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Cradle to Cradle Certified Enters New Era, $250,000 Product Innovation Challenge Announced

-- Challenge created to inspire safe and healthy materials for affordable homes

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a new era for the Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) program. Today at the United States Greenbuilding Council's Greenbuild conference, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute announced details on version 3.0 of the certification, as well as a new Product Innovation Challenge with $250,000 to be awarded to three winners. The Institute's goal is to drive innovation in safe and healthy building materials based on Cradle to Cradle principles.  

The new Product Innovation Challenge delivers on a key part of the Institute's mission—to inspire the creation of safe and healthy products. The idea is to follow the example of projects like Park 20|20 in The Netherlands—an office park built based on Cradle to Cradle design principles. Coert Zachariasse, of Delta Development Group, is the developer of Park 20|20 and one of the judges. The challenge is possible because of the generous support of the 'Dutch:Nationale Postcode Loterij' (Dutch Postcode Lottery) and the Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt.

Co-founder William McDonough said, "The Institute was created to make the Cradle to Cradle Certified protocol widely available around the world and to inspire innovation based on the Cradle to Cradle principles that Michael Braungart and I have developed over time. This new era of certification and the Product Innovation Challenge deliver on the Institute's founding goals. I am inspired by the progress that is under way."

"With the new version of certification we feel confident that many companies and people will start to prefer Cradle to Cradle Certified as the gold standard—the mark that makes a difference," said Bridgett Luther, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

The Product Innovation Challenge

The Institute challenges companies to design a product for the affordable housing market that meets the Cradle to Cradle Certified Program criteria. The product must be superior in its concern for human health, have a positive environmental impact, and be designed for reuse. The goal is to inspire rethinking common materials such as PVC-based products, drywall, coatings and finishes, and products such as furnishings.

The winners will share a cash prize of $250,000. The grand prize is $125,000. Second place wins $75,000, and third will receive $50,000. Entries may be submitted starting immediately and submissions are due no later than June 30, 2013. Winners will be announced at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild conference in November 2013.

Full contest details including rules and instructions for entering are available at

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Program: Highlights From a New Era

  • All new product certifications are governed by version 3.0 as of January 1, 2013
  • Future revisions to the standard will be overseen by the Institute, and implemented by an independent Certification Standards Board
  • Current certification holders can maintain certifications under the previous standard (2.1.1) for two years, until December 31, 2014
  • The program is based on a commitment to continuous improvement and now offers five levels of achievement beginning with basic, then bronze, silver, gold, and platinum
  • Basic is now a provisional certification, rewritten to get companies on the path of continuous improvement
  • Bronze level is new, added as a logical step up the certification ladder as products are improved and working toward the ideal of platinum

More details are available on the Institute website, including full documentation of Version 3.0.

About the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a nonprofit organization co-founded by William McDonough and Michael Braungart based on 30 years of work with industry.  Its mission is to bring about a large-scale transformation in the way we make things.  Through the Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) program, the Institute provides a continuous improvement quality standard to guide product manufacturers and designers toward making safe and healthy things for our world.

Learn more at

About PR Newswire
Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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