Cradle to cradle impact study: Technical report

Cradle to cradle impact study: Technical report

Trucost was commissioned by the Institute to determine the impacts of Cradle to Cradle Certified product certification, and define a Framework that assists current and future stakeholders to carry out further analysis.

This will enable companies to develop an insight into the returns on sustainable innovation in the fields of environment, society and business, to demonstrate the positive and negative impacts of certification to the company and at a product level, upon these three fields. Further consideration is given to the impact of optimization or continuous improvement, which is integral to the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard, and apparent through advancement through certification levels, from Cradle to Cradle Certified BASIC to PLATINUM.

The study identified several companies with Cradle to Cradle Certified products that achieved higher than average sales performance and increased revenues, alongside cost savings related to resource efficiency improvements. As this study represents the first attempt to assess the economic impact of pursuing Cradle to Cradle Certified product certification, the approach was new and bespoke, and companies were not yet able to deliver all of the requested data at a product level.

However, the findings reflect the transparency apparent for the Standard, with detailed disclosure of data to Accredited Assessment Bodies for material assessment, as well as process and tier one supply chain transparency for achievement of higher level certification.

Business benefits linked to improved resource efficiency, resource re-use and reduced toxicity of product materials were also identified, including mitigation of risks associated with price volatility, supply crises and ‘polluter pays’ regulatory costs, as well as the creation of new revenue streams and improved product value. The removal of toxic materials from Cradle to Cradle Certified products creates additional benefits for human well-being and future product use cycles through more positive product material inputs, safer product production and greater re-use of product materials.

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