The Rainforest Alliance Releases New Verification Mark to Recognize Achievements in Sustainability

June 23, 2010

The Rainforest Alliance today released its new verification mark to recognize businesses and projects that have achieved significant and measurable sustainability milestones. The new mark is awarded to forest carbon projects and tourism and certain forestry enterprises that meet standards developed by the Rainforest Alliance itself or by other organizations with which the Rainforest Alliance is aligned.

"When consumers or businesses see the new Rainforest Alliance verification mark, they can be sure that a particular enterprise or project -- whether it be a hotel, carbon credit project or company selling wood products -- has complied with strong standards for sound management that benefit the environment and communities," confirmed Rainforest Alliance president Tensie Whelan.

As an example of how the mark will be used in forestry, Whelan pointed to verification of the legality of wood sources, which is particularly important since illegal logging throughout the world continues to undermine efforts to promote social equity, environmental conservation and sustainable economic growth in many nations. The Rainforest Alliance has developed standards for verification of legality to respond to a growing need for companies to provide assurances -- to customers, owners, investors and the general public -- that answer questions about the legal status of timber sources.

Hotels and tour operators that meet Rainforest Alliance sustainable tourism requirements, which follow the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, can also earn the right to display the verification mark on brochures or advertisements. Carbon credit projects verified by the Rainforest Alliance to standards such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard can also use the mark on their Web sites, for example, so that consumers know that greenhouse gas sequestration promoted by the project has been credibly demonstrated.

Verification Mark

The Rainforest Alliance's familiar green frog appears in the new mark, as well as in the organization's logo and certification seal. For nearly 20 years the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal has been used to designate farms and forestlands that meet the rigorous, third-party standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network or the Forest Stewardship Council. These standards for environmental, social and economic sustainability are developed through an independent, participatory process.

"The standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network and the Forest Stewardship Council are rigorous and transparent, and the Rainforest Alliance continues to believe that achieving independent, third-party certification of sustainability efforts should be the goal of every responsible enterprise," Whelan said.

"Along the road to sustainability there are, however, other significant and measurable milestones not recognized by third-party certifications, at least not yet," Whelan added. "We believe consumers deserve to know which businesses are making long-lasting differences to this planet's well being. The Rainforest Alliance has thoroughly analyzed and stands strongly behind the standards our new verification mark represents."

The verification mark can be used only on off-product marketing and public-information materials, such as Web sites, brochures and advertisements, never on products. As with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, all usages of the verification mark must be approved by the Rainforest Alliance prior to publication.

Distinguishing between the two marks

Type of Mark Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal Rainforest Alliance Verified Mark
Programs Covered

The Rainforest Alliance is an international, nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods. Working in 70 countries worldwide, the organization helps people transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. To learn more about our family of marks, visit http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/branding.cfm?id=familyofmarks.

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