What are Sustainability Standards and Certification?

Sustainability standards and certifications are voluntary, usually third party-assessed, norms and standards that require products to meet specific economic, social and environmental sustainability criteria. Sustainability Standards are adopted by entities- government, private organizations, industries, companies, businesses, trusts, farmers cooperatives and producer organizations etc. to demonstrate the performance of their organizations or products in specific areas. The performance can refer to management effectiveness, branding, product quality or attributes, but also to production and processing methods, as well as sustainable supply chains.

Normally sustainability standards are accompanied by a verification process – often referred to as “certification” – to evaluate that an enterprise complies with a standard, as well as a traceability process for certified products that consumers prefer to use. Certification programmes also focus on capacity building and working with partners and other organisations to support smallholders or disadvantaged producers to make the social and environmental improvements needed to meet the standard.

Keeping in view the significance and need of the country specific certification standards and schemes for India, NCCF was established in 2015 to develop country specific yet internationally benchmarked certification standards for various components of our natural resource base, the Forests, Trees outside Forests, Ecotourism, NWFPs, Protected Areas and Wetlands,  QPM, Safeboards ( for safe emission levels of formaldehyde), Biofuels and Biomass, Land Degradation Neutrality, Carbon Registry India  and many more.

How are our standards developed?

Our standards are internationally benchmarked and developed following the NCCF’s Standard Setting Protocol, going through a rigorous development process that is consensus-driven. We ensure meaningful, transparent, and open participation and balanced representation of all stakeholders.

The development (or revision) of our standards goes through a series of key phases:

Status of NCCF’s Standards