Behind the Mark

Certification marks ensure that manufacturers and producers uphold their sustainability promises and the products we buy meet certain standards. Learn about sustainability standards, the certification process, and what certification marks you should look for when you shop.
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Climate change, pollution and toxic chemicals, resource depletion, massive wildfires, outbreaks of foodborne illness…there are so many things that are negatively impacting our lives, the foods we eat and the products we use.

But there is a global movement that has been calling for change: a movement that is holding global businesses of all sizes accountable to sustainability standards in every single industry that have been set up to benefit both people and planet. And we know which companies, which foods and products, are part of this movement by a simple certification mark found on labels. Certified Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Rainforest Alliance, FloorScore®, Climate Neutral, Sustainably Grown and hundreds more certification marks tell us at the point of sale exactly what kind of sustainability standards our products and foods adhere to. Simply buying products that have been certified and created with consideration of both the environment and the people who produce them increases the demand for certified products and encourages others to join the movement towards a more sustainable future.

Become part of the change.
Below you can learn about the many sustainability certification marks that are available on the products you purchase.

Certification Types

All certification marks fall into one or more of these categories. 

river mangroves
Protecting our natural resources & mitigating climate change
woman with chilis
Ensuring the safety and fair treatment of workers
products on shelf
Guaranteeing the products we buy are safe to use

Learn about Certification Marks

In a sea of sustainability claims, it’s easy to get lost. SCS Global Services is here to help you understand the claims you see on packaging labels so you can make informed purchasing decisions.

The Basics of Certification

The most important thing to know is that the products you buy are officially certified.

Many products will claim on their packaging or in their advertising that their product is {Bad-Thing}-Free, or {Good Thing}- (sustainable, ethical. etc)}, but unless this has been verified and audited by a third-party certification body, a claim from a manufacturer should not be trusted. Everyone has their own definition of what is considered "Sustainable" for example.

Third-party certification bodies are regulated by government bodies. ANSI, The American National Standards Institute, coordinates US-based voluntary standards and conformity assessments in the United States. Similarly, ISO, the International Standards Organization, is a global, independent, NGO that has developed a wide range of business standards. These are two of the major standards organizations that help to ensure that product certifications meet a rigorous set of standards to benefit business and the general public.


Certification infographic


Search for Certified Products

Use our Green Products Guide to search over 16,000 products from every industry that have gone through certification and meet our standard for sustainability.



Stories From Behind the Mark

Take a look at the most interesting stories from the world of certification

Each week, North Shore produces thousands of Sustainably Grown herbs bearing the SCS Kingfisher ecolabel. Certification…
At SCS Global Services (SCS), our expertise is auditing and verification of sustainability standards. We have…
Watch this video to learn the six main steps involved in getting your organization certified to a food safety standard/…

Have questions about certification?

We are on a mission to help people learn the importance of certification. We are happy to answer any questions you have!