Which organisations are involved?
As an accredited assessor EPEA carries out the certification process for the customers. Tasks include material assessment and process evaluation as well as, if necessary, site visits. Subsequently the assessment summary report is handed over to the C2CPII (see below) with a proposal for an achieved certification level.
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) was founded in 2010 as a certifying body in San Francisco. Since 2011 it has been responsible for auditing the certifications, issuing certificates and organizing the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification program worldwide.
What can be certified?
The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification program has been developed for products and related processes including the aspects water management, use of renewable energy and social standards.
Companies, services, food items or people cannot be certified. Regarding product ingredients, the presence of certain chemicals (see Banned List) in the product can prevent the certification of a product.
In addition, products are not certified if they do not fit conceptually into the Cradle to Cradle® principles.
If a customer intends to certify a series of very similar products, there is the possibility to realize this as a product group. Only one site visit is required and one certificate per product group is issued. This is inexpensive but less flexible if a product of the group is changed.
What is a Material Health Certification?
In the Cradle to Cradle Material Health Certification only the material health of the ingredients is evaluated according to the methodology of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard. The certificate provides manufacturers with a reliable means of external communication regarding chemical material properties of their products.
What are the certification levels?
Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The levels also apply to the Material Health Certificate.
How is the delivered data checked?
The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Certification system is based on trust and credibility rather than control. With the signature of the management the customer declares the correctness of the numbers and the contents of the data records. In many cases analytical investigations are required for verification; further details are available in the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard.
In addition, the customer is visited on site to better understand and verify the production process. The aim is to establish a direct contact with the customer and to get an impression of the production, which facilitates the assessment of the supplied information and data.
How far do I have to consider the production process?
As a rule, all data from chemicals contained in the final product has to be collected. This data is often obtained along the main manufacturing steps of the production process.
Example: For the certification of a t-shirt data about spinning, weaving, dyeing and equipment has to be collected (but not on the production process of the dyes).
During the certification process, a project manager from EPEA will provide you with detailed information.
Where can I gather the required data?
The customer either possesses the data or inquires it from his suppliers.
What should I do if my supplier does not want to give me the information due to confidentiality?
In general, it is the customer’s task to negotiate with suppliers and to agree upon cooperation in the concrete certification project. This is the most effective approach based on experience. As a follow up, EPEA may sign a secrecy agreement or non-disclosure agreement with the supplier so that confidential data can be exchanged directly between supplier and EPEA.
How long does the certification process take?
If all the data is available from the customer and / or supplier, the assessment by EPEA and the issuing of the certificate by the C2CPII is usually expected to take about 6-8 weeks. This period may be extended, especially if a customer wants to have a larger number of products certified at a given time. Another factor is the feasibility of a site visit during this period.
How much does a certification cost?
The costs mainly depend on the number of ingredients to be assessed, the number of processes to be assessed and the cost of the site visit. An exact budget can only be given if the number of ingredients is known or can be estimated.
For EPEA costs arise due to the evaluation of material health and material reusability, data evaluation of water, energy and social aspects in production as well as project management including communication with suppliers. In addition, there may be additional costs for a site visit of the production site done by EPEA.
The cost of auditing the certification report is invoiced separately by the C2CPII. The current fees are available on the C2CPII website.
How long is the certificate valid?
A certificate is valid for two years from the date of issue. Then a re-certification is required, otherwise the product is discontinued.
Is the certificate valid worldwide?
Customers also receive a license agreement from the C2CPII regarding the use of the logo which must be checked and signed. Certificates are valid worldwide according to the terms of the license agreement. MBDC is the owner of the Cradle to Cradle® trademark, C2CPII is licensed to use the certification label.
Both the certification standard and all directives and regulations are published on the C2CPII website.
I already have different certifications – are other certifications recognized or taken into account?
In general, no other certificate is directly taken into consideration. However, during the evaluation of energy use, water management and social aspects, existing internationally recognized certificates (such as FSC and GOTS) are considered. This may lead to a better rating.
How may I use the C2C logo?
There are two licensed logos associated with the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ program. The following logos may only be used once the entire certification process is completed or a trademark licensing agreement has been signed.
- Word mark – Cradle to Cradle Certified™ in words
- Design mark in combination with achieved level, e.g.
Further information: http://www.c2ccertified.org/resources/detail/trademark_use_guidelines
In which documents can I find further information?
On the EPEA website you will find documents (partly as links) which will inform you about the principles and procedure of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification.
- Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard
- Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Certification Flyer
- Step by step instructions towards a Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Certificate
Are you interested or do you have specific products for certification? Please contact us at GetCertified@epea.com. In a detailed offer we present the process sequence with the anticipated time frame and budget.