November 11, 2022


A Consumer’s Quick Guide to Environmental Certifications

By: Kelvey Vander Hart

Being an environmentally friendly consumer can be difficult. You may walk into a store determined to leave with the most sustainable products just to leave frustrated and confused by labeling. For the consumer who wants to be a little more environmentally savvy, here is your quick guide to six standard market certifications for animal and planet-friendly products: 

Certified B Corporation (B Corp)

B Corp certified companies use the B Impact Assessment. The B Impact Assessment measures social and environmental performance, and companies must receive an 80 or higher in order to be certified. Nearly 4,000 companies worldwide are certified. Read more about the certification here.

1% for the Planet

Within the marketplace, the 1% for the Planet certification is given to businesses that donate 1% or more of annual sales to environmental causes. There are more than 4,000 environmental organizations that fall under the applicable giving umbrella. Since 2002, certified members have given $350 million. Read more about the certification here.

Fair Trade Certified (Fair Trade USA)

According to their website, “Fair Trade Certified”™ is an award-winning, rigorous, and globally recognized sustainable sourcing model that improves livelihoods, protects the environment, and builds resilient, transparent supply chains.” Fair Trade-certified products can be found everywhere, from coffee to makeup to bedding. Read more about the certification here.

EWG (Environmental Working Group) Verified

This certification verifies that a product does not contain harmful ingredients, particularly chemicals. The certification guarantees that a product does not use any of the ingredients on EWG’s ‘unacceptable’ list, has transparent label disclosure, and uses good manufacturing practices. Read more about the certification here

Leaping Bunny

Leaping Bunny is under the control of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics in the US and Canada. It certifies that a product is cruelty-free based on the coalition’s Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals. Certified companies must pledge to end animal testing at all stages and be open to third-party audits. Read more about the certification here

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified

FSC offers several forms of certifications for businesses that want to commit to sustainable forest sourcing. There are more than 50,000 FSC certificate holders and more than 210 million hectares of forest certified to be FSC sustainable. Read more about the certification here.  

One of the most beautiful things about these certifications is that they are driven by the market and consumers, not the government. Free marketeers can indeed celebrate the market’s advancement of sustainability.