Playworld Systems becomes first playground manufacturer to have products Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) for ongoing commitment to sustainability

Family-owned Company’s PVC-Free Pledge Helps Secure Coveted Environmental Certification

LEWISBURG, PA (September 7, 2011) – Playworld Systems, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment, today announced all of its product lines from its 2010 catalog have been Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Basic.  Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM is a rigorous and comprehensive environmental certification system administered by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation InstituteTM that evaluates products and materials for their impact on human health and environmental health and design for future life cycles. The certification does not include the electronic components sealed inside certain Playworld Systems products.

Playworld Systems is the only playground manufacturer to complete the rigorous process and earn this notable sustainability certification.  Playworld Systems worked closely with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) to collect data throughout the supply chain, assess all materials for impact to human and environmental health, and evaluate manufacturing processes for use of renewable energy, water stewardship, and social responsibility. MBDC is a global consultancy and certification firm that helps clients create a positive footprint on the planet by implementing the Cradle to Cradle® design framework. 

“This independent certification proves that Playworld Systems is lessening its impact on the planet beyond industry standards and laws,” said Matt Miller, chief executive officer of Playworld Systems. “Sustainability can be a relative term – and in general we believe there’s too much posturing in green positioning, and not enough substance.  We’re honored to receive this recognition because it confirms that Playworld Systems is doing more than simply removing potentially harmful materials.  We aim to have our entire product line reused as consumable materials in the future.  This is about doing more good for our environment, and not just less bad.  It is a further extension of our commitment to make the most conscientious choices in our manufacturing process, which will impact future generations.” 

The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM program provides guidelines to help businesses like Playworld Systems evaluate all materials in its supply chain and focus on using safe materials that can be disassembled, recycled and repurposed. The process is helping Playworld Systems ensure that potentially toxic materials in its products, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, lead and heavy metals are identified and removed with an eye toward repurposing the materials in future consumer products once the useful lifecycle is complete.

The certification is recognized by environmental experts worldwide for its innovation in sustainability.  In the US for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM products in its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) database for federal agency procurement. In addition, these certified products are eligible for points in the USGBC’s LEED certification for green buildings. 

Other countries are also embracing the Cradle to Cradle philosophy. One example is the C2C Network (C2CN), a multi-national project that brings together countries within the European Union to share best practices in implementing Cradle to Cradle principles. C2CN is funded in part by the INTERREG IVC (Innovation & Environment Regions of Europe Sharing Solutions), which seeks to improve the effectiveness of policies and build on the exchange of experiences among regional partners who are responsible for the development of local policies.

“The certification process is a comprehensive approach to evaluating the design of products, their chemical make-up down to the parts per million range, and the practices employed during manufacturing. We are proud to see Playworld Systems joining the ranks of Aveda, Armstrong and Method Home products. Playworld Systems is setting a positive example for other companies with respect to social and environmental responsibility,” said William McDonough, named ‘hero of the planet’ by TIME magazine and founding principal of MBDC.

“In 2008, we took a leadership position in our industry by pledging to remove PVC from our products because we believed it was the responsible thing to do,” added Miller. “Our playground and fitness equipment is the focal point for many communities around the world.  We have tremendous respect for the natural environments with which our products co-exist.  We feel responsible for making sure our equipment enhances a community and doesn’t compromise it.” 

For more information, visit www.c2ccertified.org.  Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM is a certification mark licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation InstituteCradle to Cradle is a registered trademark of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.

About Playworld Systems, Inc.
For 40 years, Playworld Systems has been a leader in creating imaginative, customized commercial play and fitness equipment that positively impacts the health and well-being of communities around the globe. Based on the belief that The World Needs Play®, Playworld Systems brings the joy and benefits of healthful outdoor play and exercise to people of every age and ability through such innovative product lines as ENERGI®, LifeTrail® Advanced Wellness System, Playworld®, PlayDesigns®, NEOS® and OriginsTM. The multi-generational, family-owned company continues to invest significant resources to measurably reduce its impact on the environment, from taking aggressive action to eliminate PVC to enhancing its waste management and recycling programs. In fact, Playworld Systems is the first major U.S. playground manufacturer to remove 99.999 percent of PVC from its products. Playworld Systems offers an optimal customer experience unique in the industry – from value-added services using Microsoft Tag to personalized attention through its vast network of local distributors.  

The Lewisburg, Pa.-based company has received numerous awards throughout its history, including two International Industrial Design Excellence Awards, a gold medal from International Design magazine, two News Directors’ Choice Awards on Early Childhood, and the Pennsylvania Governors’ Award for Safety Excellence. For more information, visit PlayworldSystems.com.