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4 reasons why eco-certification is NOT for you

There’s no denying that eco-certification is an alluring prospect. From improving stakeholder investment in environmental activity to encouraging positive change in your industry, the benefits are tenfold.

But it’s not a shiny object to chase or a marketing move to make. Gaining a credible eco-certification isn’t a mean feat and you can expect it to be a lengthy, comprehensive process that requires your undivided attention.

So, here are four reasons why an eco-certification is not for you, in case you’ve been weighing up the pros and cons on behalf of your organisation.

1. You don’t have the resources to commit to the certification fully

Applying for eco-certification takes time and manpower. It’s a stringent application process and you have to back up your claims with solid evidence, relating to your employees, community, customers, and environmental commitments. You can expect a lot of number crunching, document filling, and evidence gathering.

And it doesn’t stop there. Once you receive certification, you must demonstrate a steadfast commitment to maintaining and enhancing your eco credentials. If you lack the time, money, and people to do this, you’ll want to reconsider certification until you have the resources to do so.

2. It’s not relevant to your stakeholders

Consider those with a vested interest in your company’s strategies and development plans, like your board, employees, clients, or potential investors. Whilst, on paper, eco-certification sounds like a great idea, does it have a practical, positive impact on your stakeholders? Is it relevant to their goals and priorities? Does it seamlessly slot into your overarching business vision? Be mindful of the certification’s impact on relevant stakeholder groups, ensuring that it bolsters your business strategy, rather than clouds it.

3. Your primary motivation is that a competitor has the same certification

Eco certification isn’t a competition. If your primary motive is to outshine your competitors, you’re in this for the wrong reasons! Certification isn’t a marketing accolade or elaborate greenwashing effort. It’s an ongoing commitment to improving environmental and social performance. Pursue it because you want to build a business that balances people, profits, and the planet – not because so-and-so is showing off their new badge of honour on social media.

4. It’s not aligned with your overall sustainability strategy

Is eco-certification a reliable way to demonstrate your sustainable commitments? Yes. Is it the only way? Absolutely not. If you have a strong sustainability strategy that’s working for you and delivering positive results, that’s brilliant. If certification involves doing a whiplash U-turn and going back to the drawing board, you don’t have to pursue it. Make sure you know why you’re targeting a particular certification before spending time and budget on something that’s not aligned with your business goals.

Top tip: if you don’t have a sustainability strategy, I recommend you start there first!

Need a better understanding of your strategy before embarking on your certification journey?

Then let’s chat, because the Sustainability Strategy Package with True Horizon may be for you.

This is a six-month mentoring partnership to help SMEs scale responsibly and balance purpose with profit. Together, we’ll devise a strategy tailored to your organisation’s needs, goals and values.

If you have any questions about the Sustainability Strategy Package, let’s have a chat. I’d be more than happy to help.