16 November 2011 – Report
Signed, Sealed… Shipped? explores the worth and challenges that companies get in using certification and labeling as tools to enhance economic, environment and social final results across global value chains.
Certification, labeling and also the standards-setting organizations in it happen to be pioneers in creating a more sustainable economy. For companies, they offer a reputable, consensus-set reference for collective action, use of expertise and systems, and may spur interest in licensed or labeled goods. However the very traits — governance and inclusiveness — which make consensus-based standards so helpful as credible systems for collective action also pose challenges for companies trying to move rapidly and also to differentiate themselves available on the market. And like every tool, certification and labeling have limits — including limits to scale.
We conclude that there’s a necessity to deconstruct and evolve that old model that mixes standards, certification as well as on-pack marks. Rather we urge a change towards new based on progressively demanding and pre-competitive standards, above which brands compete, collaborate and partner with civil society to change supply chains and consumer norms and behavior, where civil society and government evolve more efficient and effective methods for holding business accountable.
Watch the summary video or download the entire report below.
Please join the controversy by leaving comments here on what you consider must happen next. Or join the conversation on Twitter @SustAbility #beyondlabels.
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