Cradle to Cradle Certified Foundations Program Offers Free Guidance for Achieving Cradle to Cradle Certification

New Program from Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and MBDC Helps Designers, Manufacturers Work Towards Cradle to Cradle Product Certification

A new guidance program is now available for manufacturers and designers looking to create and certify products according to the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard, a continual improvement standard that assesses products across five quality categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Foundations is a free, self-paced program that helps participants understand what’s needed to get on the path toward Cradle to Cradle Certification. Comprised of four videos along with accompanying worksheets and supplemental resources, the course walks participants through a step-by-step process for collecting key information in preparation to apply for Basic Level certification.

“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 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 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.”

The Foundations 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 forms, and establishing baselines on energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.

Cradle to Cradle Certified Basic Level

Basic level certification is a starting place for achieving Cradle to Cradle Certified, and establishing 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, 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. Products certified at the Basic level under Version 3.0 do not display the logo on their product, but may refer to it online and in print marketing materials.

To learn more or register for the program, visit

About the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Product Standard

The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard guides designers and manufacturers through a continual improvement process that looks at a product through five quality categories — material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. A product receives an achievement level in each category — Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum — with the lowest achievement level representing the product’s overall mark.

Product assessments are performed by a qualified independent organization trained by the Institute.Assessment Summary Reports are reviewed by the Institute, which certifies products meeting the Standard requirements, and licenses the use of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ word and design marks to the product manufacturer. Every two years, manufacturers must demonstrate good faith efforts to improve their products in order to have their products recertified.

About the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to turn the making of things into a positive force for people, the economy, and the planet. It administers the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Program, a guidance system for assessing and continually improving products based upon five sustainability characteristics: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness. The Institute is headquartered in Oakland and Amsterdam, NL. For more information, visit or follow @C2CCertified on Twitter and Instagram.