Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 redefines sustainability

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has released Version 4.0 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard, the ambitious and actionable standard yet for designing products, which enable a healthy and sustainable future. The institute is dedicated to powering circular economy through products that have a positive impact on the planet.

The new Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 standard is a comprehensive framework that enables companies to prioritise action across five sustainability focus areas which includes Material Health that ensures materials are safe for humans and the environment; Product Circularity enables a circular economy through regenerative products and process design; Clean Air & Climate Protection that protect clean air, promoting renewable energy, and reducing harmful emissions; Water & Soil Stewardship that safeguard clean water and healthy soils; Social Fairness which respect human rights and contributing to a fair and equitable society, according to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

The framework enables companies to enact change, from product innovation to operations; transform business models, systems, and collaboration throughout the value chain; verify performance and measure progress towards sustainability commitments; and lead industry transformation towards a safe, circular, and equitable future. 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.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute developed the new 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 Programme. Eight market-leading companies have participated in the program by working to certify products to draft requirements of the new standard. The first products certified to Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 will be announced this spring, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute said in a media statement.

“Cradle to Cradle Certified has long been regarded as the most trusted and advanced science-based standard for designing and manufacturing products that maximise health and wellbeing for people and our planet. The fourth version of Cradle to Cradle Certified builds on this legacy by equipping brands, retailers, designers and manufacturers with actionable guidance and best practices for choosing safer materials, driving meaningful innovation, and creating products, systems and business models that have a positive impact on humans and the environment today, and in the future,” Peter Templeton, Institute president and CEO said in a statement.

“Companies in every sector face growing pressure from investors, customers, employees and other stakeholders to demonstrate environmental, social and governance performance and to communicate progress in credible and transparent ways. Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 offers businesses of all sizes an ambitious solution for advancing from commitment to action by addressing interconnected sustainability topics, and developing safe and circular products. By benchmarking performance against the standard’s ascending levels of achievement, companies can set strategy, measure progress, and clearly communicate their impact and leadership to their stakeholders,” Christina Raab, vice president of strategy and development for the institute said in a statement.

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