The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and MBDC are making it easier than ever for manufacturers and designers to create and certify products according to the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard with the launch of a new guidance program.
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Foundations is a free, self-paced program that helps participants understand what is needed to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certification. It comprises four videos with accompanying worksheets and supplemental resources and walks participants through a step-by-step process for collecting key information in preparation to apply for Basic Level certification.
Basic level certification establishes a commitment to ongoing product assessment and optimization. By helping manufacturers understand where their product stands and establishing baselines across each of the five quality categories outlined in the C2C Certified™ Product Standard — material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness — it prepares companies to work with an Accredited Assessor to further optimize their product. Basic level certification is a provisional certification, meaning a product may only be certified once at this level and must re-certify at a higher level.
“Part of our work supporting the development of safe, healthy products and materials for the circular economy is to create learning pathways like the new Foundations Program, to help innovative companies move their products further along the path of continuous improvement,” said Lewis Perkins, President of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
“The Foundations Program aims to alleviate barriers to getting started on this path. By helping manufacturers through the initial certification process, we hope to broaden access to certification for a greater number of manufacturers and, ultimately, expand the pipeline of new products achieving certification across all industries.”
The Foundation Program was developed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in partnership with MBDC, the original authors of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard and an accredited Cradle to Cradle Certified assessment body. Content for the program is based on 20+ years of collaboration with companies on designing and optimizing materials and products according to Cradle to Cradle Certified methodology with Basic level certification in mind.
It also offers tools and tips for beginning the certification process at a lower cost while directly engaging with the supply chain to complete Basic level requirements. Step-by-step worksheets accompany the videos, guiding participants through the process of collecting key information, along with supporting documentation such as a Bill of Materials and Supplier Declaration form and establishing baselines on energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.
“The Foundations Program is a perfect next-step for learning how to implement Cradle to Cradle Certified within a company in preparation for connecting with accredited assessors who will then help companies innovate and advance to achieve higher levels of certification,” said Marisa Guber, Education Manager for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
“Many manufacturers aim to attain certification for their products, but are unsure of how to begin. This program bridges the gap by walking participants towards the Basic level certification, providing step-by-step guidance for how to get started and setting the foundation for higher levels of certification.”