Announcing Draft Restricted Substance List for Cradle to Cradle Certified™ V4

During the past year, the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard has experienced great momentum. Most notably, we have recorded a significant increase in the number of Cradle to Cradle Certified products, the US Environmental Protection Agency recognized Cradle to Cradle Certified as a top-tier product sustainability standard in its new federal green purchasing guidelines, and Home Depot and Wal-Mart have both recognized Cradle to Cradle Certified as one of only a handful of third-party verification programs for green chemistry and safer materials.

As Cradle to Cradle Certified continues to grow in recognition and value in the global marketplace, so does our responsibility to ensure the standard remains at the leading edge of product sustainability standards worldwide. We periodically revise the standard with this responsibility in mind. You may already be aware that we are currently in the midst of just such a revision process, with plans to introduce Version 4 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard at the end of 2018.

During the Version 4 revision, the Institute’s Certification Standards Board recognized an opportunity to update our List of Banned Chemicals so that it more closely aligns with leading international chemical regulations. As a result, we are proposing some significant changes to the List of Banned Chemicals for Version 4. In addition to introducing a new name (the list will now be referred to as the Basic Level Restricted Substances List, or RSL).

The revised list will be expanded to include a more comprehensive list of individual substances and substance groups to more fully align with leading international chemical regulations. These regulations currently represent the most comprehensive and precautionary set of chemical regulations in existence. One of the most notable changes to the list is the inclusion of the entire class of organohalogens. While the current list only includes PVC and a limited number of other organohalogens, the new RSL will include the entire class of organohalogens (which includes PVC).

We believe RSLs are an important first line of defense in identifying and eliminating chemicals of concern. This new Version 4 RSL ensures that the users of Cradle to Cradle Certified (consumers and specifiers) have the utmost confidence that products certified under the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard meet the strictest international requirements, even at the lowest levels of certification. However, it is important to note that the Version 4 RSL contains only the proposed chemical restrictions that are a Basic level requirement of certification (i.e. they are an entry-level screen applicable to all certification levels). At the Bronze level and above, toxicological assessment of the chemicals present in the applicant product following the Cradle to Cradle Certified Material Health Assessment Methodology is required. Only substances that are deemed safe for humans and the environment through this detailed assessment are allowed in products at the Gold and Platinum level.

The new RSL has been approved by the Certification Standards Board but it is still in draft form. Once the revisions work is complete, the entire draft Version 4 standard will go through at least one public comment period prior to being finalized. Announcements regarding the public comment period will be sent to our mailing list (to subscribe to our mailing list, click here).

Once Version 4 is launched, current certification holders will have two years or more to transition to the new standard (some changes may not take effect until 2020 or beyond). However, because the proposed RSL changes will mean that some currently certified products may no longer be eligible for certification if they contain substances now included on the RSL (at a concentration above the allowable threshold), we want to provide you with a preview of the Version 4 draft RSL requirements.

We have posted the draft RSL to our website for your review. Click here to view the draft Version 4 RSL and click here for a FAQ sheet with more details. We hope this FAQ sheet will help to address any immediate questions or concerns you may have about the upcoming changes.