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Characterization of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program in the Context of Eco-labels and Environmental Declarations

Department of Environmental Technology, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030738
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
(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. View Full-Text
Keywords: cradle to cradle; environmental labeling; eco-label; EPD; characterization; criteria; ISO cradle to cradle; environmental labeling; eco-label; EPD; characterization; criteria; ISO
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Minkov, N.; Bach, V.; Finkbeiner, M. Characterization of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program in the Context of Eco-labels and Environmental Declarations. Sustainability 2018, 10, 738.

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