Recycled Content Certification

The Most Up-to-Date Material Certification for Products

Showcase Sustainability with Recycled Content Certification

SCS has been certifying recycled content in products for 35 years. This year, important updates were made to our standard in Version 8.0. SCS Recycled Content Certification independently verifies the percentage of a product or material that is derived from recycled content. Certification is for product or material manufacturers that use post-consumer or pre-consumer recycled content and want to make a verified claim. Recycled content certification can be achieved for product feedstocks and products in many industries including: building materials, packaging, plastic goods, textiles, jewelry, metal, electronics, home goods, wood, paper and more.

Recycled Content Certification demonstrates commitment to making environmentally conscious products and conserving natural resources. Using recycled content helps minimize environmental impacts by reducing extraction of new raw materials and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. Reusing materials supports a circular economy and reduces the overall environmental footprint of a product. This certification also helps organizations meet retailer requirements, stand out in their markets, qualify for inclusion in environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) programs like GSA and EPA as well as  contribute to green building schemes like LEED. 

Important updates in Version 8.0 of the standard include: 

  • A minimum of 5% recycled content for eligibility
  • Option to achieve certification using a mass balance chain-of-custody system
  • Addition of chemically recycled content
  • Recognition of external certification programs such as ISCC, FSC, the Textile Exchange Recycled Claim Standard and more

To achieve certification, SCS conducts an independent third-party audit of the organization and the product(s) with recycled content. The audit checks for manufacturing data, processes, chain of custody procedures, material quantification and mass-balance calculations to determine conformance to the SCS Recycled Content Standard.

SCS is now an Endorsed Certifier for The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR).
Read the press release about a rise in certification of plastic postconsumer resin. Ask us about certifying your PCR.

Why SCS Global Services?

With over 40 years of experience in third-party certification, SCS is a trusted global leader in certification, verification and auditing. SCS led the industry in recycled content certification introducing the first version of its standard in 1989 to answer the growing need to quantify recycled content in a wide range of products. Fast forward 35 years and while recycling methods have evolved, the certification still remains one of the most well understood sustainability claims available today. Companies can count on SCS to deliver the most comprehensive assessment and certification for Recycled Content in the market today which helps them tell a sustainability story about the products they manufacture. 

  • Service Offerings
  • Process
  • Benefits
  • Additional Services
  • Program Documents

SCS Global Services provides two types of certification to recognize your achievements:

  • Recycled Content Certification - The SCS Recycled Content Certification evaluates products made from pre-consumer or post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream. Certification measures the percentage of recycled content for the purpose of making an accurate claim in the marketplace.
  • Recycling Program Certification - The SCS Recycling Program Certification helps recyclers and reclamation facilities make credible claims about their diversion strategies and recycling rates.
  1. Data Collection and Analysis

    Your auditor helps you assemble your data and documentation. Your auditor reviews your manufacturing data, processes, and chain of custody procedures to determine if conformance is achieved as well as the nature of your claim.

  2. Draft Assessment Report

    Your auditor writes a draft assessment report that details the findings of the audit, including data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement. You are required to respond to any non-conformities with a root cause analysis and corrective action.

    Onsite Audit: Your auditor uses a risk-based approach to determine if an onsite audit is needed. If it is needed, the onsite audit may be recommended prior to granting certification or within one year of certification.

  3. Internal Peer Review and Client Review

    A qualified SCS lead auditor reviews the report, making any necessary corrections or changes. The report is then sent to you for review, and you may comment on the information contained in the report and the conclusions drawn by the auditor.

  4. Certification Decision

    If certification is achieved, SCS issues the certificate(s), logos, and final report to you. Your auditor works with you to determine how to list your products on the certificate(s). For Recycling Program, your auditor works closely with you to determine what the specific claims are that you would like to make. Once certified, your company and products are listed on the SCS Certified Green Products Guide. SCS can also provide client marketing support.

  5. Certification Maintenance and Renewal

    Certification is valid for one year. SCS requires annual audits to maintain your certification and support continual improvement.

Certification can help you:

  • Differentiate your product and stand out in your market
  • Appeal to customer preferences for more sustainable products
  • Demonstrate leadership by reducing use of virgin materials
  • Meet regulatory requirements
  • Comply with purchasing requirements from retailers
File Name Document
FTC Green Guides Visit Site
LEED v4 Eligibility Visit Site
Recycled Content Brochure English   |   Spanish   |   Portuguese
Recycled Content Standard English
Recycling Program Standard English
SCS Certification Standard for Recycled Content Visit Site

Apply Now

Ready to start the process? Complete an Application.

Timothy Whatley