SMETA is short for the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit, a quality mark that guarantees ethical trade. As the name suggests, the label is intended for members of Sedex, an international organization, which is focused on ethical trade. The audit is performed by an independent party, who audits companies on the following pillars: labor standards, health and safety, environment and business ethics. There are two different SMETA certificates for companies, the “SMETA 2-Pillar”, which only looks at labor standards and health and safety of employees, or the “SMETA 4-Pillar”, which takes all 4 pillars into account. The SMETA quality mark helps companies to improve their working conditions.
The Facility and Merchandise Authorization (FAMA) is a certificate issued by The Walt Disney Company. All products sold by Disney must comply with this certificate. No Disney products are sold through Stricters, nor are they made in its factories. Some norms of the FAMA certificate are:
- Manufacturers are not allowed to have children in employment
- Manufacturers must not employ people who are forced or involuntary
- Manufacturers must provide workers with a safe and healthy workplace
- Manufacturers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding
respecting the environment.
WRAP is short for Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. The certificate ensures safe and ethical production. The guidelines are based on the International Labor Organization conventions, but are a bit different. In general, it can be said that the rules are less strict. For example, the minimum living wage, as described in the ILO conventions, is not required, but the minimum wage according to local legislation is sufficient. The rules of WRAP are the following:
- Laws of the land must be obeyed in the workplace;
- Forced labor and child labor are prohibited;
- Harassment, intimidation, discrimination and abuse are prohibited in the workplace;
- Minimum wage must be according to local law;
- Maximum number of working hours must be according to local law. In any case, one day off per week;
- Safe and healthy work environment;
- Freedom of organization and collective negotiation.
Garments without Guilt
Garments without Guilt is a special certificate intended for garment manufacturers from Sri Lanka. Having this quality mark shows that companies are committed to a fair and humane working environment. The certificate requires the following from their entrepreneurs:
- No child labour
- No forced labour
- No discrimination
- No excessive working hours
- Employees are free to unite
- Everyone gets the legally required wage
- Healthy and safe working conditions
- Environmentally conscious entrepreneurship
Certified B Corporation
A company with the Certified B Corporation quality mark does not have profit as its sole purpose, but is also aimed at providing added value to society. Turnover is therefore not the only sign of good business, but it also should be having a positive impact on the world. Certified B Corporations want to fight inequality and poverty by creating decent jobs. The quality mark is issued by independent third parties, who not only check the product or service, but the entire business.
OHSAS 18001 is part of the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series. These certificates provide insight into the health and safety management of organizations: it is a quality mark that is recognized as a safety management standard all over the world. If a company has OHSAS certification, you can assume that the organization works safely and tries to limit risks in the workplace as much as possible.
Cradle2Cradle is more than a certificate: it is a life philosophy that has everything to do with a circular economy. Today, we largely live in a linear economy, where products are made, used and discarded. At Cradle2Cradle they are trying to change this standard. The label wants to move towards an economy where products are not written off, but used again and again. Brands with a Cradle2Cradle certificate ensure that their raw materials and materials are reused as much as possible. Products are recycled, but in such a way that they do not lose value: in fact it is about “upcycling”. The following criteria are set for a C2C certificate:
- Products must be made from materials that have already been used;
- Processing must be done in such a way that it does not pollute nature;
- Renewable energy must be used in production;
- Products have a positive footprint: “less bad” is not good enough;
- The product should add value instead of reducing it;
- Sustainable water management;
- Social justice;
Ecocert is an organic certification organization that checks, among other things, cosmetics, cleaning products, home perfumes, and paint and coating products. Ecocert requires the following from companies to be allowed to carry the quality mark:
- The use of GMOs, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicones, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes and animal ingredients are prohibited (Brands are allowed to use animal ingredients that are naturally produced by the animal, such as milk or honey)
- The product packaging is biodegradable or can be recycled;
- For the “Natural and Organic Cosmetic” label, the products must contain at least 95% natural and vegetable ingredients, 10% must be organic
- For the “Natural Cosmetic” label, 50% natural and vegetable ingredients are enough, and at least 5% of the ingredients must be organic.
REACH is an initiative of the European Union that focuses on improving the chemical industry in Europe. The organization strives for a healthier and safer sector, both for human health and the environment. REACH applies to all chemical substances: for example chemicals used in cleaning agents, in furniture, appliances, but also in the paint for our clothes.
Carbon Neutral Global Standard
When a company is “Carbon Neutral”, they ensure that their ecological footprint is zero by compensating for their (reduced) emissions with sustainable projects. Carbon Neutral Global Standard is the official certificate for CO2 neutral business, and helps companies to achieve this goal. By first looking together with the company at the emissions released by their activities, trying to limit them in various ways and calculating how large the compensation should be, companies can take major steps towards sustainable business. The organization also helps the certified companies to properly communicate this progress to the outside world.