15 January 2024
How the Cradle to Cradle Certified® program can contribute to the action plans launched under the European Green Deal
The Green Deal is a European Union initiative, launched in 2019 and created to address climate change challenges and advance on the path to a sustainable economy, which includes a number of main objectives:
- Achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
- Promote the circular economy.
- Promote sustainable mobility.
- Promote the use of renewable energies.
- Preserve and restore biodiversity.
- Farm to fork.
- Social justice.
Within the European Green Deal, specific action plans are being launched to contribute to the fulfillment of these objectives. Companies that are part of the industry will have an obligation to update themselves and be part of the sustainable transformation and to be prepared for the changes that are to come. The Cradle to Cradle® design framework is at the forefront of sustainable innovation and can be a very useful tool for companies to align themselves with these sustainable objectives set by the European Union and to advance in regulatory compliance.
The Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Program takes into account the company’s policies and practices along the entire value chain, integrating a holistic approach to address all impacts on people and the planet (greenhouse gas emissions, water use, human rights risk management, etc.). Transparency is fundamental in C2C® to determine these impacts, prevent and mitigate them.
This information is key to the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which obliges companies to report and which comes into force in stages starting this year. In the same direction, it provides key information for reporting on the technical criteria set by the European Sustainable Investment Taxonomy, which seeks to direct investment towards economic activities aligned with the objectives of the Green Deal.
Circular design and zero waste
The revision of the EU waste directive aims to improve waste management in the EU, reducing waste generation and preparing it for reuse and recycling. Furthermore, the new Ecodesign Regulation for sustainable products acts as a basis for moving towards product circularity.
C2C Certified® products are designed and manufactured for the circular economy. In fact, one of the Program’s categories is “Product Circularity”, and is approached from a full life cycle perspective:
- Origin of Materials – where do the materials that make up the products come from? The use of recycled materials, or materials from rapidly renewable sources, is encouraged.
- Designed to be reused, refurbished, remanufactured, repaired or recycled (technical cycle) or biodegradable or compostable (biological cycle).
- Circular systems: compatibility with existing recycling systems or development of an end-of-use recovery plan.
To enable consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, protect them from greenwashing and ensure that they receive reliable, comparable and verifiable environmental product information, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on environmental claims. This will establish new criteria to prevent companies from making misleading claims about the environmental merits of their products and services.
One of the important elements will be the Digital Product Passport, which will have to include information on the sustainability and environmental impacts of the product, as well as its durability and repairability.
Companies that have Cradle to Cradle Certified® products have third-party validation of the sustainability of their products, backed by the certification itself. As a result of the work done to obtain certification, companies have information on essential data points for the Digital Product Passport required under the ESPR.
On the other hand, for compliance with the C2C Certified(R) “Social Justice” category, companies must communicate internally and externally about their environmental and human rights policies of their own operations and the entire supply chain.
The EU Green Deal has become a catalyst for economic and business transformation, making the EU a leader in the fight against climate change. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Program enables companies to align with the objectives of the Green Deal and stay ahead of regulatory obligations. C2C Certified is the program that guides the creation of positive products for the present and the future.
Eco Intelligent Growth is one of 10 organizations accredited by Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute to help companies achieve product certification. Contact us if you want to be part of the circular transformation and obtain for your products one of the most demanding and complete international certifications in terms of circularity, safety and sustainability of materials.