While the trend is to go green, the sustainability of products has never been more in question. In response to this situation, the “Cradle to Cradle” label was created. This ecological certification was created in 2002 by a German chemist and head of the Agency for the Promotion of Environmental Protection, Michael Braungart, and William McDonough, an American architect and designer. It highlights companies that meet the criteria for certification and thus differentiate themselves from the competition through their ecological commitment. What exactly does this ecolabel consist of?
The history of Cradle to Cradle certification
Conceived in the 1980s but only formalised in 2002, the eco-design of a C2C (Cradle to Cradle) product requires that a manufactured product must be able, once recycled, to produce one or more products again with the possibility of a single addition of renewable energy intervening in the cycle. The waste is thus completely reintegrated into the production process.
In 2002, the creators of the label published a book entitled “Cradle to Cradle: Creating and recycling ad infinitum”, which quickly became an indispensable work for all entrepreneurs who wish to combine success and environmental well-being. Faced with this success and the extent of this movement, they developed their certification and labelled the “Cradle to Cradle” products themselves via their respective agencies. Thus, only products validated by the Mc Donough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) and Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) agencies can obtain the label.
What is Cradle to Cradle certification?
Defined as both a philosophy and a certification, it is first and foremost a method of supporting companies towards a circular economy. The objective is to have a positive ecological impact through the design of products that are either biodegradable or recyclable. In this way, the cradeulised products are part of a cycle, either biological, which brings them back to the earth, or a cycle in which the technical waste is used as raw material for other products. The production process must also be based as much as possible on the use of renewable energy.
There are no perfect products, but there are products that can be improved. This is why there are several levels of certification that can vary for the same product according to the 5 evaluation criteria.
What are the criteria for Cradle to Cradle certification?
The level of certification is decided by the C2C Product Innovation Institute according to five main criteria:
- Toxicity of the materials used: to determine the health effects
- Reuse of materials for new products or for ecological life cycle- Energy: use of renewable energy and greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions
- Water consumption
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Still little known to the general public and in France, this certification holds great promise for the future.