For my work at the Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association, I developed a presentation on certifications & metrics, for the Ecological Farming Association’s Eco-Farm pre-conference on Sustainable Business.
The presentation is posted here and provides a good overview of various types of certifications related to socially responsible business practices, products and services; the issues around certification and frameworks for measuring performance and backing up certification claims.
A certifications and standards proliferate and consumers become more savvy (and skeptical) about evaluating claims, verification continues to increase in importance for businesses. Indeed, major companies have announced significant third-party certification commitments while small/medium companies have increased their use of such labels. At the same time, more individual companies are developing their own sourcing programs and standards, and disclosing details about environmental, labor and wage conditions as back up. These all deliver greater transparency, representing multiple paths to social responsibility assurance.
Questions and comments are always welcome!