Region / Country

  • Global

Environmental standards


Social and ethical responsibility standards


Is there a label to put on the product?


Who can hold accreditation?

  • Distributor
  • Printer
  • Warehouse

Who / what has accreditation

  • Packaging

Independent verification / audit


Accreditation information

Key stats

Relevant to book industry?

  • Printers
  • Shippers
  • Warehousing

Where in supply chain?

  • Packaging Waste

Key stakeholders?

  • Printer
  • Distributors
  • Warehouses

What type of entity is the badge certifying?

  • Packaging

Organisation/management procedures & outcomes?


Environmental Attributes

Identifying the key elements

  1. What are the applicable environmental attributes?

Degrees of industrial compostability with biodegradation and disintegration testing.

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


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

Not defined at this time.

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


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

Adopted by the British Standards Institution and published as BE EN 13432:2000. BSI PAS 100 for composted products as well as the Compost Quality Protocol.

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

Informs users/consumers on the correct disposal of products.

  1. a) Cost 

Not defined at this time.

  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? 

To set a standard for compostable and biodegradable packaging.

  1. a) How is the badge verified? 

Independent certification scheme – upon receipt a certification body would review the nature and ingredients of the packaging sample and ensure it is sent to an appropriate laboratory for the correct tests to be carried out. The certification body would then check whether the test results prove compliance to the criteria.

  1. a) i. Independent body 

Independent certification bodies offer product assessment and certification services.

  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? 

A product certificate is only valid for three years after which it must be renewed if the product is to continue to use its 7P number and the ‘compostable’ seedling logo.  In addition, to ensure integrity of the whole process, at frequent intervals throughout the three year period, the certification body, in the UK the Association for Organics Recycling, will seek samples from the market which will then be sent for further testing.  This market surveillance aims to verify whether a ‘compostable’ product on the market is in fact the same one that passed the ‘compostable’ tests, with the same 7P number.

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

Not defined at this time.

  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? 

Available on the public website.

Governance effectiveness

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

Defined industrial compostability criteria for biodegradation and disintegration undertaken by laboratories.

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

Disintegration – the packaging sample is mixed with organic waste and maintained under test scale composting conditions for 12 weeks after which time no more than 10 % of material fragments are allowed be larger than 2 mm. Biodegradability – a measure of the actual metabolic, microbial conversion, under composting conditions, of the packaging sample into water, carbon dioxide and new cell biomass.

  1. b) How are these benchmarked? 

Against pass/fail criteria.

  1. c) What is the scoring system used? 

Pass/Fail criteria.

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

A unique packaging product certification number and certification is awarded, and may carry the scheme’s certification logo.

  1. Are clear, actionable recommendations delivered and implemented? 


  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? 

No research has been identified in this area however noted as particularly important given the varied use and meanings of ‘compostable’ and ‘biodegradable’ and the effect on consumer behaviour.

Social Responsibility Attributes

Key elements

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


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


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


Governance Effectiveness

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


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


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