen, Head of Engineering Department at Troldtekt A/S.

“After lengthy discussions with our paint suppliers, we’ve arrived at a new and durable paint recipe which contains no harmful biocides. However, the new paint is still sufficiently durable for the overspray to be recycled. It has required product development and extensive testing of the recipes in our production. So, a lot of hard work has paved the way for our certification at Gold level,” she says.

FACTS: Troldtekt and Cradle to Cradle

  • In 2012, Troldtekt was granted its first Cradle to Cradle certification. Along the way, it became clear that Cradle to Cradle is not just a product certification, but that a strategic approach would be needed to work seriously with the principles.
  • Therefore, Troldtekt chose to base its business strategy on the Cradle to Cradle principles, and published a strategic roadmap for realising improvements within the five Cradle to Cradle categories towards 2022.
  • The new paint recipes represent the latest in a series of milestones which now see Troldtekt advancing to Gold-level certification. The certification covers the entire range of Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool products in natural wood and painted in the standard colours white, grey and black.

After advancing from Silver to Platinum level in material health, Troldtekt is now at either Gold or Platinum level in all five of the Cradle to Cradle categories.