How companies design and make products today has a direct impact on the world we will inhabit tomorrow. Cradle to Cradle Certified® is the global standard for forward-thinking products that are safe, circular, and responsibly made. It guides the designers and manufacturers of sustainable products through a continuous process of improvement that looks at a product’s health impact; circularity; air, water, and soil protection; climate change stewardship; and equity.

For more than a decade, leading brands, designers, retailers, and manufacturers have relied on the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard to innovate and optimize their materials, products, and systems. It is perhaps the world’s most trusted and advanced science-based standard for designing and manufacturing products that maximize health and wellbeing, assessing products across different sustainability performance categories. Cradle to Cradle Certified products have immediate and long-term positive impacts on companies and their workers, consumers, and the planet.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute developed, evolves, and administers the C2C Certified standard. Companies work with qualified independent assessment bodies to ensure that a product meets the standard’s requirements. Through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with businesses, governments, and other stakeholders, the Institute develops technical frameworks and disseminates knowledge. The overall goal is to power the global shift to a circular economy.

They’re transforming the way products are designed and made. Since the program began, more than 700 companies from 40+ countries have gained Cradle to Cradle certification for 10,000 products. Categories include building materials, interior design and household products, automotive, consumer electronics, textiles and apparel, cosmetics and personal care, cleaning products, paper, packaging and polymers. If you’re looking for HVAC or hand soap, dresses or drywall, there’s a C2C certified option on the registry.

About the Product Standard

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard examines

  1. Material Health: ensuring materials are safe for humans and the environment
  2. Product Circularity: enabling a circular economy through regenerative products and process design
  3. Clean Air & Climate Protection: protecting clean air, promoting renewable energy, and reducing harmful emissions
  4. Water & Soil Stewardship: safeguarding clean water and healthy soils
  5. Social Fairness: respecting human rights and contributing to a fair and equitable society

The standard helps manufacturers develop and implement change, from product innovation to operations. Companies are transforming their business models and systems, collaborating to drive sustainability and wellness up and down the value chain. Third-party verification goes beyond accredited labs evaluating individual products. Consultants helps measure a company’s progress toward larger sustainability goals and ethical initiatives. C2C certification is driving transformation towards a safe, circular and equitable future.

Products are assigned an achievement level for each of the five categories: levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum. The overall certification level awarded by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute corresponds to the lowest level of achievement among the five categories. Examining three C2C-certified drywall products from three different manufacturers might show that all are awarded Bronze and all will contribute to LEED credits on material ingredients disclosure. But closer examination might reveal that one manufacturer emphasizes recycling and reuse; another focuses more on the health impacts of materials; the third has made strides in sustainable water use and equity. Where do your priorities lie? By awarding overall certification on the basis of the “weakest link,” and requiring certification renewal every two years, the Institute encourages and rewards continuous improvement towards positive impacts over time.

®Cradle to Cradle Certified is a registered trademark of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Find lots more information on product and building standards in “23 Green Certifications to Look For When You’re Building or Remodeling Your Home.”