(1) Background: The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program (C2C Certified for short) is a scheme for the certification of products that meet the criteria and principles of the Cradle to Cradle®
design approach. The objective of this paper is to characterize C2C Certified as an instrument for external communication in the context of environmental labeling and declarations. (2) Method: An eco-label characterization scheme consisting of 22 attributes was used to analyze C2C Certified. In addition, it was compared with the established standardization labeling typologies, namely Type I and Type III. This was further illustrated in an example within the building and construction sector. (3) Results: C2C Certified can be classified neither as a Type I, nor a Type III label. The main weaknesses of C2C Certified from a labeling perspective are: the generic, but not product-specific focus of the awarding criteria, the lack of a life cycle perspective, and the incompletely transparent stakeholder involvement procedure. Nevertheless, for certain attributes (e.g., the awarding format), C2C Certified provides practical solutions and goes beyond a Type I eco-label. Substantial similarities between Type III declarations and C2C Certified cannot be identified. (4) Conclusions: The main advantages and shortcomings of C2C Certified from a labeling perspective are pointed out. The approach shows similarities to a Type I eco-label, and efforts toward conformance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) labelling standards would result in improving its comparability, recognition, and robustness.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited