The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Material Health Certificate recognizes products that avoid the use of harmful chemicals or toxic materials, in accordance with Cradle to Cradle’s Certified Product Standard. The C2C product standard is administered by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) to incentivize environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing practices. It is used by designers and manufacturers to evaluate the impacts of manufactured goods at each phase of the life cycle, from manufacturing, use, and reuse, to end of life. In order to obtain a Material Health Certificate, manufacturers must disclose information about product ingredients, avoid chemicals of concern, and commit to continue making improvements in their materials.1
While the C2C Certified Product Standard requires products to meet benchmarks across five categories: material health, product circularity, renewable energy and climate, water stewardship, and social fairness. the Material Health Certificate is a standalone certification that only requires products to be assessed in the Material Health category. Manufacturers apply separately for a Material Health Certificate. They are evaluated by C2CPII-accredited third-party assessors according to the same methodology.2
C2C’s product standard offers five achievement levels, but the Material Health Certificate excludes the lowest of these (Basic), holding products to a higher standard to qualify.3 Products that receive the minimum achievement level, Bronze, must disclose all ingredients and develop a strategy to phase out or optimize all x-assessed or grey-rated chemicals. They may not contain toxic chemicals, as specified by the Basic Level Restricted Substances List—previously known as the Banned List—at levels above the minimum designated thresholds. A product with a Silver rating must have low VOC emissions and contain no carcinogens, mutagens, or reproductive toxins. To achieve a Gold rating, products cannot contain x-assessed chemicals and must be fully optimized. The highest rating, Platinum, is awarded only to products with all process chemicals assessed and no x-assessed chemicals.4 The Material Health achievement level is displayed on the certificate. Any kind of product is eligible, except for those listed in Section 2.2 of C2CPII’s Product Standard Version 4. Material Health Certificates are listed online on C2C’s Material Health Certificate Registry. Certificates must be renewed every two years.