ISEAL Alliance, the global membership association for sustainability standards, launched its new “Challenge the Label” campaign at the 2015 Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego last week, unveiling a tool that aims to drive credibility and understanding in sustainability claims.
The main goal of the Challenge the Label tool is to boost attention of sustainability claims, so that buyers better understand what to ask when developing labels or accepting them from suppliers, and can begin to assess credibility in their sourcing decisions.
The tool, which has been in the making for 18 months, features four questions ISEAL said buyers should always ask including: 1) What product or service does the claim cover? 2) What type of claim is being made? 3) What sustainability attributes does the claim cover? 4) How is the claim verified?
According to ISEAL, there are five universal truths of credible sustainability claims—a claim needs to be clear, accurate, relevant and based on a system that is transparent and robust.
ISEAL said in a statement that one conference participant from a large company said, “I hardly know which labels to trust today, let alone which companies, but we all understand the concept of credibility, and we know we have to develop credible claims if we are to make any sense of the sustainability landscape.”
The Alliance hopes the “Challenge the Label” campaign will lead to a reduction in confusing or misleading sustainability claims and contribute to a higher number of credible ones.