Third-Party Certification - A Tool to Ensure Sustainability

| 7/5/2011 2:46:51 PM

Many businesses claim their products are sustainable. But how can you, as a consumer, be sure that their claims really are true?   

Third-party certification is the best way to demonstrates to the public that a company's claims about itself are reliable, and have been substantiated by an independent, outside party.

Rainforest Alliance certification is built on three pillars of sustainability -- environmental protection, social equity and economic viability -- and no single pillar can support long-term success on its own. However, balancing environmental and social concerns with the economic, technical and cultural realities that loggers, farmers and tourism businesses face can be challenging. To address this challenge the Rainforest Alliance relies on standards that have been developed in collaboration with locally based NGOs and stakeholders (including government, businesses, scientists and academics). When farms and forestry operations meet these standards, they earn the right to use widely recognized marks signifying sustainability -- the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal and/or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo -- to attract conscientious consumers. 

 Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee 

 © Rainforest Alliance

Why certification? The Rainforest Alliance places great emphasis on third-party certification because we believe it is one of the most effective tools for conserving natural resources while helping local populations thrive. Rainforest Alliance certification is based on standards that ensure ecosystems are sustained, and workers have access to health care, training, dignified housing and education for their children. When land users and businesses produce goods and provide services according to these standards they are putting themselves on the path to a better future and protecting resources and the environment for generations to come  And through the purchase of Rainforest Alliance Certified and Verified products and services, consumers can vote with their dollars --rewarding responsible businesses for their efforts.

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