About Our Company

Providing global leadership in third-party environmental, sustainability, food safety and quality certification, auditing, and standards development since 1984.

Since 1984, SCS has been a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainability standards and third-party certification, working across the economy in the natural resources, built environment, food and agriculture, consumer products and climate sectors. Partnering with companies, government agencies, NGOs, and stakeholders, we are striving to advance sustainable development goals through independent assessment, the application of sound science, and innovative solutions. Through these services, we are enabling decision-makers and purchasers to make informed decisions, giving innovators a competitive edge, and helping to drive the development of leadership standards to create a framework for continuous improvement.

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Vision & Mission

Our Vision
A sustainable future that safeguards our environment and our climate, respects and supports the dignity, health and wellbeing of workers and communities, and raises the standard of living for all.

Our Mission
To achieve this vision, we have established programs and services designed to recognize the outstanding achievements of companies, institutions, and organizations who are meeting the highest levels of performance in environmental protection, social/ethical responsibility, product safety and quality, while stimulating continuous improvement on the path toward sustainability. In this undertaking, we employ a life-cycle framework, state-of-the-art science, proven analytical methods, performance metrics and professional expertise.

Our Commitment
To deliver world-class professional service, uphold our integrity as a neutral third-party, and continually improve our programs and services in order to have the greatest possible positive impact.

Our Human Rights Policy
SCS pledges to actively work to prevent and address negative human rights impacts related to our activities, including our operations, services, and business relationships. SCS is a member of the United Nations Global Compact solidifying our commitment to uphold the dignity, health, and well-being of workers and communities, consistent with our vision and mission. You can read our policy here.

Our Contributions

Together with our clients and partners, we are actively impacting the world around us:

  • Advancing sustainable agriculture
  • Securing supply chain integrity
  • Assuring food safety and quality from farm to fork
  • Promoting indoor air quality for building products, furnishings and finishes
  • Encouraging resource conservation and recycling
  • Protecting fragile ecosystems on land and in the ocean
  • Reducing company carbon footprints
  • Supporting informed decision-making
  • Stimulating innovation

Our Role As A Neutral Third Party

Third-party audits, test results, and certifications provide the independent perspective needed to help our clients evaluate their own performance, identify improvement opportunities, determine the best steps forward, and reassure customers and stakeholders.

We vigorously uphold our third-party status through the following steps:

  • Independence

    SCS is beholden to no other organization or entity

  • Fee-for-Service Only

    Our fees are transparent, and not attached to the outcome of any audit assessment or certification, or to the volume of sales of certified products

  • Quality

    Our internal quality system and outside accreditations insulate us from commercial, financial and other pressures that might influence the findings of a certification, verification or validation, and interpretations of test results.

  • Avoiding Conflict of Interest

    All staff and contractors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, and each SCS Program Director and Manager is responsible for identifying, analyzing and documenting potential conflicts of interest in order to avoid such conflicts.

Our History

Since we were founded in 1984, sustainability has become a key business driver around the globe. Here are some of the exciting milestones in our history.

ProTerra Certification
ProTerra Certification
SCS becomes an authorized certification body under the ProTerra certification program.
Recycled Content Certification Annex for Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Recycled Content Certification Annex for Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Launches new Recycled Content certification for the electrical and electronic equipment industries.
American Tree Farm System Standard (ATFS) Certification
SCS becomes accredited to offer American Tree System Standard (ATFS) certification to private landowners and family-owned forests.
Bee Better
Bee Better Certification Program
Bee Better Certification Program Authorizes SCS Global Services as Certifier.
Plant Based
Launches new Plant-Based Certification Program
Launches new Plant-Based certification program to help distinguish plant-based brands and support transparency in product labeling.
Zero Waste
Expands Zero Waste Standard
Expands Zero Waste Standard to include Zero Waste projects and events.
Regenerative Organic Certification Program
Regenerative Organic certification program approves SCS as an accredited certification body.
Jewelry Standard
SCS 007 Sustainable Jewelry Standard
SCS 007 Sustainable Jewelry Standard expanded to include Artisanal Gold Mines.
WAVE Water Stewardship Verified Logo overlaid on a picture of the ocean
WAVE Water Stewardship
Partnered with The Water Council to launch WAVE Water Stewardship Verification, with SCS as the sole program verifier.
Carbon Neutral logo over a scenic background of grass and sky.
Expanded Carbon Neutral Standard
Launched the expanded Certification Standard for Carbon Neutral Entities, Buildings, Products and Services launched, built around comprehensive life cycle assessment.
Climate pledge friendly logo over a scenic background with mountains and grass
Carbon Neutral and Climate Pledge Friendly
SCS' Carbon Neutral Certification Program for products accepted into Amazon's Climate Pledge Friendly program.
SCS Gluten-Free certification
Launched SCS Gluten-Free certification
Launched SCS Gluten-Free certification standard providing a more robust and thorough audit which exceeds FDA regulatory guidelines.
Zero waste logo over a conveyor of trash
Zero Waste Standard
Introduced a new Zero Waste standard for facilities, enabling companies to demonstrate the degree to which their waste streams are prevented, reused, or diverted from the landfill.
SCS 007 Diamond Standard Logo
SCS 007 Diamond Standard
Introduced the ground-breaking Certification Standard for Sustainability Rated Diamonds, providing a uniform basis for confirming the origin of diamonds and certifying their production.
LBMA logo
LBMA and LPPM Responsible Sourcing
Approved as a global provider of LBMA and LPPM Responsible Sourcing certifications for precious metals.
SMETA Certification
SMETA Social Compliance Auditing
Sedex-approved for SMETA social compliance audits.
LCFS Verification
Approved by CARB as verifier for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
Covid-19 Pandemic
Developed on-site and remote virtual audit protocols to meet client needs during the pandemic.
IRMA logo
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance
Approved certifier for IRMA Responsible Mining Standard.
Composite Wood
Composite Wood Products
Accredited to assess composite wood products under EPA TSCA Title VI.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certifcation
Accredited to certify SFI fiber sources and chain of custody.
asthma & allergy friendly logo
asthma & allergy friendly® certification.
Approved by Allergy Standards Limited to offer asthma & allergy friendly® certification.
ISO 22000 Certification
ISO 22000 Certification
Accredited as a certifier under ISO 22000:2005 international standard for food safety management.
Gluten-Free Certification
Gluten-Free Certification
Initiated Gluten-Free Certification Organization services.
Formaldehyde Rule
Formaldehyde Rule
Recognized by EPA as a Third-Party Certifier for Formaldehyde Rule.
Sustainability Leadership Award Winner
Sustainability Leadership Award Winner
Sustainability Leadership Award Winner: Business Intelligence Group.
Responsible Palm Oil Standard
Responsible Palm Oil Standard
Named first North American certifier under Responsible Palm Oil Standard.
Non-GMO Project Verification
Non-GMO Project Verification
Approved as Non-GMO Project Verification Standard Technical Administrator.
GSCP Equivalence Process
GSCP Equivalence Process
Sustainably Grown® completes GSCP Equivalence Process.
ILFI Living
ILFI Living and Declare.™
Approved certifier for ILFI Living Product Challenge and Declare.™
Food Safety Certifications
Food Safety Certifications
Approved certifier for Primus GFS GAP, GMP, FMS, HACCP scopes.
Equitable Food Initiative
Equitable Food Initiative
Supported development of EFI standard, and became the first accredited certifier.
Paper Products LCA
Paper Products LCA
Published most comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment study ever conducted for paper products.
RMAP Certification
RMAP Certification
Accredited certifier under the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process.
UTZ Auditing
UTZ Auditing
Approved to conduct UTZ Code of Conduct and Chain of Custody audits for coffee, cocoa, and tea.
Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials
Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials
First certification body fully accredited by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.
Environmental Product Declarations
Environmental Product Declarations
Accredited by ANSI as an Eligible EPD Program Operator and Independent EPD Verifier.
Sustainably Grown
Global expansion of Sustainably Grown
Expanded its Sustainably Grown® program internationally with certification of bananas and pineapples.
Responsible Jewellery Council
Responsible Jewellery Council®
Accredited as auditor to the Responsible Jewellery Council® Code of Practices and Chain of Custody standards.
SCS Global Services Rebrand
SCS Global Services Rebrand
Became SCS Global Services, represented by the SCS Kingfisher certification logo.
Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA
Supported development of Fair Trade USA standard, and became the first accredited certifier.
Greehouse Gas
Greehouse Gas Inventory and Carbon Offset Verification
Launched greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and carbon offset validation and verification services.
Sustainable Agriculture Standard
U.S. National Sustainable Agriculture Standard
Initiated U.S. National Sustainable Agriculture Standard under ANSI open, multi-stakeholder consensus standard development process.
Sustainable Agriculture Certifications
Sustainable Agriculture Certifications
Launched sustainable agriculture certification, first for cut flowers and ornamental plants, then for fresh produce.
Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices
Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices
Worked with Starbucks to establish C.A.F.E. Practices program for its international coffee supply chain.
Flavor and Nutrition Management
Flavor and Nutrition Management
Launched flavor and nutrition management services to help growers, seed companies and food retailers optimize these features.
USDA Organic Certification
USDA Organic Certification
Accredited as one of the first organic certifiers under USDA National Organic Program.
SCS Mexico
SCS Mexico
Established SCS Mexico subsidiary as first of many international ventures to expand service offerings in countries around the world.
Marine Stewardship Council
Marine Stewardship Council
Participated in the establishment of international Marine Stewardship Council® standard, and accredited as one of first certifiers.
Forest Stewardship Council
Forest Stewardship Council
Participated in the establishment of international Forest Stewardship Council® standard, and accredited as one of first certifiers.
Environmental Report Card
Environmental Report Card
Established world’s first Life Cycle Assessment based Type III Environmental Product Declaration label: Environmental Report Card.
Responsbily Managed Forest Wood Product
Responsibly Managed Forest Wood Product
Conducted first international independent certification of a wood product made from wood from a responsibly managed forest.
Life Cycle Assessment
Life Cycle Assessment
Participated in writing the international ISO 14000 standards for environmental labeling and life cycle assessment.
Environmental Claims Validation
Environmental Claims Validation
Launched first third-party U.S. certification program for environmental claims, and initiated sustainability services for retailers.
HACCP Food Safety Training
HACCP Food Safety Training
Launched first U.S. HACCP food safety training and audit programs for food producers, processors, handlers and retailers.
Pesticide residue and nutrition testing
Pesticide residue and nutrition testing
Established first pesticide residue and nutrition testing QA program for supermarket fresh produce departments.
Pesticide Residue Free
Pesticide Residue Free certification program
Established world’s first Pesticide Residue Free certification program for fresh produce, with first voluntary full disclosures from growers.

A Benefit Corporation

Founded in 1984 as Ohlone Inc., we became Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) in 1988, a name which better communicated our efforts to apply rigorous science to the task of third-party certification of claims, paying attention to holistic, system-wide ramifications. In 2012, we became SCS Global Services, communicating our international reach, and reorganized as one of California’s first Benefit Corporations, a class of corporation that has a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment.