The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has mapped and analysed worldwide standards and methods used for measuring environmental sustainability of products. The report was prepared by British-based international consultancy Environmental Resources Management Ltd. It aims to evaluate and present to the British Government the world’s best practice organisations in th certification of sustainability, as an aid to government procurement policy.
Considering 207 standards, databases and product lists globally, the reasearch looked at the robustness of standards used for measuring sustainability, the range of criteria applied, and the methodology used. Those agenices with standards considered “ambitious” enough to warrant possible adoption by the UK were grouped as "Class 1".
The report states:
"The most significant are the FSC Nordic Swan and Environmental Choice New Zealand, which serves as international best practice standards to which national labelling schemes should be referred".
"Initiated and endorsed by the New Zealand Government, Environmental Choice provides a credible and independent guide across a range of different product types, consumers who want to purchase products with reduced environmental impacts".