Region / Country

  • Global

Environmental standards


Social and ethical responsibility standards


Is there a label to put on the product?


Who can hold accreditation?

  • Distributor
  • Finisher
  • Publisher
  • Printer
  • Mill
  • Ink manufacturer

Who / what has accreditation

  • Product

Independent verification / audit


Accreditation information

Key stats

Relevant to book industry?

  • Publishers
  • Printers
  • Shippers

Where in supply chain?

  • Across the supply chain

Key stakeholders?

  • Publisher
  • Mill
  • Printer
  • Finisher
  • Distributors
  • Ink manufacturers

What type of entity is the badge certifying?

  • Finished products

Organisation/management procedures & outcomes?

Not defined at this time.

Environmental Attributes

Identifying the key elements

  1. What are the applicable environmental attributes?

Covers 5 performance criteria; material health, material re-use, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness. Environmental impacts and assessment criteria are not product specific – a generic framework is applied for all types of products.

  1. Does the badge intend to assess social aspects & how are they related to environmental attributes?

Explicitly assesses social fairness – looking at areas such as policies towards human rights, employee and community involvement.

  1. Which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the accreditation aligned to? How would receiving the certification help an organisation to achieve these goals?

Yes, it is linked to SDGs 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.

  1. Is it recognised on an international, European or country level?


  1. Does the badge have mutual recognition with other labels?


  1. What are the benefits and practicalities to the organisation receiving the accreditation? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. a) Cost 

The fees to an applicant company to certify a product vary based on the annual revenues of the company.

  1. b) Time to achieve certification 

Not defined at this time.

  1. c) Do the certified bodies have to publish your progress every year ?

Not defined at this time.

  1. d) Response times for audit outcomes, reports and recommendations 

Not defined at this time.

  1. Is the accreditation tiered?

Not defined at this time.

Assessment criteria

Governance Quality

  1. What is the overarching objective of the accreditation body? 

Assesses the safety, circularity and responsibility of materials and products.

  1. a) How is the badge verified? 

Managed by a not for profit organisation which trains and accredits an assessment body to perform the evaluation of the applicant (third party however not necessarily independent).

  1. a) i. Independent body 

Not defined at this time.

  1. a) ii. Governing body 

Not defined at this time.

  1. a) iii. Self-regulating 

Not defined at this time.

  1. b) What are the criteria used to be recognized as the above? Considering human resource, technical expertise and financial input 

Not defined at this time.

  1. a) How often are the certified products/organisations/projects re-evaluated? 

Recertification is required every 2 years and purportedly requires continuous improvement however the exact criteria for this are unsubstantiated. Appears to obligate an applicant to recertify a product after a certain number of years however the exclusion criteria are extremely lose, acknowledging that in certain cases there may be legitimate reasons which might prevent the achievement of a higher tier, undermining any case for continuous improvement.

  1. b) How often are the assessment and certification practices re-evaluated? 

Indications that the assessment criteria do not always track regulatory changes e.g. the laboratory tests do not cover the full list of banned chemicals in the EU.

  1. c) What input do stakeholders have to the governance structure and certification processes? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. d) How responsive is the certification body to this feedback? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. To what extent are the answers questions 2 and 3 made transparent to consumers, the certified organisations and any other stakeholders? 

Not defined at this time.

Governance effectiveness

  1. What environmental performance metrics are used – consumption data, emissions, life cycle analysis etc.? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. a) How complete and accurate are these assessments? 

Lacks transparency – does not report on how products actually improve over time through the higher tiers.

  1. b) How are these benchmarked? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. c) What is the scoring system used? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. In what form are the outputs of certification delivered? 

A scorecard with separate scores for each of the five categories assessed and overall is provided in the product registry.

  1. Are clear, actionable recommendations delivered and implemented? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. To what extent do end-users understand what the badge is certifying? How visible is this on an end-product e.g., through a label? 

Not defined at this time.

Social Responsibility Attributes

Key elements

  1. What are the key social performance areas the accreditations assesses? For instance, community involvement and human rights

Not defined at this time.

  1. Do the above social performance areas interlink with achieving any positive environmental impacts?

Not defined at this time.

  1. Does the accreditation have different requirements for SMEs compared with larger organisations?

Not defined at this time.

Governance Effectiveness

  1. What indicators are used to assess the social impact areas?

Not defined at this time.

  1. Are the above indicators a complete and accurate reflection of these social impacts?

Not defined at this time.

  1. How does the certification weight these indicators according to their effect on social value?

Not defined at this time.