Cradle to Cradle – just a certification?
295, 625 and 8,000 – what do these numbers represent? They are Cradle to Cradle (C2C) in a way: 295 companies, 625 certificates and 8,000 products as different as furniture, clothing, cosmetics – and building materials are part of the Cradle to Cradle idea.
They all have one target: To have a prosperous economy where safe materials are intelligently cycled and manufactured in ways that positively impact people and planet. Surely, this is an ambitious target and it needs a lot to be reached. But the recognition of Cradle to Cradle has significantly grown over the last years.
So, what is C2C? Basically, it is a certification standard for products that look at multiple attributes and aim to support a positive, sustainable growth strategy.
The history of Cradle to Cradle
The first C2C product certification was done in 2005. The year 2010 saw the foundation of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, introducing an organization to strengthen the idea and define and develop the standards for C2C. Currently, the standard is valid in its version 3.1. For 2020, the introduction of the standard v4.0 is planned. This new version will take the requirements even further: On the general level, non-circular products will be out of scope; environmental risks of the final manufacturing stage will be taken into account. For the new standard, manufacturers will be required to be actively involved in circularity initiatives and also involve (potential) partners and suppliers in their activities. The new standard also looks at renewable energy and impact on the climate as well as the respect for human rights standards. All in all, the new version will be the next step in developing C2C further and bring the activities of manufacturers to a higher level.
Cradle to Cradle in practice
In practice, Cradle to Cradle products feature many advantages. When looking at C2C Silver certified tiles for example, the products are produced responsibly with fair labor. The manufacturer uses renewable energy and focuses on the use of water and a small carbon footprint. During its use-time, the tiles contribute to a healthy indoor climate, creating comfort for its users. After its use-time, they can be safely recycled. During the whole cycle, the tiles represent a safe material for humans and the environment. This is independently assessed and verified by the Cradle to Cradle certificate, and because of these aspects, Cradle to Cradle products fit seamlessly in ‘green’ building and product labels.
At Mosa, we strongly believe in this approach. Therefore, we take an active part in the Cradle to Cradle movement and are proud that – as the first tile manufacturer worldwide – nearly our whole collection of tiles is Cradle to Cradle Silver certified.
If you are interested in learning more about the Cradle to Cradle certification and its contribution to circularity in the building industry, watch our Circular Construction webinar here.