Appendix E: Environmental Certification schemes and initiatives

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Appendix E: Environmental Certification schemes and initiatives

Third-party fisheries environmental schemes of potential relevance to all APFIC countries



Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

Scope: Assessment of capture fisheries resource sustainability, ecosystem impacts and management system robustness.

Now perhaps the best known of the environmental schemes for capture fisheries. Incorporates third party certification of fisheries and supply chains, and the use of labels. The MSC is an independent, global, non-profit organization whose role is to recognize well-managed fisheries and to harness consumer preference for seafood products bearing the MSC label of approval.

Twenty-two fisheries are already certified, including the Australian Mackerel Icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari), the Australian western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus), the New Zealand Hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) and the Japanese snow crab and flathead flounder resources in the Kyoto Offshore Area.  A community-based clam fishery that operates in Ben Tre Province in the Lower Mekong (Viet Nam) has entered the full assessment phase of the MSC process. There have also been discussions with an anchovy fishery in Phu Quoc, Viet Nam, as it supplies premium fish sauce to Unilever in Europe.  In the wider Pacific, the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has almost completed a pre-assessment of all the tuna fisheries in the waters of FFA member states.  This has evaluated four species, six gear types and 15 management zones to provide advice on those fisheries that may be good certification candidates.

Fisheries currently undergoing certification also include the Australian multispecies Lakes and Coorong Fishery.  In order to use the MSC logo on seafood productsit is first necessary to be certified for chain-of-custody.  This involves an independent certification body assessing the applicant’s traceability systems and ensuring they are sourcing from certified suppliers. A list of certified suppliers in the Asia–Pacific region is provided in Appendix.

The MSC states that there are currently 30 fisheries worldwide currently undergoing full assessment. Additional information on the value of MSC sales is provided later in this paper. The MSC has spent US$30 million on developing the standard and it is the only such scheme to be fully compliant with FAO’s guidelines for the ecolabeling of fish and fishery products from marine capture fisheries.

Friend of the Sea

Scope: Sustainable fisheries (and aquaculture) production based on published data.

The Friend of the Sea scheme was initiated in 2005; it works closer to the point of sale than production by approving products if: (a) target stocks are not overexploited; (b) fisheries use fishing methods that do not impact the seabed; and (c) they generate less than 8 percent discards (the global average according to recent FAO publications). Products/fisheries are audited and certified against published information/data, following application by fisheries using a standard application form.

Fisheries are assessed against FAO data on stock status in different fisheries areas; the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species; fishing gear felt to be harmful to the seabed; IUU and Flags of Convenience; compliance with TACs, use of the precautionary principle and national legislation. It is reported on the initiative’s Web site that “several Friend of the Sea approved products are on the shelves of main supermarkets worldwide”.

A number of retail chains are now participating in the scheme through certification of their own private label products. These include COOP Italia, GS, Diperdì, Finiper and UNES in Italy and Eroski in Spain. Several companies are reported to be changing their packaging and including the Friend of the Sea logo with explanations. Bureau Veritas ( checks chain-of-custody (traceability and documental evidence) and actual fishing methods (including legal compliance, e.g. minimum size, TAC, IUU, FOC, mesh size, etc.)

With limited costs imposed on producers and the relatively small number of fisheries/ products certified, the extent to which this scheme will be sustainable is not yet clear.

Marine Aquarium Council (MAC)

Scope: Assessment of aquarium animal resource sustainability, including impacts of collection and postharvest quality of care.

The MAC is an international, not-for-profit organization that brings marine aquarium animal collectors, exporters, importers and retailers together with aquarium keepers, public aquariums, conservation organizations and government agencies.  The MAC’s mission is to conserve coral reefs and other marine ecosystems by creating standards and certification for those engaged in the collection and care of ornamental marine life from reef to aquarium.

The MAC Core Standards outline the requirements for third party certification of quality and sustainability in the marine aquarium industry from reef to retail. MAC Certification covers both practices (industry operators, facilities and collection areas) and products (aquarium organisms).  For Certification of Practices, industry operators at any link in the chain-of­custody (collectors, exporters, importers, retailers, etc.) can seek to be certified by being evaluated for compliance with the appropriate MAC Standard. For Certification of Products, MAC Certified marine ornamentals must be harvested from a certified collection area and pass from one certified operation to another, e.g. from collector to exporter to importer to retailer.

MAC certified marine organisms bear the MAC Certified label on the tanks and boxes in which they are kept and shipped. A member of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance.

Naturland Association

Scope: Proposed scheme for certification of sustainable wild fisheries production.

Naturland promotes organic agriculture and has to date only been involved with certification of aquaculture operations. However it is planning to establish a wild fisheries certification scheme. Standards are currently under preparation; an important aspect of the standards is that they will also address social aspects.

An important element of the certification process is the establishment of a local Round Table of Expert, which will set the specific standards for the respective fishery, subsequently to be adopted by Naturland.

“Dolphin-safe/ dolphin-friendly” labeled tuna

Scope: Determines the level of interaction with dolphins and other cetaceans in the capture of tuna.

This label is meant to certify that the tuna was caught in a way that protects dolphins, either based on the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Programme (AIDCP), a multilateral agreement under the IATTC Regional Fisheries Organization, or in line with a programme promoted by the Earth Island Institute (EII), a US-based NGO. The EII has no observers or monitors on any boat around the world — it only checks administration and boats arriving in port.

The label is controversial for several reasons: (1) It is also used in Europe, where most of the tuna eaten is of the skipjack variety, rather than yellowfin.  Skipjack tuna do not school with dolphins and so the label would seem rather superfluous, although the EII defends it as a pre-emptive strike against cheap, “dolphin-unfriendly” yellowfin tuna being dumped on Europe from the USA.23 (2) The label has encouraged fishing with fish aggregating devices which can lead to a much higher bycatch of not just dolphins, but a range of other endangered and vulnerable species. (3) The label does not take into account any assessment of the size of tuna populations and whether they can withstand the very significant fishing pressure that they are currently experiencing.

Marine Eco-Label (Japan)

A domestic Japanese fisheries certification approach, the MEL-Japan scheme targets small-scale fisheries under an existing co-management arrangement. It aims at allowing an affordable eco-labeling of Japanese seafood products, mainly for export markets.

Certification is independently reviewed and the process is overseen by various technical and trustee councils (Mitsutaku Makino, personal communication).

International Standards Organization (ISO) Environmental Management System

Scope: Assesses corporate environmental management systems.

The ISO provides certification of companies against different standards.  ISO 14000 is actually a series of international standards on environmental management. It provides a framework for the development of both the system and the supporting audit programme. ISO 14001 is the cornerstone standard of the ISO 14000 series.

It specifies a framework of control for an Environmental Management System against which an organization’s performance and practices can be certified by a third party.  ISO 14001 was first published in 1996 and specifies the actual requirements for an environmental management system. It applies to those environmental aspects over which the organization has control and over which it can be expected to have an influence.

ISO 14004, also published in 1996, provides guidance on the development and implementation of environmental management systems and principles; also their coordination with other management systems. ISO 19011 offers guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing. Certification is used through third parties but no label is provided.  Certification is not a product guarantee, only a statement about the company concerned.

23 The label can also be found on other species such as hoki and salmon.

Mandatory import/export schemes/initiatives relating to sustainability

Scheme Comment



DS2031 for export to US markets

Scope. All shrimp imports to the United States. The scheme is intended to ensure the use of turtle excluder devices in wild shrimp fisheries. Exporters/importers are required to sign a form (DS2031). Exporting nations have to put in place procedures, and the United States has a TED (Turtle Excluder Device) accreditation team that reviews these procedures and inspects fishing gear in exporting countries. Eligible exports include:

  1. Shrimp harvested in an aquaculture facility in which the shrimp spend at least 30 days in a pond prior to being harvested.
  2. Shrimp harvested by commercial shrimp trawl vessels using TEDs comparable in effectiveness to those required in the United States.
  3. Shrimp harvested exclusively by means that do not involve the retrieval of fishing nets by mechanical devices, such as winches, pulleys, power blocks or other devices providing mechanical advantage, or by vessels using gear that would not require TEDs.
  4. Shrimp harvested in any other manner or under any other circumstances that the Department of State may determine, following consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, which does not pose a threat of the incidental taking of sea turtles.

ICCAT Statistics Certificate

Scope: Requires the provision of certain information for fisheries management purposes.

The Statistic Certificate for exporting tuna (bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye) and swordfish is mandatory for those who export tuna to ICCAT countries.

The certificate requires member countries to provide statistical information of importance for stock management purposes. No use of logo on products.

Australian export requirements

Scope: Management of all export fisheries.

The Australian Government (national environmental legislation) requires that all export fisheries pass an assessment of the ecological sustainability of their management arrangements.


Scope: Trade in endangered species.

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES is an international agreement to which states (countries) adhere voluntarily.  States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention (“joined” CITES) are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties — in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection.

Supermarket/processing sector fisheries initiatives



Unilever’s Fish Sustainability Initiative

Unilever deals exclusively in products that have been processed to a greater or lesser extent. Four-fifths of the Unilever fish business is focused on the European market.  Unilever sells fish under the brand name “Iglo” in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, “Birds Eye” in Ireland and the United Kingdom, “Findus” in Italy, “Frudesa” in Spain and “Knorr” in France and Spain. Whitefish species make up 95 percent of the fish sold by Unilever in Europe. Outside Europe, Unilever’s Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Lever, annually buys and processes about 70 000 tonnes of fish, from 50 to 60 species, to make fish mince or surimi for fish sticks, fish paste and other products. In Viet Nam, about 2000 tonnes of fish go into fish sauce for Unilever each year.

The company has made a commitment to source all fish from sustainably managed fisheries. Unilever writes to suppliers asking them to confirm that their fish are legally caught in specified FAO catch areas and that they are not involved in species threatened with extinction. It uses a “traffic light” assessment tool for suppliers (see Appendix).

This is a behind the scenes assessment, rather than a consumer branding/logo exercise.

Wal-Mart (US)

In February 2006, the global player Wal-Mart announced that it intended to shift its entire supply of wild caught fresh and frozen fish for the North American market to MSC certified fisheries by 2009–2011.

Sainsbury’s (UK supermarket)

In 2002, Sainsbury’s committed to sourcing all its wild fish from sustainable sources by 2010 and works closely with the MSC. Sainsbury’s is looking at working with its suppliers to develop a custom-built framework to assess the relative sustainability of different stocks.

This could operate alongside the MSC scheme, either as a consumer-facing “silver standard” below the MSC’s “gold standard”, or would operate behind the scenes, so that Sainsbury’s could ensure that the sustainability of its fish supply was improving independently of the processes of the MSC.

Marks and Spencer’s (M&S, UK supermarket)

According to its sourcing policy, each M&S seafood product must be obtained from reputable producers, operating within relevant regulations and with respect for the environment. Where possible, fisheries will have been certified as sustainable by an independent organization such as the MSC, and be managed in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. All fisheries that supply M&S are audited in detail to ensure that they comply with the policy.  Suppliers are required to maintain reference data on each source of raw seafood including scientific advice from the relevant organization for the stocks in question (e.g. International Council for Exploration of the Sea [ICES] for North–East Atlantic stocks), to verify that the fishery is not causing stocks to decline, damaging the environment, or generating significant quantities of discards. All seafood must be traceable back to the vessel which caught it, with evidence that the catch was within the quota where applicable.

Fish from undeclared (illegal) landings are prohibited. M&S maintains a “Banned Species List” of seafood species. M&S had already ceased to stock 19 of the initial top 20 species or groups to avoid when the MCS published its list. M&S has committed to source 100 percent of its fish from sustainable sources (MSC certified or equivalent) by 2012.

Carrefour (France)

“Peche Responsible”, or Responsible Fish initiative, of Carrefour.

Young’s (UK) Fish for life

The largest seafood processor in the UK, Young’s Bluecrest, supplies chilled and frozen products to supermarkets, restaurants, pubs, fish and chips shops, schools and hospitals. Supplies come from 33 countries and include more than 60 species.

The company is using a specific seafood purchasing policy, Fish for life, which is based on ten principles for responsible fish procurement.

Royal Ahold (Netherlands) — owners of Stop & Shop Supermarkets (USA)

Stop & Shop established the “Ecosound” project in 2001 to distinguish itself as a thorough, trustworthy provider of seafood in its market (Ahold, n.d.).

The project, a partnership with the New England Aquarium, uses the results of independent research on wild-harvested species to give preference to suppliers of sustainably harvested species, delisting suppliers with inadequate traceability systems. Source: Roheim and Sutinen (2006)

Note: The information in this table is not an exhaustive list of supermarket schemes/policies on sustainable sourcing, but provides examples only.

Fisheries-specific codes of practice or guidelines



The International Standard for the Trade in Live Reef Food Fish

The Live Reef Food Fish Trade (LRFFT) is used to describe the trade in live reef fish for consumption, mainly in Hong Kong S.A.R. and southern China, involving more than 20 supply countries. With the support of the 21 member economies of the APEC Fisheries Working Group, the Marine Aquarium Council and The Nature Conservancy a voluntary standard and toolkit have been produced covering the capture of wild live reef food fish, their aquaculture and their handling, holding distribution and marketing.

No certification or labeling as yet, but this is under discussion.

European Commission work on ecolabeling of responsible fishing

The EC has mandated a Group of Experts to define minimum requirements for “responsible fishing” ecolabel schemes run by other groups. A final decision must be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, but it is likely that the EC will propose that, in accordance with the FAO Guideline for the Eco-labeling of Fish and Fishery products from Marine Capture Fisheries, five criteria for minimum standards for all schemes should include:

  • Precise, objective and verifiable technical criteria.
  • An independent third party accreditation process.
  • An ecolabeling scheme must be open to all operators, without discrimination.
  • In addition to accreditation/certification procedures, ecolabeling schemes must be properly controlled to ensure that they comply with the minimum requirements.
  • Transparency.  Consumers should know which criteria are covered by an ecolabel and should thus have easy access to information on the certification standard.

FAO Guidelines on Eco-labeling

The FAO guidelines include the need for reliable, independent auditing, transparency of standard setting and accountability and the need for standards to be based on good science. They also lay down minimum requirements and criteria for assessing whether a fishery should be certified and an ecolabel awarded, drawing from FAO’s Code of Conduct of Responsible Fisheries.

Non-fisheries-specific associations/networks



Global Ecolabeling Network

The Global Eco-labeling Network (GEN) is a non-profit association of third party, environmental performance labeling and certification organizations and pro-ecolabeling “associates” founded in 1994 to improve, promote and develop the ecolabeling of products.

It has around 30 members (see Appendix).  It has no certification or labels, but many of its member schemes do.

International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL)

An association of leading international standard-setting, certification and accreditation organizations that focuses on social and environmental issues.  Taken individually, the standards and verification systems of ISEAL members represent efforts to define issue-specific elements of social and environmental sustainability.  Taken together, they represent a holistic movement, with ISEAL providing the framework. Members include: Fairtrade Labeling Organizations; the FSC, the MSC, IFOAM, the MAC, SAI, and the Sustainable Agriculture Network.

While not a responsible trade/production initiative in its own right, it is relevant given its role as a lobby and information-sharing group for its members.

Fisheries-specific schemes outside Asia and the Pacific




KRAV is the Swedish certification organization for organic products.  In September 2002, KRAV decided to draft a standard for certifying organic wild fish.  The project is focusing on frozen cod fillet, tinned herring, fresh shrimp and fresh crabs in Scandinavian waters; therefore it is not relevant to APFIC countries.

The goal is to develop regulations that will be used to certify wild caught fish and shellfish. There is potential for label use.

United States organic

See Appendix for discussion on why wild caught fish cannot be considered or labeled as “organic” in the United States. In essence, because of the lack of control over wild fish diets (to be organic all feed/fish must be organically certified), it is unlikely that any wild products in other countries could ever be sold as organic products, restricting the potential use of organic certification to farmed fish products.

Ocean Wild Frozen at Sea

The Frozen at Sea Fillets Association (FASFA) was formed in 2000 to promote the high quality of frozen-at-sea fillets of cod and haddock. FASFA created the Ocean Wild Frozen at Sea assurance mark for fillets of cod and haddock frozen at sea off Iceland and in the Barents Sea. Members of FASFA include vessel owners from Norway, Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom, as well as importers and distributors in the UK, so strictly speaking it is not relevant to APFIC countries.

While the Ocean Wild logo does not denote a sustainable fishery, it does provide the consumer with more information on the source of the fish than is required by law.

Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme

A scheme prepared by the UK’s Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) with the British Standards Institution (BSI). It provides a means of recognizing responsible fishing practices for individual vessels operating in a mixed fishery, controlled under international agreements.

It is meant to develop, promote and bring reward for good practice.

European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

EMAS is a site-based registration system with due consideration provided to off-site activities that may have a bearing upon the products and services of the primary site. EMAS requires an Environmental Policy in an organization, fully supported by senior management, and outlining the policies of the company, not only to the staff but to the general public and other stakeholders. The Environmental Management System requires a planned comprehensive periodic audit of the Environmental Management System to ensure that it is effective in operation, is meeting specified goals and the system continues to perform in accordance with relevant regulations and standards. Under EMAS the minimum frequency for an audit is at least once every three years.

Certification but no label. EMAS is not relevant to AFPIC countries.

Fisheries-specific consumer guides and organizations/alliances



New Zealand Best Fish Guide

Forest & Bird (F&B) produced its Best fish guide in June 2004. This guide comprises a thorough report on the ecological rankings of New Zealand commercial fisheries, with summaries in the form of a pocket guide (downloadable from the Web site) and a Web site-based guide. The Best fish guide profiles 62 commercial species, ranking each aspect of the fishery from A (best) to E (worst) and then giving an overall rank for sustainability.  This ranking takes into account the state of fish stocks, management and research, bycatch, the damage done to marine habitats and other ecological effects caused by the fishery.

No certification or labeling. It should be noted that not one species is on the green list and F&B believes that no New Zealand fisheries are managed sustainably.

Seafood Choices Alliance (SCA)

Seeks to bring ocean conservation to the table by providing the seafood sector — fisherfolk, chefs and other purveyors — with the information they need to make choices about seafood and provide the best options to their customers. Seafood Choices encourages the sale and consumption of ecofriendly seafood by raising awareness of current issues among its subscribers and individual consumers. The initiative is US-based and focuses on environmental, rather than social issues, but there is now also a European Campaign.

The MCS is now working with the SCA and others to develop a common methodology for compiling fish lists. No certification or use of labels.

Marine Conservation Society (MCS)

The UK-based Marine Conservation Society manages a Web site,, featuring 124 species in total; it recommends 41 for consumption based on sustainable production and 43 to be avoided. The MCS rates species on a one-to-five scale, based on a fairly detailed method of assessment including species characteristics, level of stock exploitation, capture method and so forth.

No certification or use of labels.


The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) supports a new Internet-based tool called “FishWatch – US Seafood Facts.” The Web site provides the latest facts about the sustainability and health benefits of fish. According to NOAA Fisheries, 80 percent of domestic fish stocks are sustainably managed. FishWatch provides profiles including sustainability status, nutrition facts and role in the ecosystem of at least 30 domestic seafood species. The data provided in this consumer-friendly format are developed from NOAA Fisheries scientific stock assessments, fisheries surveys, management plans, environmental analyses and cooperative research.

The information on FishWatch prides itself on being the latest and most accurate information available on US fisheries.

The USA Fish List

The Blue Ocean Institute (BOI), the Environmental Defense Network (EDN) and Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) all produce online fish guides and pocket guides.

They have also worked with the Seafood Choices Alliance to produce a collaborative guide called The fish list, which consists of a list of 14 “enjoy” and 14 “avoid” species or groups of seafood.

The Responsible Fishing Alliance (RFA)

The Responsible Fishing Alliance was publicly launched during the Economic Business Summit in Brussels on 15 March 2007. It brings together fisherfolk associations, public and private organizations and businesses.  The organization currently has 11 members including NGOs, universities, Europe’s largest retailer, Carrefour and its newest member, the packaging company Multivac. The RFA complements other seafood initiatives such as the MSC by focusing not on certifying but on responsible business-to-business seafood trade. Its members work in development and supply-chain projects that strive to create environments where fishing and fish farming are done in ways that protect the environment, support the socio-economic health of small fishing communities, are economically viable and help to meet the increasing demand for fish. The aim is to increase cooperation, environmental awareness and mutual understanding along the seafood value chain.

The RFA is active in several locations through concrete projects in the field:

  • Cooperation with the European Commission’s work on a Responsible Fishing Ecolabel, Brussels.
  • Responsibly Produced Nile Perch from Lake Victoria, Africa (working with the Carrefour Group and local groups in Uganda and Tanzania).
  • Integrated Coastal Management for Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture, Chile.
  • Reacquisition of Individual Transferable Fishing Quotas for Artisanal Fishers, Iceland.

Australia’s sustainable seafood guide

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) released Australia’s sustainable seafood guide in 2004. As well as providing a background on fishing methods, problems with aquaculture, and imported seafood, the guide includes a “3-Step Guide” (also available in a wallet-sized version) to choosing sustainable seafood. This contains a list of 13 species to avoid, questions to ask the fishmonger about other seafood, and a recommendation to avoid all imported seafood. The guide also comes with a pocket booklet called the Sustainable fish finder.

This provides pictures and more detailed information on the sustainability of fish and shellfish with ten “say no”, five “say no to some species” and 19 “better choice” categories.

WWF guides

A guide for Hong Kong S.A.R. has recently been released by WWF which ranks many Asian fish species (  A similar guide has also been produced for Japan.

The WWF has a full list of its guides at

Other guides

A number of other NGOs and US aquariums also have fish-buying guides. In addition the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership has recently set up a Web site targeting fish buyers that provides information on the environmental performance of fisheries

Additional information on a range of other consumer guides is also available on the aforementioned WWF Web site.

Non-fisheries-specific environmental initiatives in APFIC countries and in the Asia–Pacific region



Good Environmental Choice, Australia

The Australian Ecolabel Program has been developed for general compliance to ISO14024 and is managed by a not-for-profit organization utilizing a national network of registered assessors. The Good Environmental Choice Label indicates the environmental performance of consumer goods.

The label is awarded to products that meet voluntary environmental performance standards which have been created and assessed in conformance with international environmental labelling standards. No fisheries products.

Thai Green Label Scheme

The Green Label is an environmental certification awarded to specific products that are shown to have minimum detrimental impact on the environment in comparison with other products serving the same function. The Thai Green Label Scheme applies to products and services, not including foods, drinks and pharmaceuticals. Products or services which meet the Thai Green Label criteria can carry the Thai Green Label.

Participation in the scheme is voluntary.  No fisheries products.

Taiwan Green Mark – Environmental Protection Administration Government of the Republic of China

The Green Mark Program of R.O.C. (Taiwan) was launched in August 1992 by the Environmental Protection Administration.

Uses logo under license. Emphasis on manufactured products. No fisheries products.

Republic of Kore

The Korea Eco-labeling Program is a voluntary certification programme that has a logo.

3 176 products of 790 companies had a license under 107 product groups in May 2006 — but no food/drink; focuses on consumer and industrial goods, construction materials, office supplies, etc. No fisheries products.

Environmental Choice New Zealand

The New Zealand Eco-labeling Trust is a voluntary, multiple specifications-based environmental labeling programme, which operates to international standards and principles. It has certification and licenses to use a logo.

The focus is on paper products, cleaners and detergents, and flooring.  Some 700 products now bear this sole government-backed certification of being environmentally preferable. No fisheries products.


GreenTick™ is an independent, performance-based certification system for conventionally produced goods and services in the country.  GreenTick™ certification proves to markets and consumers that a company’s claims of sustainability have been independently tested and shown to be genuine. GreenTick™ conforms to ISO 14000 and 17000 series for sustainability and environmental management.

GreenTick™ is not fisheries-specific and none of the New Zealand fisheries companies has the GreenTick™ certification.

Japan Environment Association (JEA) Eco Mark Program

A committee composed of academics, governments, consumer groups and experts from various industries sets standards and carries out the certification. The Eco Mark is labeled on products with relatively less environmental impact compared to similar products, during the entire life cycle, from exploiting and collecting the product materials, to the manufacturing, distribution, use and consumption, disposal and recycling. After screening ecofriendly products submitted for approval by manufacturers, the JEA certifies and publicizes products qualifying for the Eco Mark. As of 31 March 2006, there were 46 product categories and 4832 certified products.

There is a focus on manufactured goods. No fisheries products are addressed.

China Environmental United Certification Center Co., Ltd. (CEC) Environmental Labeling Programme

Uses the ISO 14000 series as a basis. Certification and use of a label are in place.

No fisheries products are addressed.

Hong Kong Green Label Scheme (HKGLS)

The HKGLS is an independent, not-for-profit and voluntary scheme for the certification of environmentally preferable products launched in December 2000 by the Green Council (GC) and the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC). The scheme sets environmental standards and awards the “Green Label” to products that are qualified regarding their environmental performance. The aim is to encourage manufacturers to supply products with good environmental performance and inform consumers about labeled products that are more environmentally responsible, thus promoting a more sustainable pattern of consumption. In establishing the standards, the HKGLS draws from relevant international standards and is benchmarked with well-developed ecolabels to ensure standards’ credibility.  An Advisory Committee, composed of members from the academe, industrial and commercial associations and environmental groups, oversees the policy and operation of the HKGLS.

As with most ecolabeling programmes, the HKGLS is an ISO 14024(1) Type 1 label, which involves third party certification that requires considerations of life cycle impacts.

EcoMark scheme of India

A scheme set up by the Indian Government in 1991 for easy identification of environmentally friendly products; it does not include fisheries products.

Uses a logo and has various committees to assess general and product-specific, performance requirements.

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