Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – How to – Starts Here

In this post:

picture above: Bauwerk Parkett, Cleverpark Silente parquet

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 Mr. Kälin- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here
Mr. Albin Kälin, far left

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – the Homework

logo- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here

Mr. Albin Kälin, continues to help me describe what this path to a C2C certificate is like………………….

Have you found an assessor body to help you through this process…if not, you might want to look here.

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – the Homework

The Principles – The Standards

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – the Homework

2. Work with your Assessor to collect the Data

Together you will investigate, compile and evaluate data and documentation about your product and its production process.

Each Assessor handles the Data Collection a little differently and their websites each mention different aspects of the work that can be involved.

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C2C platform works with you to gather the necessary information:
-The complete chemical composition of the product (Bronze or higher)
-Recycling potential of components
-Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
-Water consumption and impact on the environment
-Social Responsibility
Analysis of toxicity to humans and ecology – Analysis of chemical ingredients by a material health assessor: Arche (Gent), EPEA (Hamburg) of MBDC (VS).


logo- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Program – Data Collection,…..
The core of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ product evaluation involves partnering with the product manufacturer on data collection and product evaluation.  Depending on the complexity of the product and its supply chain, product evaluations typically take 2-4 months. The overall evaluation process includes the following steps:
*ToxServices assigns a project manager for the certification process.
*Your Assessor and you together collect all the data required for certification.
*Your Assessor’s certification packet must include all necessary information.
*Your Assessor conducts an on-site audit at the manufacturing facility of final assembly.
*ToxServices submits the completed Certification Packet and supporting documentation to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) for review and approval.


Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 time frame- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here OmniCert
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Evaluation and C2CC assessment summary report at OmniCert
Most of the C2CC certification process involves data collection and product evaluation. This step typically takes 2-6 + months or longer, depending on the complexity of the product and the supply chain. The C2CC certification documents must contain all necessary information. 
The material layout, optimization plan and other documents are usually developed in compliance with confidentiality obligations between the appraiser, the company and its suppliers.
OmniCert sends the completed C2CC report and the necessary accompanying information to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute for review.

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – the Homework

5 principles/standards/”criteria

There are five categories of criteria for Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification (which ToxServices covers in detail): Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Responsibility. In order to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification , the product and manufacturing processes must meet these criteria, at least, at the same level or higher in all five categories.

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here
C2C criteria
The product in question, here, can register for certification at the Gold level.

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – the Homework

Two nutrient cycles:

And the other major element of the process is how your product / production handles Biosphere: biological nutrient cycles and Technosphere: technical supply chain loops.

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here
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Two nutrient cycles:
In the biological cycle materials are returned to the biosphere in the form of compost or other nutrients, from which new materials are created. 
In the technical cycle materials that are not used up during the use of the product can be reprocessed to allow them to be used in a new product.

The entire cycle in each case must be fully documented.

A.Kälin:  Yes, and one of the reasons that you want to work with an assessor is that her/his company has developed a series of forms that are used to streamline all this documentation and make it easier for both you and Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute to deal with the collected data. Think about it. Every product is unique. Finding ways to document each unique product is a great effort.

EPEA Hamburg answers questions here FAQ:

  • Where can I gather the required data? The customer either possesses the data or requests it from his suppliers.
  • How far do I have to consider the production process? As a rule, all data about the chemicals contained in the final product requires collection. This data is often obtained along the main manufacturing steps of the production process.
    Example: For the certification of a t-shirt, data about spinning, weaving, dyeing and equipment have to be collected (but not on the production process of the dyes).
    During the certification process, a project manager from EPEA will provide you with detailed information.
  • What should I do if my supplier does not want to give me the information due to confidentiality? In general, it is the customer’s task to negotiate with suppliers and to agree upon cooperation in the concrete certification project. This is the most effective approach based on experience. As a follow up, EPEA may sign a secrecy agreement or non-disclosure agreement with the supplier to exchange confidential data directly between supplier and EPEA.
  • Is the certificate valid worldwide? Registrants receive a license agreement from the C2CPII regarding the use of the logo requiring examination and a signature. Certificates are valid worldwide according to the terms of the license agreement. MBDC is the owner of the Cradle to Cradle® trademark, Cradle to Cradle Certified™️ is a certification mark exclusively licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. — Both the certification standard and all directives and regulations are published on the C2CPII website.
  • I already have different certifications – are other certifications recognized or taken into account? In general, no other certificate is directly taken into consideration. However, during the evaluation of energy use, water management and social aspects, we take consideration regarding existing internationally recognized certificates (such as FSC and GOTS). This may lead to a better rating. This may lead to a better rating.

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – going through the Homework

Case Studies

People who have recently completed Cradle to Cradle Certified™
How do you RE-THINK your whole career?

Mr. Kälin: We have the privilege to hear from Mr. Stefan Hunger, who has recently gone through the C2CC process, and already an award winning product:


What happens to the BAYONIX® DRINK BOTTLE when it is lost in nature?

BAYONIX® BOTTLE does not pollute the sea.
The BAYONIX® BOTTLE is safe for oceans and lakes, drinking water, soils and plants, fish and animals as well as for humans and society.
The BAYONIX® BOTTLE can go back to the “technical cycle“, where it is recycled to a new bottle. All you have to do is shred the material and it can be processed into a new BAYONIX®.
Or it enters the “biological cycle“, where this new process of industrial composting transforms the material back into nutrients (humus). This takes only a few weeks. It has been proven to be economical. No pollutants nor microplastics are left behind.
The BAYONIX® BOTTLE is made from a polymer that has the Cradle to Cradle Certified ™ standard „platinum” material health certification.

Cradle to Cradle Certified producer- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here

Founder & CEO, of BAYONIX® BOTTLE:
During my 25 years as a specialist in manufacturing technology, radically different thinking like “Toyota Production System”, “Quick Response Manufacturing”, or “Cradle to Cradle” was rejected off-hand.  Proving sustainable manufacturing feasibility became an obsession of mine. I decided that I must simply implement it in some way by producing something. It was my biggest incentive to founding Bayonix.

In June 2016, I met Albin Kaelin for the first time.  After a brief scan of my original business idea, it quickly became clear that it would not work as planned.  However, we started looking into a material that Albin Kaelin knew about and which offered the characteristics that had been fascinating me from the onset of my business ideas. I have learned so much! We launched BAYONIX® BOTTLE in July 2018.

In the future, I will only use my knowledge of production technology for 100% recyclable products. With BAYONIX® I want to make a contribution and create products that leave a positive ecological footprint.

I believe that we need a new industry. Yes, one with technology and machines, but one that works only with recyclable products. I would be happy to connect with companies and people who want to work with this vision.

Stefan Hunger
[email protected]

Stefan, How did you choose an assessor?
We started from nothing, only: “How can we get the knowledge, as a startup company, to get a completely sustainable product successfully into the market”.
I did not talk to any other assessor bodies. With my years of experience in smaller and bigger companies and after talking to Albin Kaelin, it was crystal clear to me: This is my perfect partner.  It was the best decision ever. Probably the most important part of my experience was that EPEA Switzerland told me exactly how to develop a product that could reach the „Gold“ Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification, which is extremely difficult to earn. At EPEA Switzerland they have the technical knowledge to help you develop a product in the right direction from the very beginning. #1 a development team and then #2 an independent team of accredited assessors, who only comes into the picture at the end. They are not involved in the development of the product. They begin their work only when the prototype is ready to get certified.  And it worked like clock work.  The development team that worked with us was so thorough, that the independent assessor team was able to OK our project through the system in a relatively short time.

What was the process like?
It was different from anything I had done before. My team and I had no idea in mind of a particular product.  With the EPEA Switzerland development team, we choose the material. Then we decided which product would be best suited to this material.  In these brainstorming sessions, the “drinking – bottle” was born.  We sellected suppliers and partners. We developed the product all the way through to production tool development.  

What special moments did you have in the process
We had to change the production tools during development about 50 times before we could produce the drinking bottle.

How do you start a new Circular Economy career?

Mr. Kälin: I am very happy to have Ms. Karin Lanz tell us about her story – going through the development of her product simultaneously with the C2CC process:

Cradle to Cradle registrar- Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 - How to - Starts Here
Ms. Karin Lanz, Zurich, Switzerland

Karin’s background is as a television host and actress.
During her many years of work in television, meeting an infinite number of people, seeing how they function and what appeals to them, “I learned to get to the bottom of things through journalistic research.  In front or behind the camera, from big entertainment to scientific satire, I am aware that things are often different than they seem. In the recent past, giving birth to my children, it was clear to me that I stood by nature. In spite of my social position and lifestyle, in my personal environment, nature’s path is indisputably the right one.
By developing my own products, I have penetrated more than ever into the world of illusion and reality. It is a lot of effort to dis-assemble things looking for the truth. But it is very worthwhile. And once you’re there, you can’t go back.  I love my work.  I am convinced that, today, I can move much more than I could in my previous career. It is simply better to “do it” than to just talk about it.”

You could say, I started with ZERO. 
Nothing, Nada, Garnichts, only a very strong desire to prove it is possible to develop a body and hand lotion/cream that is not less bad or a little better, but 100% good for human skin and 100% following the processes of planet Earth.

Where to start?
I must have been thinking and keeping my eyes and ears open for at least 2 years. I would compare labels from “linear” products, trying to find a university who would take my challenge, tried to get some government support. I found no satisfactory solution and then I ran into the first piece of the puzzle.  I was at a conference giving a lecture and not far away Mr. Albin Kälin was also giving a lecture.  In between my own words, I caught some of his and they intrigued me.  After our lectures, I found him, talked to him a few minutes and set up an appointment.  That was the beginning.

I did not know what Cradle 2 Cradle certification was or about the 15 assessors.  I only knew that Mr. Albin and EPEA Switzerland were on this same journey and willing to help me in some way. Projects that open more doors to circular, closed-loop processes in industry attract them.  We signed a confidentiality agreement and began to talk.  When they could, they directed me to people who could help me.  They helped me learn how to open up doors, network of find people that could help with this project.

Networking, the most important part
This is by far the most important part of the process for me.  I learned how very very important it is to talk to people, to keep an open mind, to keep talking to everyone until you find the people who can really be part of your working project.  Friends, business people, scientists, anyone.   You need faith in your idea more than knowledge of how to do it.  You have to keep this faith strong as you search for people to work with.  This is not a project to do alone.  It is all still too new.

The project has taken over three years, so far.  The most time consuming part was finding a company that would consider producing cosmetic creams/products under the restrictions of a 100% positive impact on people and planet.  They screamed at me, told I was crazy by some companies or simply laughed at, until I finally found one that said, “Ms. Lanz you are the first thing that makes sense.”  

ALL the hurdles…
And, so a real project took off.  It was so difficult and complicated finding suppliers and deciding on the formula, and in the middle of all this, discovering that as an intelligent woman with years of her own experience on the consumer side of this industry. They did not take me seriously and I had to find a new manufacturer!  I persevered!  I succeeded!

I have the formula!
We have a product based on the lanolin in sheep wool grease, used as a body, facial or hand cream for a very long time. 

**I found the workings of the confidentiality agreement very eye opening. It worked for everyone involved. When members of my project network hesitated to deliver detailed information (about their sub suppliers or materials, etc.), EPEA Switzerland stepped in to act as a “knowledge trustee” so suppliers could comfortably disclose the necessary information, for example, for the Material Health assessment.  The EPEA Switzerland’s knowledge trustees protect everybody involved and testify that the information is correct for the certification.

Platinum & Gold
The last step took at least 6 months to get all the Material Health documentation approved with the help of an EPEA assessor and the independent Material Health Assessor; documents that needed further information, questions coming back from the Material Health Assessor. I think this was because we actually broke new ground entering cosmetic creams into the Cradle to Cradle process.  But my team and I did it!  For Material Health we got the highest score – Platinum, for the entire production operation we were awarded the next best:  Gold.

For me this has been a great mental breakthrough, I believe I am ready for the future on this planet, as I continue to open my company with a formula that is 100% good for human skin and 100% following the processes of planet Earth..

Karin Lanz

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2 – the Homework

How does a company begin to
RE-THINK its production processes?

Mr. Kälin: Here is a company that has taken on the C2CC process, developed a new product and embraced the need to do business with planet Earth:

Working with wood deepens one’s concern for the careful management of nature’s resources.

Excellent design is a matter of making the right decisions for products designed from the ground up for human life and nature.  Switzerland-based Bauwerk Parquet has a long history of manufacturing top quality parquet flooring with “Swiss” precision to create living spaces beneficial to personal health and wellbeing – as parquet does.  We have been making flooring since 1935. 
Parquet is already natural.  “All our products are non-hazardous to health. Period.”, stresses Marcus Beutel, R&D specialist of Bauwerk Boen Group. We made careful choices to dedicate Bauwerk Parquet to both maintain quality, “Swiss” precision and using manufacturing solutions that ensure the current and future health of their workers, their customers and now also our planet. 
From Bauwerk’s very core, we asked ourselves: Do we serve our customers rigorously enough.  Our answer was a challenge: might we be able to do more?  That’s why Bauwerk started re-thinking its processes in 2011. 
We want to create products that use wood’s inherent benefits, without the negatives. The manufacture of parquet involves glues, varnishes and oils that may cause fumes, emissions or other problems, if not properly developed and used: such as VOC (volatile organic compounds).  
To all the other important certifications for a product used in construction, Bauwerk decided to apply for Cradle to Cradle Certified™.
During the Cradle-to-Cradle certification process, Bauwerk focused on improving its production processes to create closed nutrient systems.  The assessor EPEA Switzerland assisted Bauwerk with its research and fulfilment of the Cradle to Cradle vision.  
Experts from Bauwerk Parquet’s total production, including quality control, environment, health and safety divisions, R&D, and application technology, worked intensively together with their respective suppliers. They re-thought, re-defined materials, processes, and end-of-life considerations and came up with a new product line called: Silente Parquet.
The product Silente Parquet is now Cradle-to-Cradle Certified at the GOLD level. That standard means that we assess our raw materials and processes from 45 suppliers all the way back to their origins. 
“And, one of Silente’s most important innovations, that led to the gold certification, is that we can remove“”a completely glued down parquet floor without damage””.  Bauwerk Parquet will take back the floor and grind the surface for its next customer. The lower materials that glue it to the floor get recycled,” says Klaus Brammertz, the CEO of Bauwerk Boen Group.

1:20 minutes – See how easy it is to renovate a building equipped with the Silente Matte Bauwerk parquet floor. Lift, and lay it again, or return to factory and if you wish, choose another Silente parquet floor at special price.

There are now 2 Silente Parquet product lines.  They have the following attractive features for the customer:
*Properly installed using a “healthy” glue, Silente keeps indoor air clean and healthy.
*Like all parquet floors they have a long life.
*Stays cool even on hot days, and holds warmth during cooler months
*The Silente technology reduces both body impact and ambient sounds.  Silente has a sponge like, elastic underlayer containing up to 90% natural materials that absorb impact (elastic, thus reducing stresses on users’ joints) and ambient sound (70% of footfall noise). 
*Silente floors – end of one cycle is the beginning of the next and nothing goes to a landfill.
*Bauwerk offers customers the possibility to return their Silente Parquet to the company and get another parquet floor of their preference at attractive prices.  

Not only have the two Silente product lines been awarded Gold – in November 2015, the entire Bauwerk facility in St. Margrethen, Switzerland (where we produce Silente) became the first production site worldwide to be completely certified Cradle to Cradle – Bronze.

Cradle to Cradle, Bronze guarantees: 
*The use of healthy, non-hazardous materials
*All materials – used in a closed-cycle 
*The validation of renewable energy
*Even waste wood at Bauwerk Parquet makes CO²-neutral wood briquettes.
*Environmentally compatible water management  
*Company wide social responsibility

In our daily business we see leading building companies, architects and construction planning agencies demanding the highest environmental standards in their projects. Bauwerk felt the need to go for Cradle to Cradle Certified™ when we saw how our other sustainability certifications have opened customer doors, when we can prove our goals toward the Circular Economy.  

For example, at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland; The “Olympic House” was built using very rigorous sustainability building standards and has received 3 such certifications.  LEED Platinum, the highest Level of the LEED green building programme is one of them.  Bauwerk’s ability to fulfill such standards, gave us the confidence that our products would meet the LEED v4 criteria. Today 250 sqm of Bauwerk’s “Formpark Rombico” make up the Ground Floor of the Olympic House.  

We have found increasingly, that ESG are key decision criteria in any construction plan.  Bauwerk believes that the return on investment will lead to that important currency called “customer trust”.

Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. If we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.

R. Buckminster Fuller

Path to Cradle2Cradle Certified™/2


Additional Posts on the Subject

There are a number of posts that talk about Cradle to Cradle Certified™:
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ – paving the way
>Path To Cradle2Cradle Certified™ – #1 How to get ready 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

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