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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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Our Vision
A sustainable future that safeguards our environment and our climate, respects the dignity and supports the 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, and stimulate continuous improvement on the path toward sustainability. In this undertaking, we employ a life-cycle framework, state-of-the-art science, proven analytical methods, and 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 Contribution

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

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:


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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.


Pesticide Residue Free certification program

Established world’s first Pesticide Resi-due Free certification program for fresh produce, with first voluntary fulldisclosures from growers.

Pesticide residue and nutrition testing

Established first pesticide residue and nutrition testing QA program for supermarket fresh produce departments.

HACCP Food Safety Training

Launched first U.S. HACCP food safety training and audit programs for food producers, processors, handlers and retailers.

Environmental Claims Validation

Launched first third-party U.S. certification program for environmental claims, and initiated sustainability services for retailers.

LIfe Cycle Assessment

Participated in writing the international ISO 14000 standards for environmental labeling and life cycle assessment.

Responsbily Managed Forest Wood Product

Conducted first international independent certification of a wood product made from wood from a responsibly managed forest.

Environmental Report Card

Established world’s first Life Cycle Assessment based Type III Environmental Product Declaration label: Environmental Report Card.

Forest Stewardship Council

Participated in the establishment of international Forest Stewardship Council® standard, and accredited as one of first certifiers.

Marine Stewardship Council

Participated in the establishment of international Marine Stewardship Council® standard, and accredited as one of first certifiers.

SCS Mexico

Established SCS Mexico subsidiary as first of many international ventures to expand service offerings in countries around the world.

USDA Organic Certification

Accredited as one of the first organic certifiers under USDA National Organic Program.

Flavor and Nutrition Management

Launched flavor and nutrition management services to help growers, seed companies and food retailers optimize these features.

Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices

Worked with Starbucks to establish C.A.F.E. Practices program for its international coffee supply chain.

Sustainable Agriculture Certifications

Launched sustainable agriculture certification, first for cut flowers and ornamental plants, then for fresh produce.

U.S. National Sustainable Agriculture Standard

Initiated U.S. National Sustainable Agriculture Standard under ANSI open, multi-stakeholder consensus standard development process.

Greehouse Gas Inventory and Carbon Offset Verification

Launched greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and carbon offset validation and verification services.

Fair Trade USA

Supported development of Fair Trade USA standard, and became the first accredited certifier.

SCS Global Services Rebrand

Became SCS Global Services, represented by the SCS Kingfisher certification logo.

Global expansion of Sustainably Grown

Expanded its Sustainably Grown® program internationally with certification of bananas and pineapples.

Responsible Jewellery Council®

Accredited as auditor to the Responsible Jewellery Council® Code of Practices and Chain of Custody standards.

Environmental Product Declarations

Accredited by ANSI as an Eligible EPD Program Operator and Independent EPD Verifier.

Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials

First certification body fully accredited by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

RMAP Certification

Accredited certifier under the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process.

UTZ Auditing

Approved to conduct UTZ Code of Conduct and Chain of Custody audits for coffee, cocoa, and tea.

Paper Products LCA

Published most comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment study ever conducted for paper products.

Equitable Food Initiative

Supported development of EFI standard, and became the first accredited certifier.

Food Safety Certifications

Approved certifier for Primus GFS GAP, GMP, FMS, HACCP scopes.

ILFI Living and Declare.™

Approved certifier for ILFI Living Product Challenge and Declare.™

GSCP Equivalence Process

Sustainably Grown® completes GSCP Equivalence Process.

Non-GMO Project Verification

Approved as Non-GMO Project Verification Standard Technical Administrator.

Responsible Palm Oil Standard

Named first North American certifier under Responsible Palm Oil Standard.

Sustainability Leadership Award Winner

Sustainability Leadership Award Winner: Business Intelligence Group.

Formaldehyde Rule

Recognized by EPA as a Third-Party Certifier for Formaldehyde Rule.

Gluten-Free Certification

Initiated Gluten-Free Certification Organization services.

ISO 22000 Certification

Accredited as a certifier under ISO 22000:2005 international standard for food safety management.

asthma & allergy friendly® certification.

Approved by Allergy Standards Limited to offer asthma & allergy friendly® certification.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certifcation

Accredited to certify SFI fiber sources and chain of custody.

Composite Wood Products

Accredited to assess composite wood products under EPA TSCA Title VI.

FSSC 22000 Certification

Accredited as FSSC 22000 food safety certifier.

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

Approved certifier for IRMA Responsible Mining Standard.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Developed on-site and remote virtual audit protocols to meet client needs during the pandemic.

LCSF Verification

Approved by CARB as verifier for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

SMETA Social Compliance Auditing

Sedex-approved for SMETA social compliance audits.

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.