Certification Overview

Overview

CradletoCradleCertified-NoLevelThe Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM program is a third party, multi-attribute eco-label administered by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute that assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment and design for future life cycles. The program provides guidelines to help businesses implement the Cradle to Cradle framework, which focuses on using safe materials that can be disassembled and recycled as technical nutrients or composted as biological nutrients. Unlike single-attribute eco-labels, the Cradle to Cradle Certified program takes a comprehensive approach to  evaluating the design of a product and the practices employed in manufacturing the product. The materials and manufacturing practices of each product are assessed in five categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Responsibility.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified program was founded in 2005 by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). In 2010, William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart formed the non-profit Institute to manage and administer the certification program as an independent third-party organization.  MBDC gifted an exclusive license to the institute for the product certification mark and methodology.  MBDC is the leading service provider for the certification program and partners with product manufacturers to complete the certification process.  Learn more about consulting with MBDC to certify your product.

Download MBDC’s Certification Overview Brochure

Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Products                  

Products or materials from any industry or country are eligible to apply for certification. Since the program began in 2005, more than 150 companies from over 15 countries have participated in the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM program.  Currently there are over 425 certified products, which include building materials, interior design products, textiles and fabrics, paper and packaging, and personal and homecare products. Participating companies include United States Postal Service, Shaw Industries, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Method.

Products or materials from any industry that are sold to consumers or other businesses are eligible for certification. Certification criteria are the same for all product types. The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM program does not apply to people, businesses, buildings, or processes.

The official registry of Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM products is available on the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute website.

Categories & Levels of Achievement

The Cradle to Cradle framework has outlined a vision to guide product design and manufacturing, and the certification program recognizes varying levels of achievement towards that goal.  Under the current Version 3 of the program, there are five levels of product certification: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum. In order to be certified at a certain level, a product must meet the minimum criteria for that level in all five criteria categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Fairness.

Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Product Standard

The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Product Standard is managed and updated by the Institute’s Certification Standards Board. Unlike single-attribute eco-labels, the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM product standard takes a comprehensive approach to evaluating the design of a product and the practices employed in manufacturing the product. The materials and manufacturing processes of each product are assessed in five categories.  The standard applies equally to all products across various product categories or industries.

Material Health: Product ingredients are inventoried throughout the supply chain and evaluated for impacts to human and ecological  health.  The criteria at each level build towards the expectation of eliminating all toxic and unidentified chemicals and becoming nutrients for safe, continuous cycling.

Material Reutilization: Products are designed to either biodegrade safely as a biological nutrient or to be recycled into new products as a technical nutrient. At each level continued progress must be made towards increasing the recovery of materials and keeping them in continuous flows.

Renewable Energy & Carbon Management: The criteria at each level build towards the expectation of carbon neutrality and powering all operations with 100% renewable energy.

Water Stewardship: Processes are designed to regard water as a precious resource for all living things and at each level progress is made towards the expectation of of all effluent being clean enough to drink.

Social Fairness: Company operations are designed to celebrate all people and natural systems and progress is made towards having a wholly beneficial impact on the planet.

Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM is a certification mark licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.