Shingles made from poplar bark are the first product to earn the coveted Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Platinum certification—ever. Highland Craftsmen Bark House poplar shingle passed strict sustainability measurements in the program which evaluates products from, as the program name suggests, beginning to end. The poplar shingles are made from reclaimed bark, and Bark House has also worked to create a viable supply chain while helping other North Carolina businesses employ more sustainable logging practices. The no-waste product enables loggers to increase income from each tree by fourfold, enhancing the industry while protecting the environment.
The unique bark shingles met the Platinum requirements in all five C2C certification categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. Bark House poplar shingle siding is made from reclaimed tree bark, with artisan craftsmanship transforming what was once a waste material into handcrafted wall covering for exteriors and interiors. The company’s approach to sustainability doesn’t stop with the procurement or manufacturing stages, but extends into the business community by educating local loggers in handling RAWTM (Recycled Appalachian Wood Waste) poplar bark in order to spread sustainable practices beyond its own operations.
“Bark House’s approach to sustainability is certainly rooted in its naturally derived product line, but the company has gone much beyond that, embracing a holistic approach that is the essence of Cradle to Cradle’s own philosophies,” said Stacy Glass, Vice President, Built Environment for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, in a statement. “Achieving an overall Platinum certification requires achieving top marks in all five categories, an accomplishment that truly demonstrates the depth and commitment of the company’s efforts to provide safe products that can be perpetually cycled and are manufactured in ways that respect humans and the environment.”
The C2C certification program rates products on five levels, in progressive order of sustainability: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. Of the 425 certifications covering more than 5,000 Cradle to Cradle Certified products since the program began, Bark House shingles are the first product to ever achieve a Platinum rating. The shingles previously held a Gold level certification, and the company honed its processes and metrics to meet C2C’s Platinum standards.
“At Bark House, we have always taken a holistic approach to business, from the low impact of our product lines to the high impact of our social outreach. This mentality is key to creating balance, and without balance, systems will ultimately fail,” said Chris McCurry, co-founder for The Bark House at Highland Craftsmen Inc. “This line of thinking is what drew us to the Cradle to Cradle methodology. With its multi-tiered system under five categories, Cradle to Cradle offers a balanced framework across people, planet, and prosperity that allows a business to measure its progress and plan for improvements. The achievement of Platinum across each evaluation area further showcases the holistic, regenerative nature of our work.”
Images via Bark House