12 Dec, 2023

Cradle to Cradle Certified® Draft Version 4.1 Standard Released for Public Comment

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute seeks input on the latest draft of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard during a public comment period from 12 December 2023 to 28 January 2024.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute invites all stakeholders to help shape Version 4.1 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard during an extended public comment period from 12 December 2023 to 28 January 2024.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.1 draft standard improves on the current Version 4.0 based on two years of user experience. While retaining the standard’s renowned robustness, the improvements will address implementation challenges and make the certification more achievable for companies operating in complex modern supply chains. 

Recognized as the world’s leading multi-attribute, science-based standard for safe, circular and responsibly made products, the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard provides a continuous improvement pathway for optimizing and verifying products that are made for tomorrow. The standard is used globally across industries by designers, brands and manufacturers for designing and making products that enable a healthy, equitable and sustainable future. 

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Draft Version 4.1 Standard was developed via a multi-stakeholder process led by the Institute in close collaboration with a dedicated taskforce of stakeholders and the Institute’s Standards Steering Committee, an independent standard-setting committee composed of Cradle to Cradle Certified certification holders, technical subject matter experts, and representatives from not-for-profit organizations and academia. Compared to Version 4.0, the changes in the Version 4.1 draft standard mainly aim to: 

  • Provide greater alignment with leading sustainability legislation globally

  • Increase flexibility and compliance pathways to accommodate regional and product sector-specific differences

  • Better align the requirements with current feasibility, while still incentivizing measurable improvement and innovation

  • Resolve implementation challenges for highly complex products and supply chains

Specifically, these changes include:

  • In the Material Health category, modified Bronze-level chemical restrictions  that more closely align with leading chemical regulations, serving as the first step in a broader set of restrictions with increased certification level.

  • In the Product Circularity category, modified requirements to provide more credit for reuse, remanufacturing, and other cycling pathways. 

  • In the Clean Air & Climate Protection ​category, more options for achieving the targets to use renewable electricity and address greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing and ensure alignment with industry best practice.​

  • In the Water & Soil Stewardship category, a shift of requirements involving tier 1 suppliers and third-party water treatment facilities to higher achievement levels, to better align with current feasibility. 

  • In the Social Fairness category, a modification of Bronze level requirements to focus on manufacturing facilities while still ensuring the category is aligned with leading international guidelines (e.g., UN Guiding Principles and OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business).​

  • In the Environmental Policy & Management category, the requirements have been fully aligned with the human rights due diligence requirements that already existed in the Social Fairness category. This provides a comprehensive set of environmental and human rights due diligence requirements aligned with the OECD Guidance and the upcoming EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.

A summary of all changes can be found in the Version 4.0 to draft Version 4.1 Comparison document.

After two years of Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard Version 4.0 use, we have gathered valuable insights from stakeholders. The proposed draft Version 4.1 takes into account feasibility feedback from the market as well as recent developments in legislation and industry best practices. The draft standard provides better alignment between standard requirements and business operational complexity in modern supply chains, while preserving its original rigor and robustness.

Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Institute’s Executive Director.


The Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.1 draft standard and public comment form can be found on the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute's dedicated page here.

Input received during the public comment period will be considered for inclusion in the final standard, slated for release in early 2024.

Links to draft Version 4.1 development documents: