Third Party Certified
The short-term financial interests of producers and manufacturers often conflict with environmentally -and socially- responsible practice. Because of this, consumers who strive to align their spending with values increasingly seek the assurance of a growing number of third-party certifiers. In the United States, dozens of government agencies, non-profits, and even for-profit organizations systematically evaluate products, services, and company practices on a wide variety of sustainability criteria.
When using third-party certifications, it is important to be aware of two things. First, there is a difference between: rigorous onsite auditing and a screening process that simply accepts manufacturers’ claims at face value, which is clearly less trustworthy. Second, it is important to understand how the standards for certification were created and who had influence over their making.
Organizations set up or funded by industry groups have at times adopted less-than-stringent certification criteria.
Lastly, third-party certifications are granted to both products and companies. Product certification does not necessarily speak to the environmental or social responsibility of the manufacturer. Likewise, company certification does not necessarily mean the products made by that company are green. TheGreenOffice.com itself does not audit or certify product or company attributes. Instead, our Green Screen relies on the expertise of over twenty-five carefully selected third-party certifiers and screeners.