The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard guides designers and manufacturers through a continual improvement process that looks at a product through five quality categories — material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. A product receives an achievement level in each category — Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — with the lowest achievement level representing the product’s overall mark.
Product assessments are performed by a qualified independent organization trained by the Institute. Assessment Summary Reports are reviewed by the Institute, which certifies products meeting the Standard requirements, and licenses the use of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ word and design marks to the product manufacturer. Every two years, manufacturers must demonstrate good faith efforts to improve their products in order to have their products recertified.
Overall Product Scoring
A product receives an achievement level in each category — Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — with the lowest achievement level representing the product’s overall mark. The chart below is an example of a product scorecard:
A continuous improvement standard
The certification process recognizes transition and human intention as part of any successful protocol for continuous product improvement. The program also recognizes that any manufacturer’s knowledge may vary widely regarding the chemicals used in a product, the extent to which the materials in a product can be reused in biological or technical cycles, and the energy and water used to produce a product. The goal of continuous improvement is not “zero” or simply reducing the human and environmental impact of a product, but instead combines the progressive reduction of “bad” with the increase in “good.” See the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard for more information on the requirements for product optimization.
Every manufacturer receiving the certification mark for their product is required to make a good faith effort toward optimization.