What is the Cradle to Cradle certification?
Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is a system of scoring brands for their commitment to the circular economy – the reduction of waste and hazardous chemicals, more efficient uses of resources and the reuse of materials, energy efficiency and social responsibility.
There are five quality categories that C2C brands are assessed against:
- Material health: knowing the chemicals in every material in a product, and working towards safer materials.
- Material reutilisation: designing products made with materials that come from and can safely return to nature or industry.
- Renewable energy and carbon management, working towards a future in which all manufacturing is powered by 100% clean renewable energy.
- Water stewardship, managing clean water as a precious resource and an essential human right.
- Social fairness, designing fair and respectful operations for all people and natural systems.
A product receives a level for each category — Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — with the lowest achievement level representing the product’s overall mark.
A brief history of C2C
In 1992, McDonough and Braungart published a first book ‘The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability’, followed by .’Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ in 2002, mapping out the principles behind the Cradle to Cradle approach. In 2010, they set up the certification system and methodology and revealed it to the public through the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
They also launched the Fashion Positive programme, working with a community of pioneering brands such as Stella McCartney to clean up fashion, reduce waste and make clothes fairly and efficiently.