Certification and equity: Applying an “equity framework” to compare certification schemes across product sectors and scales

Authors McDermott, C.L.
Year of Publication 2012
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal Environmental Science & Policy
Volume 33
Pagination 428-437
Open Access No


This paper applies a comprehensive equity framework to compare the priorities and tradeoffs of different environmental and social certification schemes. The schemes selected for comparison are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO), and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA). The framework considers how the parameters of equity are set in certification scheme governance, including who are the primary decision-makers and intended beneficiaries, and how this is reflected in the content of scheme standards and certification outcomes. Each of these parameters is assessed across the dimensions of procedural, contextual and distributive equity.