Cradle to Cradle Certified™ – paving the way

Greenwashing is when a company spends more time and money with advertising, claiming to be “green” than actually being green.  One resource that can help consumers combat 
greenwashing is to check the company’s certifications.  Certification programs do vary.  Some are very reliable. Cradle to Cradle Certified™’ is one of the best.

In this post:
Get C2C Certified ! ,
Online Resources for learning about the process,
The Process,
The Costs of the Process fall in 2 areas,
Start from ZERO – online learning,
Design & Innovation Forum 

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

Cradle to Cradle certified

…….. is a non-profit organization, for manufacturers and designers of consumer products. This brings about a new industrial revolution that improves what products are made of and how they are made.


2:08 min https://epea-hamburg.com/cradle-to-cradle/


Get C2C Certified ! ——-OR – GET ON THE PATH

Cradle to Cradle projects


Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a product certification of preference by leading retailers, brands, banks and sustainability standards.

This is a pathway for product manufacturers to make measurable advancement toward UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cradle to Cradle fosters natural resource stewardship, social fairness and sustainable production and consumption. 

Banks are beginning to invest in companies that focus on sustainability and have Cradle to Cradle Certified™ products. The fiduciary responsibility of risk management integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) has begun. Cradle to Cradle Certified™ helps promote the granting of loans, etc. already available in 120 countries.

A product is evaluated regarding what it is made from (material health), how it can be cycled (material re-use), and how it is produced. This is to move the product higher levels of positive impact on energy / carbon, water and social fairness.

Online Resources for learning about the process

Cradle to Cradle developed an assessment/evaluation framework with clearly defined performance indicators to determine the actual effect of the certification on business, environment and social impact of a product.

The documentation for Cradle to Cradle Certified™’s Product Standard, is free online to guide you in setting up the process. It looks at your product through five quality categories — material health, material re-use, re-newable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

Cradle to Cradle products
  • What’s in your product? 
  • What’s next after its use?   
  • What resources does it take to make it?
  • What does it take to produce it?

    Start answering these key questions and get on the path toward reaching 21st century standards of quality and value.

The Process

  1. Determine if your product is appropriate for certification – many are not
  2. Select an Accredited Assessor/Evaluator for the testing, analysis, and evaluation of your product. You choose from a network of Assessors/Evaluators who are trained by the institute and then themselves accredited to help companies/entrepreneurs achieve certification for their products. These assessors come from totally independent organizations . More about this here.
  3. Work with your assessor to compile and evaluate data and documentation. More here.
  4. Receive certification for your product. Assessment Summary Reports are reviewed by the Institute, which certifies the product and registers your certificate with the institute.
  5. Work with the Institute and your marketing team.
  6. Report your progress.

The Costs of the Process fall in 2 areas

Cradle to Cradle Certified provides consumers, regulators, employees, and industry peers with a clear, visible, and tangible validation of a manufacturer’s ongoing commitment to sustainability – closed-loop. Assessment/evaluation costs are the bulk of the expense and investment. They vary by product type, complexity, and the amount of work needed to collect the information for the assessment. The Certification fees themselves are relatively low by industry standards.

  1. your Accredited Assessor/Evaluator – Assessment/evaluation costs will vary dramatically. I have asked for some indication of what this cost might be. I understand that due to the vast variety that our world of products includes it is almost impossible to state an estimate without knowing what is involved. Presently there are 15 independent companies that do this work. The Costs are negotiated based on the amount of work involved.
    Perhaps the fee would be as low as $10,000. Since a young company / small business owner faces a “no capital” situation, there might be a small down-payment and then a percentage from future sales turn-over, until the fee was paid.
    As many such projects involve existing medium size companies that are beginning to re-think their entire production and product development, the fee could be as much as $30,000 – $100,000+. More about that here.
    – and when all the documentation is ready –
  2. your Certification – The final certification fee is $3600 which covers the new product’s application fee, the first two years of certification and the maintenance in the Certified Product Registry, at Cradle to Cradle. Then re-certification is $2000.

Start from ZERO
Online learning, training, preparations

Cradle to Cradle has free online resources to help companies learn more about the process and begin. For instance, “C2C Certified Foundations” is a free course (4 videos ~ 30min in total) that walks you through the information required for Basic Level. The accompanying worksheets and guidance documents provide steps to collect the necessary information internally. You would then work with an assessor. With the preparations it could take lest time to develop a completed assessment.  Any documents you already have may shorten the information gathering.


What makes Cradle to Cradle Certified unique is that it is a multi-attribute certification that covers the chemistry, cyclability, and impacts on energy, water and social fairness. 

5:50 min

The Start of a Revolution

In 1992, William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart published The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability.  In 2002, they published Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.  In 2010, after 20 years of working with companies, they gifted the C2C license to the public through the creation of the Cradle2Cradle Products Innovation Institute – a very experienced agent of change and open source information.

Dr. Michael Braungart:

16 seconds
Cradle to Cradle forum

Design & Innovation Forum
Stockholm, 4-5 November, 2019
Join the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in Stockholm this November for the C2CPII Design & Innovation Forum: Transforming Products for the Circular Economy

Important to note that LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and Cradle to Cradle are different tools in product development. One of the EMF Pioneer Universities, University College London, offers a course that speaks to the expanded ideas in Life Cycle Assessment – Full Circle – closed-loop.

Posts that talk about doing the home-work planet Earth’s way:
Do You Know Your Business’s Carbon Footprint?
Path To C2CC – Cradle To Cradle Certified™
Part #2 – Financing A Small Business In A Sustainable/Circular Economy
I Say The Future Is VERTICAL Axis Wind Turbines!
Like Nature does it. Biomimic Strategy = Harmony with planet Earth
Slow Down ?? Yes – No, Urgent Changes , BUT…..

There are a number of posts that talk about Cradle to Cradle Certified™:
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ – paving the way
>Path to Cradle to Cradle Certified™ – #1 How to “Do the Homework”?
>Path to Cradle to Cradle Certified™ #2 – the Homework
>Path Cradle to Cradle Certified™ – #3 The Cost
Product Design Review – The verdict: Form should still follow Function*
Do you know your Business’s Carbon Footprint?
Part #2 – Financing a Small Business in a Sustainable/Circular Economy

Your eco-concerns are the motive for my blog. Tell me what’s on your mind, good or bad.

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