Sustainability: How can a third-party certifier help you build a stronger brand?

Liz Tinlin

We are seeing labels such as Fairtrade and the Marine Stewardship Council badged on more and more of the UK's biggest consumer products. But do marketers use these labels to help build stronger brands? Liz Tinlin uses new research to identify best practice that calls for marketers to get more actively involved.

Sustainability is a huge, complex agenda that few of us in business understand in any depth. But to the aid of businesses has come a wide array of NGOs, each promising to help 'clean up' our act in one area or another, tackling issues as diverse as workers' pay, fisheries, forestry, energy use or even the nation's bees.

These 'third-party certifiers' each offer a solution to one of these many challenges, and in return for meeting their defined standards, we get to demonstrate their 'badge' on our brands in the hope that consumers will use it as a way to buy more responsibly and, in the process, feel more trust in our brand.