Promoting environmental certification schemes

Certifying environmentally sound production
Product labelling is an important way of providing information to the public. This can be neutral (e.g. providing a factual list of the names of ingredients) or evaluative (e.g. warning that the product can endanger the environment). It is essential that the public are provided with sufficient information, in an appropriate form, to enable them to make informed choices which benefit the environment. Minimum criteria for labelling should be established on a mandatory basis, to ensure a level playing field, and can usefully be supplemented by voluntary labelling schemes. In both cases, the content of labelling should be consistent with the findings of full life-cycle analysis, so that the consumer is able to get a balanced picture of the environmental implications of consuming the product.
A certification scheme, which is currently under preparation in eastern Europe, will encourage industry to continuously apply cleaner production principles throughout their environmental management system. The certificate will highlight environmentally proactive companies and give them bonus points when applying for bank loans. The first companies eligible to apply for the certificate will come from the long-term interactive training, alongside other companies that can quantify improvements in their environmental management. This certificate will not act as a competitive label for existing schemes but as a complimentary one, aimed at improving existing environmental management mechanisms.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is establishing a set of globally-agreed principles and criteria for sustainable fishing, developing a process for international implementation and conducting test cases for certification of fisheries. Only fisheries meeting these standards will be eligible for certification by independent, certifying firms accredited by the MSC. Products from fisheries certified to MSC standards will be marked with an on-pack logo. This will allow consumers to select fish products that they know come from sustainable, well-managed sources, thus creating a market incentive for industry to shift to sustainable fishing practices.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions