Gaines Group Architects

Green Word Defined – Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to cradle is a play on the phrase “Cradle to Grave,” implying that the C2C model is sustainable and considerate of life and future generations. C2C takes a holistic view of materials that takes into account all aspects of production, use, and disposal of a product. In fact, the product is essentially waste free. The term Cradle to Cradle is a registered trademark of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) consultants. 


Cradle to Cradle Products have five certification criteria:

  • material health, which involves identifying the chemical composition of the materials that make up the products. 
  • Material re-utilization  which is about recovery and recycling at the end of the product life.
  • Assessment of energy required for production, which for the highest level of certification needs to be based on at least 50% renewable energy for all parts and sub-assemblies.
  • Water, particularly usage and discharge quality.
  • Social responsibility, which assesses fair labor practices.