Sustainable consumption information becomes more and more important for online shoppers. Therefore, it is crucial to provide relevant product attributes about a product’s sustainability, compliance, and where to find and buy sustainable products. To meet these needs, Icecat provides sustainable consumption information such as certificates, eco organization memberships, and participation in green initiatives. Today, we support around 200 standards and eco-definitions that include well-known generic standards, such as the EU eco-labels, RoHS, EPEAT, EnergyStar, and BlueAngel. Additionally, we support specific niche certificates and organizations, like FSC (forestry), RSC, OSC, RIPESS, and EOG.
Nowadays, there is awareness of the impact of how we purchase products on the environment, social sphere, consumers’ health, and quality of life. Given that people and corporations increasingly engage with eco and social issues, they want to know that a product they purchase corresponds to high standards of sustainability. For example, in fashion, the vegan movement continues to influence designers and manufacturing. Others see the beautiful possibilities of recycled plastic bottles, cork, wood, industrial waste, rubber, and other materials to reduce our footprint.
In short, there are numerous sustainability standards nowadays. Many initiatives run to address issues, such as the protection of the environment, social equity, and the distribution of economic prosperity. Below, you will find a summary of the most popular ones.
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a global not-for-profit organization. It is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world. BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it. And also better for the environment, and thus better for the sector’s future.
The ENERGY STAR is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that promotes energy efficiency since 1992. The program provides information on the energy consumption of products and devices using standardized methods. The Energy Star label is present on more than 75 different certified product categories, homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants.
The EU Ecolabel criteria provide exigent guidelines for companies looking to lower their environmental footprint and guarantee the efficiency of their environmental actions through third party controls. Furthermore, many companies turn to the EU Ecolabel criteria for guidance on eco-friendly best practices when developing new product lines.
Further, Fairtrade is an arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. Members of the fair trade movement play a pivotal role in empowering factory and agricultural workers and increasing their wellbeing. Also, their active engagement is crucial to continuously improve Fairtrade’s role to support and measure social compliance.
Also, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993, that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC certification is a market-based program used as a transnational environmental policy.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), introduced in 2006, is the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
Further, the Non-GMO standard ensures that no genetically engineered ingredients are used during the production of the end product. The standard puts forth a list of requirements. Additionally, a strong system of internal and external verifications at production facilities are in place.
Finally, the restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS ), also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originates from the European Union. It restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products (known as EEE). In short, all applicable products in the EU market must be RoHS compliant since July 1, 2006.
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