Introducing the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard Version 4.0 

How we design and make products today has a direct impact on the world we will inhabit tomorrow.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified​®​ Product Standard Version 4.0 is the most ambitious and actionable standard yet for designing and making products today that enable a healthy, equitable and sustainable future. 

Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 offers businesses of all sizes a comprehensive single-standard solution for advancing from commitment to action by addressing interconnected sustainability topics, and developing safe and circular products. The standard enables brands, manufacturers, retailers and product designers to:

  • Prioritize action across five sustainability focus areas: Material Health, Product Circularity, Clean Air & Climate Protection, Water & Soil Stewardship, and Social Fairness
  • Enact roadmaps for change, from product innovation to operations.
  • Transform business models, systems and collaboration throughout the value chain. 
  • Verify sustainability performance and measure progress.
  • Lead industry transformation towards a safe, circular and equitable future.

Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 Standard and Supporting Documents

What’s New in Version 4.0

Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 features new and enhanced requirements in all performance categories, including: 

  • New frameworks for Product Circularity and Social Fairness that define global best practices.
  • More rigorous requirements in Clean Air & Climate Protection that promote urgent action to address climate change. 
  • Expanded requirements in Water & Soil Stewardship to ensure clean water and healthy soils are available to people and all other organisms.
  • Improved alignment of Material Health requirements with leading chemical regulations and other standards, including a new Restricted Substances List.

How Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 was developed.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute developed Version 4.0 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard through a multi-stakeholder process informed by diverse technical subject matter experts, leading manufacturers, independent assessors, and other market representatives serving on the Institute’s Standards Steering Committee, as well as its Stakeholder Advisory Council and Technical Advisory Groups. 

Drafts of Version 4.0 were made available for public comment during two separate review periods, and the standard has been tested in the market through the Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 Pilot Program. Eight market-leading companies have participated in the program by working to certify products to draft requirements of the new standard.   

Public comment drafts of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard Version 4.0 and reference documents are available here.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute will begin accepting new applications to certify products to the Version 4.0 standard in July 2021.

Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 3.1 to Version 4.0 Transition Policy

This transition policy applies to both Cradle to Cradle certifications and Material Health Certificates.

Products currently certified to Version 3.1:  

Products currently certified to Version 3.1 may apply for certification to Version 4.0 beginning 1 July 2021(the Effective Date) and will be required to certify to Version 4.0 no later than 30 June 2024 (three years after the Effective Date).

Any certification issued under Version 3.1 after 30 June 2022 (one year after the Effective Date) will expire on 30 June 2024 (three years from the Effective Date).

Products ineligible for Version 4.0 certification will not be permitted to recertify to Version 3.1 after 1 July 2021 (the Version 4.0 Effective Date) unless it is possible to demonstrate a commitment to meet the Version 4.0 requirements within a certain timeframe. See the current list of products ineligible for Version 4.0 certification.

New product certifications: 

Applications and assessment summary forms for certification to Version 3.1 will be accepted until 1 April 2022 (nine months after the Version 4.0 Effective Date). Applications and assessment summary forms received after 1 April 2022 will be required to certify to Version 4.0.  

The deadline for issuance of new product certifications under Version 3.1 will be 1 July 2022 (one year after the Version 4.0 Effective Date).

Products ineligible for Version 4.0 certification will not be permitted to certify to Version 3.1 after 1 July 2021 (the Version 4.0 Effective Date) unless it is possible to demonstrate a commitment to meet the Version 4.0 requirements within a certain timeframe. See the current list of products ineligible for Version 4.0 certification.