Which Sustainability Certification Is Right For Your Brand?

Written by CADA Consult 

Greenwashing has become prevalent with companies as more consumers embrace sustainability and seek products and brands that align with their values. As such, shoppers are feeling overwhelmed and skeptical of which brands to believe. Sustainability certifications through third-party programs build trust with conscious or purpose-driven consumers by showing us the proof behind businesses’ claims.

What is a sustainability certification?

Sustainability certifications are accountability agents that put transparency at the forefront. They require companies to meet a set of standards or guidelines in sustainability — environmental, social, economic, or all three. 

Since transparency is key, the certification process typically involves lots of questions about a business’ ins-and-outs. Top sustainability certifications typically require robust research, receipts to prove any claims, and from there, assessments are made. 

Most credible accreditations do require a fee to go through their verification process. However, over 7 in 10 consumers are willing to pay a premium for brands that support recycling, practice sustainability, provide full transparency, and/or are environmentally responsible. So, with all this, we say the return on investment is attainable. Moreover, to build brand trust and add an extra level of transparency, it’s worth giving some thought.

Are sustainability certifications worth it?

According to IBM, “when consumers choose a product with sustainability in mind, 84 percent say brand trust is important.” So if you want to build trust and credibility with your ideal customer, yes, sustainability certifications are worth it.

Environmental and social responsibility certifications make the buying process easier on conscious consumers. For example, suppose they see an eco-friendly award — like the Rainforest Alliance — on a product. In this case, they know it met standards around forest preservation, resilience against climate change, improving livelihoods, and more.

Conscious consumers can spend hours researching brands’ sustainability practices, and even after may still have some unanswered questions. But when all of this research is done for them from credible third-party accreditations, that time spent researching is reduced dramatically.

Which sustainability certification is right for your business?

For luxury fashion brands, we recommend The Butterfly Mark. An eco-certification program that “identifies luxury brands that meet the highest standards of verified innovation and environmental performance, offering transparency at points of sale and equipping consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions.”

For clean beauty, skincare, or cleaning products, EWG Verified is the way to go. With extensive research and data, The Environmental Working Group has a list of safe and not-so-safe ingredients. “When you see the EWG VERIFIED™ mark on a product, you can be sure it’s free from EWG’s chemicals of concern and meets our strictest standards for your health.”

For Hospitality and travel companies, look into getting certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Their site promises ecotourists, “By choosing Rainforest Alliance Certified hotels and tour operators in Latin America and the Caribbean, you’ll be visiting destinations that benefit local communities, ecosystems and wildlife.” 

For realtors, developers, and architects, we propose getting your workspaces and projects LEED certified. The U.S. Green Building Council provides this certification “for all building types and all building phases including new construction, interior fit outs, operations and maintenance and core and shell.”

B Corps is a great starting point for consumer goods like feminine products, vitamins, and service-based companies. It’s arguably the most recognizable accreditation since companies like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Klean Kanteen are members. Certified B Corporations are measured and evaluated based on “how your company’s operations and business model impact your workers, community, environment, and customers.”

Email us at info@cadaconsult.com to learn more about what accreditation is best for your brand, and will speak to your ideal customer.

13 Ultimate Purchases for Home Coziness

Mid-winter is upon us, and even for those not currently keeping warm from frigid temps and snowstorms, we’re all about creating a cozy space at home. As such, we rounded up the ultimate purchases for leveling up your environment, from comfy accessories to statement pieces you’ll continue to love way after the season ends.

Both comfortable and convenient, the Graf Lantz Ravi Pillow Small is a two-toned Merino wool felt pillow finished with vegetable tanned leather trim handles for easy transportation. The pillows can also be hung on the wall and function as an acoustic element. 

The pretty Parachute Cloud Cotton Robe is soft, cozy and perfect for out of the shower or lounging at home. 

Enjoy the ultimate in relaxation and stress relief with the Saatva cozy organic cotton weighted blanket, which promotes restful sleep and is crafted from sustainable fabric. 

Warm up with a cup of Free + True Genmai Chai turmeric spiced matcha, which "balances the nutty sweetness of ceremonial grade matcha with zesty notes of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper for a brilliant blend to boost immunity, mental clarity, and energy throughout the day." 

Designed as part of a collaboration between Bjarke Ingels and Danish design group KiBiSi, the VIA57™ easy chair combines an eye-catching design with top-quality materials for a comfortable and durable seat. 

Level up in the Ermanno Scervino Crystal-Embellished Mink-Fur Slippers, made in Italty with soft mink-fur and embellsihed with an oversize, crystal-embellished buckle.

Add the gorgeous Marmaris in Elephant from Merida to your bedroom and feel like you're walking on an expensive sweater every morning. The chic tailored design is made from wool and alpaca.

Is it just us or does the sleek Diva Sofa by Iatesta Studio look like the best place to lounge and enjoy a good book?

The ultimate item for making your yard nice and toasty, the stylish Adara round fire table provides a warm outdoor gathering place for friends and family.

Designer Adam Hunter's SMOKE, created for The Rug Company, is a cult favorite; many people have found it soothing during pandemic within their home office and work-from-home libraries.

The Ama Full Moon Throw is made of Superfine Italian Merino Wool (and crafted in one of the oldest mills in Scotland). The soft and subtle design is perfect for use as a wrap for cool days and nights.

Designed for style and comfort, the wide-set Franck Genser armchair envelops you in its rich upholstery (and comes complete with a removable back cushion). 

Tom Ford's Private Blend Our Wood Candle is something of a staple scent for home coziness. Designer Todd Raymond loves that the "understated, sleek, amber-colored glass jar is unobtrusive, sophisticated, and reminds me that when I'm in a design rut, less is more."

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