What is Cradle to Cradle Certified™?

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy. 

Product designers, manufacturers and brands around the world rely on the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard as a transformative pathway for designing and making products with a positive impact on people and planet. From fragrances to flooring, t-shirts and jeans to water bottles and window treatments, thousands of products are Cradle to Cradle Certified. What’s more, a growing number of brands, organizations and standards also recognize Cradle to Cradle Certified as a preferred product standard for responsible purchasing decisions. 

Currently in its third iteration, the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard is rooted in the Cradle to Cradle® design principles established by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart. Standard requirements are developed through a stakeholder engagement process with input from technical experts, market leaders and the public. Version 4 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard will be available in draft form for public review and comment in summer 2019.

To receive certification, products are assessed for environmental and social performance across five critical sustainability categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. A product is assigned an achievement level (Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) for each category. A product’s lowest category achievement also represents its overall certification level. The standard encourages continuous improvement over time by awarding certification on the basis of ascending levels of achievement and requiring certification renewal every two years. 

Find out how to certify a product.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Assessment Categories

Each certification level represents increasingly rigorous achievement across five critical performance categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy and Carbon Management, Water Stewardship, and Social Fairness. 

The material health category helps to ensure products are made using chemicals that are as safe as possible for humans and the environment by leading designers and product developers through a process of inventorying, assessing and optimizing material chemistries. As a step towards full certification, manufacturers may also earn a separate Material Health Certificate for products that meet Cradle to Cradle Certified™ material health requirements.

Material Reutilization

The material reutilization category aims to eliminate the concept of waste by helping to ensure products remain in perpetual cycles of use and reuse from one product use cycle to the next.

Renewable Energy & Carbon Management

The renewable energy & carbon management category helps to ensure products are manufactured using renewable energy so that the impact of climate changing greenhouse gases due to the manufacturing of the product is reduced or eliminated.

Water Stewardship

The water stewardship category helps ensure water is recognized as a valuable resource, watersheds are protected, and clean water is available to people and all other organisms.

Social Fairness

The aim of this category is to design business operations that honor all people and natural systems affected by the manufacture of a product.