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Certification of Sustainable Products and Services: A Workshop

New Release:

Book Cover

Certifiably Sustainable?: The Role of Third-Party Certification Systems: Report of a Workshop (2010)
Consumption of goods and services represents a growing share of economic activity globally. In the United States, consumption accounts for more than two-thirds of gross domestic product. This trend of increasing consumption has brought with it negative consequences for the environment and human well-being. Global demand for energy, food, and all manner of goods is on the rise, putting strains on the natural and human capital required to produce them. Extractive industries and production processes are prominent causes of species endangerment. Modern economies are underpinned by substantial energy consumption, a primary contributor to the current climate crisis. Expanding international trade has led to many economic opportunities, but has also contributed to unfair labor practices and wealth disparities. In order to take a step in learning from this field of practice, the National Academies' Science and Technology for Sustainability Program held a workshop to illuminate the decision making process of those who purchase and produce certified goods and services. It was also intended to help clarify the scope and limitations of the scientific knowledge that might contribute to the economic success of certified products. The workshop, summarized in this volume, involved presentations and discussions with approximately 40 invited experts from academia, business, government, and nongovernmental organizations.


  Project Information  

Project Scope
Meetings and Events
Committee Membership
Sponsors


Project Scope

A steering committee organized a weeklong public workshop in January 2009 aimed at understanding the situation of those making key decisions to purchase and produce certified goods and services, and to clarify the scope and limitations of the scientific knowledge that might contribute to the economic success of certified products. The workshop began with a ground-clearing discussion of certification practices and panel discussions including NGOs active in certification and advocacy, scholars of the field, and people from business with substantial experience with certification and its corporate and public politics. The workshop involved presentations and discussions with invited experts from academia, business, government, and NGO sectors.


Meetings & Events

Certification of Sustainable Products and Services: A Workshop  

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
100 Academy Dr.
Irvine, California
January 18-22, 2009
[
Meeting Information]


Meeting Agenda:

Workshop on Certification of Sustainable Products and Services (PDF 27KB)


Participants List (PDF 17KB)


Workshop Presentations:


Certification's Growth, Opportunities, and Limitations
     Sustainable Businesses in the Global Era (PDF 518 KB)
     Ben Cashore, Yale University

Obstacles, Impacts, and Unintended Consequences
     Are Ethical and Fair Trade Schemes Working for Poor Producers, or do we need a New 'Good for Development' Label? (PDF 331 KB)
     Jodie Keane, Overseas Development Institute

Supply Chains and Lifecycle Analyses
     Supply Chains and Lifecycle Analysis (PDF 28 KB)
     Richard Jackson, University of California, Los Angeles  

 

Committee Membership Information

The committee listed below was established by the U.S. National Academies. The project's steering committee reviews all proposals and oversees the organization of the workshops.

  • Leslie Carothers (Co-Chair)
    President, Environmental Law Institute
  • Harold Schmitz (Co-Chair)
    Chief Science Officer, Mars Inc.
  • William C. Clark
    Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Richard J. Jackson
    Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Pamela A. Matson
    Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, Goldman Professor of Environmental Science, Stanford University

Staff

  • Derek Vollmer, Associate Program Officer, Policy and Global Affairs (dvollmer@nas.edu)
  • Kathleen McAllister, Research Associate, Policy and Global Affairs (kmcallister@nas.edu)
     

Sponsors

Certification of Sustainable Products and Services is supported by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

 

PGA_047427PGA_051603PGA_051608PGA_051610PGA_051613PGA_051616PGA_051619PGA_051622