Sustainability requirements and labelling schemes

The application of a set of standards is fundamental to moving from the rhetoric and putting “sustainability into practice”.

Session partners:





Transparency and consumer guarantee is assured through auditing and certification schemes, which ultimately lead to a label. The best known are the global certification and label schemes that rely on independent third party control systems, and the frontrunner is the organic label, which has maintained a market presence for over 50 years. However, in recent years many other successful label schemes have emerged, including FSC, FLO, MSC, UTZ, and the Rainforest Alliance, all of which are united in the international network of ISEAL (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance). In addition to these programmes, more and more enterprises are developing their own sustainable label programmes. The emergence of “private” label programmes is one of the main reasons there is little governmental regulation. One very advanced and diverse scheme that is having a growing impact is the PRO Planet seal from REWE Group.
Whether they are independent or “private”, all label programmes face the fundamental challenge of proving they have a positive impact on all three pillars of sustainability. They must also be able to give an answer to the question whether their programme delivers.

This session will – in the spirit of the conference subtitle “From intention to action”– focus on concrete examples of label programmes from the ISEAL family and the private sector.

Potential questions for the discussion:

Moderator: Bernward Geier,
COLABORA – Let’s work together

“Setting the scene”: Dr. Ulrich Hoffmann,
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UN forum on sustainability standards: balancing public and
private interest in standard setting and implementation

Dr. Daniela Büchel, REWE Group


Patrick Troetschler, Lake Constance Foundation
PRO PLANET – Introducing a label for more
sustainable products, using the example of apples

Elena Binkhuijsen, UTZ Certified
UTZ Certified – “Better farming. Better future.
What’s behind the label?”


Caroline Hickson, Fairtrade International
Public private partnerships for producer impact



Session tasks:
  1. To provide an overview about third party independent and private sector label initiatives.
  2. To show best practices of the schemes.
  3. To discuss the opportunities and challenges of certification and label programmes.
in cooperation with:
DEG
NürnbergMesse
ICRAF
FSC
Lavera
Serviceplan
Naturland
WWF Deutschland
FiBL
BfN
KRAFT FOODS
DP-DHL
BMZ
FLO
Rewe Group
Rapunzel
brands and values
DGCN
cscp
UTZ certified
RWE
IFOAM
Danone
Rainforest Alliance
Soil and More
NABU