C2C stands for Cradle to Cradle. The C2C principle is based on the reuse of healthy materials as new raw material or new product. For the inventors Michael Braungart, a German chemist, and William McDonough, an American architect, waste is equivalent to food, or ‘Waste Equals Food’. Upcycling of materials is the central focus in this. Reuse creates added value, in contrast to recycling or downcycling, in which waste remains at the end of the journey.
For materials that meet these strict requirements, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute created the C2C label. This sustainability label is awarded to companies or products that apply the C2C principle. In doing this, it takes account of the composition of the materials and their origin.
To qualify, products or companies are reviewed in five quality categories:
- Healthy and safe material use
- Reuse of materials
- Renewable energy and carbon management
- Water management
- Social responsibility and biodiversity
The product or company achieves a certain level in every category. The lowest level achieved ultimately determines the overall product score: