Why do a C2C pre-audit before embarking on Cradle to Cradle Certified® certification?


Cradle to Cradle Certified® (validated by C2CPII) is recognized as a gold standard for sustainability and environmental responsibility. However, before embarking on this demanding process, it may be useful to understand the importance of a C2C pre-audit. This article explores in detail the benefits of a pre-audit and how it paves the way to successful certification.

I. Cradle to Cradle Certified® certification at a glance

Cradle to Cradle Certified® assesses products in five key categories: material non-toxicity, material reuse, production site energy and carbon management, production site water management and social equity.

With levels ranging from bronze to platinum, this certification encourages continuous improvement and highlights companies that stand out in their commitment to sustainability (you can find detailed information in our article“All you need to know about Cradle to Cradle Certified®“).

Cradle to Cradle Certified® is also an enormous competitive advantage, since it is the guarantee of a virtuous and successfulcircular economy strategy. It’s a guarantee of excellence for the climate and the environment.

However, aiming for this certification implies meeting several challenges:

  1. Complexity of evaluation criteria: C2C criteria are interdependent and require deep integration into all facets of the company. In particular, it requires a great deal of precise information to be obtained from suppliers.
  2. Investment in time and resources: Certification requires a significant investment. Rigorous preparation minimizes the resources required, and ensures that the certification process is efficiently structured.
  3. Organizational change management: Adopting C2C principles may require substantial change. A pre-audit helps map this transformation journey, ensuring a smooth transition.

II. What is a C2C pre-audit?

A C2C pre-audit is an initial assessment that enables companies to position themselves in relation to the rigorous requirements of certification. It serves as a strategic planning tool, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, to ensure that efforts are well directed and resources put to good use. It gives an initial idea of the effort required and the chances of achieving certification, before allocating time and a budget that can be substantial if the product is complex.

III. The benefits of pre-audit

Having a pre-audit carried out before embarking on Cradle to Cradle Certified® certification has several advantages:

a) Certification

At certification level, the pre-audit enables :

  1. Early identification and resolution of challenges directly linked to the certification standard: the pre-audit reveals potential obstacles, offering the opportunity to address them before they become more problematic.
  2. Optimization of resources and cost reduction: by accurately identifying needs, the pre-audit helps avoid unnecessary expenditure and allocate resources more efficiently.
  3. Strategic guidance and alignment of objectives: the pre-audit serves as a roadmap, aligning the company’s practices with C2C criteria and ensuring that every action contributes to the certification objective.

b) At company level

The pre-audit also enables improvements to be made at company level, even outside the certification process:

  1. Improved sustainability and environmental footprint: the pre-audit encourages sustainable practices that have an immediate positive impact on the environment.
  2. Reputation and marketing benefits: committing your company to C2C certification, even in the pre-audit phase, strengthens your brand image and your positioning as a leader in sustainability.
  3. Preparing for environmental regulations and standards: Pre-auditing helps you anticipate and comply with environmental standards, positioning you as a proactive leader.


The road to Cradle to Cradle Certified® is ambitious and demanding, but also incredibly rewarding. A C2C pre-audit is not only recommended; it’s essential for successfully navigating this complex process. It ensures that your company is well prepared to meet the challenges and maximize the opportunities presented by Cradle to Cradle Certified® certification.

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