News / Archive for the ‘Collaboration’ Category

How .eco supports sustainability standards

Posted 10 May 2017 by Jacob Malthouse to Collaboration | No Comments |

Registering a .eco web address sends a powerful message to consumers about their environmental responsibility and transparency.

To activate a .eco domain, users must pledge to support positive change for the planet and list their commitments to environmental action on a public-facing .eco profile.

This is where it gets interesting, especially for the ecolabel community. The .eco profile system is designed as a simple on-ramp to sustainable action. It starts with the Sustainable Development Goals and a pledge of commitment to sustainability. Once activated, .eco is a resource carefully designed to share knowledge and good practice.

Over 60% of .eco members that have purchased .eco domains in the past two weeks since launch are small businesses. Over time, the goal is to help these groups understand how and what ecolabels are credible and useful to their work. Using system, .eco web address owners can indicate what certifications they currently have, or what ones they are interested in becoming certified for.

This includes companies that act as platforms. Sandra Capponi, co-founder of, an ethical fashion app that helps users find the ethical rating of clothing brands, remarked on the differentiation gained with a .eco domain, stating it “immediately demonstrates our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

It is also possible for ecolabels themselves to take advantage of the excellent availability – and credibility – that a new web ending like .eco offers. For example, Green Seal is already using and has built an excellent .eco profile.

The .eco team is interested to partner and align with credible ecolabels who want to market their work to .eco members, and vice versa.  Please feel free to contact us directly if you are interested to start a conversation, or check out now and search for available .eco addresses!

What’s Next for Ecolabel Index?

Posted 28 October 2016 by Jacob Malthouse to Collaboration | No Comments |

We started Ecolabel Index in 2007 with a simple goal to understand who’s deciding what’s green. A typical consumer might view any logo that makes an eco-claim as an ecolabel. We thought it would be useful to know who and what was behind these logos.

Things like governance, transparency, focus, and impact were all important to us. It has been a great experience learning about and working with the many passionate people who try to help consumers make more eco-friendly choices.

Our hope is that Ecolabel Index has lifted up those who are doing good work and driven us all to think more clearly about the power, potential and risk of ecolabels.

The .Eco Opportunity

Our work on Ecolabel Index also had a deeper purpose. We wanted to understand how the .eco top-level domain could support all this great work. It took a longer than we thought to fundraise, apply for, and win .eco in partnership with the global environmental community.

But now, we are pleased to say, .eco exists and it’s launching next year. You can already apply for generic .eco domains if you are a non-profit with an environmental mission through our grants program.

Who will use How can we imagine being used by our community? Because .eco is community run we have the chance to do something different and amazing with the Internet’s domain name system.

We hope you will join us and put your creative energy to work by applying for a domain grant before December 16th.

What’s Next for Ecolabel Index? 

While we focus on .eco as an opportunity and lasting legacy, we have also been talking about what’s next for Ecolabel Index.

We have experimented with a subscription service and with running ads on the site as ways of covering overhead. How, why and what data we collect has also changed over time.

On the technical side, we have developed a unique indicator system and our data is accessible via an API. A glossary has helped us define an ontology for the site. Since we launched, new platforms have also emerged that also communicate similar and different information.

We’ve put together a short survey that will help us understand what you’d like to see Ecolabel Index become. Please take a moment to share your thoughts.

Thanks for continuing this journey with us.

Ecolabel Index to Present at Upcoming Just Means Conference

Posted 18 May 2011 by Anastasia O'Rourke to Collaboration | No Comments |

Next Tuesday, 24-May, Ecolabel Index will be in Washington DC as a speaker at the upcoming Just Means conference Certification, consumption and change”.

Dr. Anastasia O’Rourke will moderate a panel on ‘’The Vast Ecosystem of Eco-labels”  with Corey Brinkema, President of the Forest Stewardship Council, Dr. Arthur Weissman, CEO of Green Seal, and Sujeesh Krishnan, Head of Carbon Foot-printing for the Carbon Trust. We will be discussing the growing number of eco-labels and the confusing and fragmented marketplace that results.

The format of the conference allows attendees an extended period to question the panelists following a moderated discussion. We look forward to the dialogue and encourage anyone interested in this rapidly evolving field to join.

Draft Green Claims Guide Released for Public Comment

Posted 5 April 2011 by Anastasia O'Rourke to Collaboration, Ecolabel News | No Comments |

For several years now, our team has been participating in the Green Products Roundtable, a multi-stakeholder group led by the Keystone Center aiming to improve clarity around green product claims.

On 31-March the forum released a proposed Preferred Practices for Organizational Credibility guide (PDF) for public comment. When completed, the guide will provide a simple road-map on how to safely make green claims. Interested parties can submit comments online here. The Roundtable intends to release a final version in December. The ecolabels section is divided into three categories, some of the key best-practices for each are:

1. Creating standards (development of criteria behind eco-labels)

a. Follow standard-setting codes (e.g. ISO, ANSI and ISEAL);
b. consider the life cycle impacts of products in creating criteria;
c. specify and control the ways that the labels and standards can be used; and
d. avoid developing duplicative standards to what already exists.

2. Issuing ecolabels (for programme managers who run the ecolabel every day)

a. Provide independent verification processes;
b. periodically conduct program performance measurement and program evaluation; and
c. regularly publish the governance system and list of certified entities in an accessible format.

3. Certifiers (for companies that certify entities have met a given ecolabel)

a. Be independent of categories 1 and 2;
b. have the technical ability to perform the verification;
c. be accredited by a relevant certifying standard;
d. monitor entities’ compliance with the standard over time; and
e. have dispute resolution mechanisms in place.

The guide also covers best practices for other relevant stakeholders including governments, retailers, product manufacturers, institutional and commercial buyers, NGOs and other interested stakeholders.

SustainAbility Sets out Ecolabel Research Agenda

Posted 30 March 2011 by Jacob Malthouse to Collaboration, Ecolabel News | No Comments |

The UK Based Consultancy SustainAbility, one of the original thought leaders in the corporate responsibility slash environmental, social and governance arena, has released a white paper on ecolabels, trust and supply chains. The report is downloadable for free with registration, at the source link below.

The 11-page report is easily digestible and worth a read. It sets out a context, then examines trends and challenges facing ecolabels. We liked how the report integrates the broader sustainability supply chain and communications field, setting ecolabels up as a ‘keystone species’ within that space.

SustainAbility intends to examine some of the hard to crack issues ecolabels face including consumer trust and ecolabel performance.

We would be interested to understand, in particular, the trust issue within the context of institutional consumers (governments, companies, producers, etc.). Our experience is that ecolabels are increasingly used by professional purchasers at these institutions to ease friction around sustainability purchasing at scale. This in turn is driving spikes in demand for certified product, but also for transparency and accountability, as these purchasers are much more likely to dive deeper into a ecolabel’s operations than an individual consumer.

This links to the ecolabel performance issue, which as our feedback from ecolabels for our Global Ecolabel Monitor last year noted, is certainly a function of the operational capacity of the ecolabels themselves. We are interested to continue to explore ways that the broader community can work with ecolabels to enhance and diversify sources of funding, operational capacity improvements, and other things on their ‘wish-lists’ as part of seizing this opportunity to grow.

Source: Signed, Sealed… Delivered? Phase One | SustainAbility.