We always see labels on the back of food items, electronics, coffee but do we really know what they stand for? Using these labels as a basic guideline can make a great impact on the transformation of market practices. At the end of the day, it is the producer that identifies the needs of their consumers through their buying habits.  

Here is a basic guide to these common labels to look out for:

For the sustainability you don’t yet know.

A friendly guide to eco labels

Written by Andrew Kaprielian

Edited by: Olivia Lafrenière

2021-09-26

pexels-mehrad-vosoughi-3687999

We always see labels on the back of food items, electronics, coffee but do we really know what they stand for? Using these labels as a basic guideline can make a great impact on the transformation of market practices. At the end of the day, it is the producer that identifies the needs of their consumers through their buying habits.  

Here is a basic guide to these common labels to look out for:

The Fairtrade certification is a worldwide recognized logo signifying the importance of improving farmers and workers’ livelihood in countries producing agricultural products such as coffee, sugar, and tea. Fairtrade Canada teaches these workers from third world countries about the prices in order to drive their bargaining power with companies. A key component is the fact that there is a minimum price at which companies can buy, thus providing workers with a higher and more stable income.

Next is Energy Star, you might see this label on computers, appliances, screens and other devices. The idea behind the certification is that the product being labeled is energy efficient thus using less power to use these items. This means lower electricity bills for you and less natural resources needed to power your appliances at home!

The Canada Organic & non-GMO project (Europe) are excellent certifications when looking for organic agricultural goods certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Organic products generally mean that no GMO, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers were used during growth. In the case of livestock, they won’t be fed antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal byproducts.

forest-stewardship-council-fsc-logo-EA07D8EC69-seeklogo.com

 

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible forestry. They certify forests all over the world in order to meet the highest environmental and social standards.The management of our forest ensures their preservation and livelihood. You will mostly see this label on items like paper.

English Landscape Blue CMYK

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a non-profit setting the standard for sustainable fishing techniques. These techniques are crucial to attempt to overcome the harmful effects that overfishing has created and have been identified by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 

Finally, the Rainforest Alliance’s certification supports the 3 pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental, and social). This certification is key when it comes to the supply chain production in order to keep products more sustainable and prices less volatile on food goods by providing expertise and implementation skills for farmers. Through their work, they protect forests, promote human rights and help forest communities mitigate climate change effects.

The B Corporation Certification label signifies a brand that has gone through a rigorous assessment of their business as a whole and given a rating based on their positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. This certification offers solutions to issues that are often prevalent in corporate CSR policies, namely third-party validation, public transparency, and legal accountability because it required these businesses to change their legal governing documents to require their board of directors to balance profit and purpose. This means that they are held accountable for their action towards sustainability by their shareholders and BOD. This is huge because it means sustainability is at the core of the business, and has influence on every decision made.

We’ve all heard the people over profit or planet over profit mantras but rarely is it promoted by for-profit businesses. The 1% for the Planet label represents a network of organizations working towards environmental issues by dedicating annual memberships and donations to find solutions.

Leave a Reply