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Certification and private voluntary standards

Fairtrade Gold

Fairtrade Gold and Precious Metals (Fairtrade Gold) is an initiative that aims to support artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) and the communities they live in. ASM mining takes place in remote areas and usually involves poor and vulnerable people – including women and children- and is renowned for severe pollution and harsh working conditions.  On top of this, ASM miners often lack access to mining rights, along with financial services, technology and market information that can make their work prosperous and reduce environmental impacts.

Green Globe’s International Standard for Sustainable Tourism V1.7

Green Globe’s  International Standard for Sustainable Tourism V1.7 is a certification scheme that requires tourism agencies and businesses to report on their sustainability performance throughout their supply chains. It is designed to bring a competitive advantage to certified companies and encourage consumer demand for green tourism.

The standards are a collection of over 330 compliance indicators that are applied to 41 individual sustainability criteria - these can be divided into four themes:


Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard

The AWS Standard is an international, market-based standard that is designed to guide, incentivise and differentiate responsible water users.

The Standard is designed to achieve four water stewardship outcomes: good water governance, sustainable water balance, good water quality status and healthy status of important water-related areas. In order to achieve these, water stewards - those that implement the Standard - must follow a six-step continual improvement framework. The steps are:

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) provides the minimum requirements that are designed to simplify and harmonise existing standards for sustainable tourism.

The criteria is based on decasdes of work and experience around the world and involved extensive consultation with stakeholders.

There are 37 criteria covering 4 topics - these are:


LEED Green Building Certification System

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a 3rd party certification system for ‘green buildings’ and can be applied to any building type.

It provides a framework for identifying and implementing green building design, construction and management by focusing on seven key areas:


Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Certification

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal appears on products if the producers have complied with the standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). These standards are predominantly environmental, however they also include social and economic aspects.

The SAN standards are guided by 10 principles, outlined below:

ISO 14064-9 Standards

The International Standards Organisation has developed a series of standards that specify principles and requirements for organisations involved in greenhouse gas emission reporting. The ISO standards can be seen as guiding protocols providing general guidelines for the development of other programmes or standards.

The ISO standards relevant to GHG emissions are:

The VER+ Standard

The Voluntary Emissions Reduction VER Standard is for carbon offset projects and has been developed by TÜV SÜD (a German based verification company).

 A number of project types are elgigible for certification, however like the Kyoto mechanisms (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation) it excludes nuclear power projects and large hydropower projects over 80MW. Hydropower projects over 20MW must conform to requirements of the World Commission on Dams.

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, describing itself as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It applies to offset projects in the voluntary carbon trading sector and was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).


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