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Certification Scheme

Set out below is a short summary of the Green Tick® Certification Scheme. Details of its design and science basis are presented in the system description scientific paper here.

OBVIOUS GREEN BRAND

Our concept for the green brand started with the official 'tick' issued by government authorities when an activity complies with the law.  Add a green colour to it to symbolise environment, design a 'blunt' nose - from the old-fashioned pen, put it inside a roundel with a base banner and there you have it - an official-looking Green Tick!  We've never had to explain to anybody what it means... 

LIFE-CYCLE BASED

Any environmental certification system must be based on an accurate life cycle assessment (LCA) from cradle-to-grave or from cradle-to-cradle.  Otherwise negative parts of a LCA may be left out, and the sustainability audit done would be inadequate. Not all LCA's are the same. Full disclosure is compulsory to present a true sustainability picture to consumers and courts. 

UNIVERSAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

Sustainability is a combination of health, safety and environmental factors.  Rather than attempt the impossible task of writing prescriptive standards for every product and service in every industry, we focused on devising universal performance standards that set a required outcome, leaving the producer to create their own sustainable solution.  This way, standards don't have to be forever re-written, and innovation is encouraged across every industry worldwide. 

THREE-YEARLY INDEPENDENT AUDIT

The robust International Standards Organisation's ISO 14000 series of environmental standards was used as the basis for the Green Tick® Certification System, and for the structure of the audit protocol.  A three-yearly independent audit by suitably-qualified people occurs to check that certification standards are maintained.  Certification reports are freely available on-line. 

PARENT "SUSTAINABLE" ECOLABEL

The Green Tick® Certification System is founded on the parent "SUSTAINABLE" brand.  There are eight (health and) safety performance standards, and 12 environmental standards.  We find that legal compliance and accident rates are powerful proxies for sustainability performance. 

"CHILD"
CUSTOMISED 
ECOLABELS

"Child" labels are customised for carbon, natural and financial variants of Green Tick®.  The parent "SUSTAINABLE" brand standards must be met, together with specialist standards for each child brand, for example, carbon standards for the carbon brands.  In all cases, our standards are based on the appropriate ISO 14000 specification, so there is global continuity and no bias in any region or industry.