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Frequently asked questions

Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program

How much does certification cost?

The cost of certification varies depending on the complexity of the product, its ingredients, and its supply chain. Consequently, assessment fees range between thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. To receive an estimate, please contact one of the Institute's Accredited Assessors. For more information about fees charged by the Institute for certification and recertification, please contact the Institute at info(at) 

Can a product's certification be renewed?

Yes. Under the new Version 3.0 of the certification protocol, certifications are valid for two years from the date that the Institute issues a certificate. To renew the certification manufacturers work with their accredited assessors to submit a renewal packet that documents what changes, if any, have been made to the product and process during the certification period and to report on optimization progress. 

How long does certification take?

The timeline for certification is based on the complexity of the product and its supply chain. The certification timeline can range from six weeks to six months. For a cost and time estimate, contact an accredited assessor to submit a basic set of information for a cost and time quote.

What is the value of Cradle to Cradle Product Certification?

  • Independent, third-party verification of the product’s sustainability achievement and commitment
  • Differentiation from competing products and single-attribute ecolables as well as enhanced brand value
  • Expert assessment of the toxicity of all materials in the product to help avert risk and comply with local, state, national, and international regulations
  • Listing in the Institute's product registry as well as affiliated registries such as the C2CExpoLab's product library
  • Eligibility for points in USGBC’s LEED Program as an Environmentally Preferable Material in the LEED for Homes Rating System or under the Innovation in Design (.pdf)  category in other rating systems (
  • Listing in GreenWizard software that streamlines the process of sourcing and purchasing sustainable building materials and manages the documentation required for LEED certification
  • Eligibility to sell to federal agencies under the U.S. EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program
  • Ability to sell on eBay’s site for socially & environmentally just products
  • Use of the Cradle to Cradle Certified marks on products and promotional materials. Restrictions apply to products earning "BASIC" level under version 3.0 of the certified product standard.

Who develops the criteria for the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard?

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard was gifted to the Institute by co-founders William McDonough and Michael Braungart after 15 years of private development with many of the world’s top brands. Further development and improvement of the standard is governed by an independent Certification Standards Board, comprised of leaders from academia, the NGO environmental community, government, and industry

What sets the certified products program apart? is currently tracking more than 450 ecolabels.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified mark is a not an ecolabel so much as a quality mark, one that the Institute is working to make the preferred quality mark for designers and manufacturers worldwide. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Program assesses a product's achievement across five quality categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy and Carbon Management, Water Stewardship, and Social Fairness. Continuous improvement in this systems-approach spurs the creation of truly innovative, high-quality, and beautiful products and transforms the production of consumer products into a positive force for society and the environment. The mark provides consumers, regulators, employees, and industry peers with a clear, tangible understanding of a product’s sustainability.

Who can use the Cradle to Cradle Certified logos?

The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Products image mark and word mark can be used only in reference to products that have been certified at a specified level of achievement by the Institute's Cradle to Cradle® Certification program. The certification marks must include the level of achievement and directly refer to the specific product(s) that are certified. The marks do NOT apply to people, companies, processes, buildings, etc.

Cradle to Cradle Certified is a certification mark licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Any other trademark notations, including SM, TM, or ® are not applicable to this program. The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is the administrator of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program and licenses use of the certification marks and word marks.

Cradle to Cradle® is a separate registered trademark owned and licensed by McDonoughBraungart Design Chemistry, LLC (MBDC). This trademark is reserved for reference to Cradle to Cradle® brand services, design framework, methodologies, or principles. It should not be used to refer to the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program.

More information pertaining to use of the marks is available here.