In today’s increasingly complex environment, many businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments are implementing sustainability-based improvements. Their goal is to proactively manage an accelerating mix of social, environmental, market, and technological risks.

Often these organizations are using sustainability-related certification and assessment processes to internally determine and externally promote sustainability policies, plans, and programs. Measurements can range from objective and quantitative to more subjective or qualitative metrics. However, navigating the abundance of green business certifications out there can be overwhelming (and time-consuming) for sustainability professionals and the organizations they work for. What is the best certification for a particular situation? How hard is the process? What will it cost and will it be worth the effort? These are just some of the questions that arise.

The ISSP Research and Resources Committee is focusing its efforts to identify the range of certifications presently in use and creating a report on the purpose, criteria, scope, and credibility of the best certifications.

Below is a list of some of the certifications we may be evaluating. We are looking for input from sustainability professionals with experience with these or any other sustainability-related certifications. Use this survey to let us know your experiences (positive and negative). 

Note: the list below is only an illustrative list of certifications ISSP MAY be reviewing. Inclusion in this initial list does not imply ISSP endorsement or inclusion in the final report. In addition, the focus of this survey is certifications for businesses: entire organizations, products, services, supply chains, etc. A survey of certifications for individuals will be done at a later date.

Organizational

B Corporations  *  Green America  *  UL SQ  

Sites/Buildings

 BREEAM  *  Envision *  Green Globes  *  Green Star  *  LEED  *  Living Building Challenge  *   WELL Building Standard  

Products

  BPI  *  CradleToCradle  *  Energy Star  *  EPEAT  *  Fair Trade  *   FSC  * GreenCircle *  GreenGuard  *  Green Seal  *  Higg Index  *  MSC Fisheries  *  Rainforest Alliance Seal  *  trustea  *  UTZ 

Supply Chain

  Better Cotton Initiative  *  GlobalG.A.P. *   MSC Chain of Custody  *  Responsible Wool Standard  *  RSPO  *  SBP 

Specific Industries

ASC  *   Green Department, Event, Labs  *  Green Restaurant  *  LEAF  *  Origin Green   *  TCO  *  THESRA

Specific Topics

AWS  *   Carbon Trust  * GreenCircle Waste Diversion *  GreenScreen  *   TRUE Zero Waste  *   ZWIA Zero Waste Business Recognition Program