LOHAS Related Certifications

LOHAS Related Certifications

In this issue of the LOHAS Journal, we examine the top LOHAS certifications that companies may consider to endorse their products. Research has proven that third party certifications serves as a key element for LOHAS consumers when they make purchasing decisions. Here are some reputable certifications that provide standards and are recognized by many as a way to measure quality and authenticity of a brand.

Personal Health

USDA Organic The National Organic Program and the Organic Foods Production Act are intended to assure consumers that the organic foods they purchase are produced, processed, and certified to be consistent with national organic standards. The seal tells you that a product is at least 95 percent organic. www.ams.usda.gov
Quality Assurance International (QAI) certification ensures that the organic integrity of food and fiber products is preserved from seed to shelf. QAI offers innovative, comprehensive certification programs that allow producers, trading companies, manufacturers, private labelers, restaurants and retail distributors to verify that their products meet the regulatory guidelines or standards applicable to their specific needs. www.qai-inc.com

Ecocert is a mark of international recognition for professionals wishing to place emphasis on superior quality. ECOCERT currently carries out inspections and certification services in over 80 countries outside the EU, on all continents. ECOCERT is a control and certification organization, whose activities are governed accordingly by the public authorities and legislation. www.ecocert.com

Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) Seal of Organic Certification is high quality organic certification services and access to global organic markets. OCIA's multiple certification and verification programs give you access to the global organic marketplace and opportunities to reach consumers who are willing pay premium prices for certified organic products. www.ocia.org

The Draft National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture was developed by SCS in consultation with numerous stakeholders, recently submitted to ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) by the Leonardo Academy, an ANSI-accredited sustainability and standards development organization, and published by ANSI as a draft standard for trial use.  This new standard utilizes a life-cycle framework, addresses environmental, socioeconomic and product quality issues, and applies to producers and handlers of agricultural products.  www.scscertified.com

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Products that carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal are guaranteed to come from farms and forest operations that meet rigorous standards for the conservation of wildlife and wildlands and the rights and welfare of workers and local communities. www.rainforest-alliance.org

American Heart Association (Heart-Check Mark) gives consumers a tool to quickly and reliably select foods that meet nutritional criteria in two categories, Standard Certification and Whole Grain Certification. To be certified, a product must meet all of their nutritional levels. Other aspects of federal health claim regulations may also apply. www.heartcheckmark.org

OU (Orthodox Union) Kosher is the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, certifying more than 400,000 products produced in over 6,000 plants located in 80 countries around the world. The certification appears on over 60% of America’s produced foods that are certified kosher. www.oukosher.org

Fair Labor & Ethical

The RugMark certification is administered by RugMark Foundation, a global non-profit that conducts rigorous, independent inspections of rug looms in India, Nepal and Pakistan.  Companies that join RugMark and meet its strict no child labor standards are issued certification labels for their carpets. www.rugmark.org

Fair Trade Certificate is a registered trademark of the non-profit, TransFairUSA based in Oakland, California. The Fair Trade Certified™ guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product. www.transfairusa.org

The International Fairtrade Certification Mark guarantees a very rigorous process of certifying products as complying with international Fairtrade standards set by Fairtrade Labbeling Organization (FLO). The Fairtrade Mark is only awarded to products and does not make any statement about companies or organizations selling them. www.fairtrade.net/certification_mark.html

Animal Testing Free is the only internationally recognized certification guaranteeing consumers that no animal tests were used in the development/production of any product carrying the  certification logo as of the date of compliance. Companies may license the use of the logo after becoming certified by Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), thereby making a pledge that, as of the fixed cut-off date, they do not conduct or commission animal tests, and do not use any ingredient or formulation that is tested on animals. www.leapingbunny.org

Certified Humane Raised & Handled is a consumer certification and labeling program. When you see the Certified Humane Raised & Handled label it means that an egg, dairy, meat or poultry product has been produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind. Food products that carry the label are certified to have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment. www.certifiedhumane.org

VeriFlora is a sustainability certification program created and managed by SCS for fresh cut flowers and potted plants.  The “VeriFlora Certified Sustainably Grown” label is your promise that flowers and potted plants have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality.  www.veriflora.com

Green Building & Business

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest performance standards. The LEED plaque is recognized nationwide as proof that a building is environmentally responsible, profitable, and a healthy place to live and work.  www.usgbc.org

B Corporations are a new type of corporation that are purpose-driven and create benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. B Corporations  meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards, institutionalize stakeholder interests, and build collective voice though the power of a unifying brand. www.bcorporation.net

SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold is a third-party certification program that tests and certifies products for compliance with indoor air quality emission requirements of Section 01350, the state of California’s health-based exposure limits for school children.  SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold imposes the toughest limits on indoor air emissions in the building products sector, including for furniture, wall coverings, adhesives, and paint.  www.scscertified.com

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. www.energystar.gov

Green-e Certified means that an independent third-party certified that the renewable energy meets the Green-e program’s strict consumer protection and environmental standards for a home, business or institution. Businesses that purchase or generate a significant amount of certified renewable energy also display the Green-e logo in order to communicate their commitment to certified renewable energy. www.green-e.org

EcoGreen Award Certification Program focuses the energy conservation and cost savings that an establishment, facility wide, can achieve. The initial focus is on lighting since this area is one of the most critical ways to realize both energy efficiency and cost savings, while reducing the use of electricity, with minimal investment. www.ecogreenaward.com

The EcoBroker Certified® program keeps real estate agents current with the growing green real estate market. EcoBrokers®, real estate professionals who have completed the curriculum and certification requirements, help clients market properties with green features, save money, and live comfortably, through energy efficiency and environmentally-sensitive choices. www.ecobroker.com

Green Globe Benchmarking (Bronze) and Certification (Silver) Process focuses on making operational improvements – this can provide great marketing opportunities as the business communicate some of their organizations key achievements by associating with the Green Globe program, participants are connected with a highly respected international organization committed to the environment. www.ec3global.com

Green Restaurant Certification is administered by Green Restaurant Association to restaurants that are operated environmentally friendly. A GRA specialist will complete an environmental assessment and will provide a report detailing four Environmental Steps per location to be implemented in the upcoming contract year.  The GRA environmental specialist will help each of the locations listed on page one to implement the four environmental steps by working with service providers, manufacturers, and government in order to ensure successful implementation. www.dinegreen.com

Ecological Products

Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Our industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life. www.greenseal.org

Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI) Compostable Logo Program is open to all materials and products that meet ASTM D6400 or D6868 based on testing in pre-approved, independent laboratories. Products with this symbol are designed to disintegrate and biodegrade quickly, completely and safely in a professionally managed composting facility, without leaving any plastic residues. www.bpiworld.org

Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) is reserved for recycled content paper. This includes all recycled fibers used as a feedstock that meet U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for recycled or post-consumer content. PCF papers have not been rebleached with chlorine containing compounds. Minimum of 30% post-consumer content is required. www.chlorinefreeproducts.org

BQ-9000 is the National Biodiesel Accreditation Program. It is a cooperative and voluntary program for the accreditation of producers and marketers of biodiesel fuel called BQ-9000. BQ-9000 is open to any biodiesel manufacturer, marketer or distributor of biodiesel and biodiesel blends in the United States and Canada. www.bq-9000.org