We all have the power to make a positive impact on the planet and society with every pound we spend. By being a conscious shopper – which means making informed choices in line with our values – we can help to bring about a better world. And it’s not as time-consuming as it sounds. All you need to do to ensure your money is doing the right thing is look for one of these simple symbols when you shop:
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The Fairtrade mark, an initiative by Fairtrade International, encourages consumers to help reduce global poverty through their day-to-day shopping. To earn a Fairtrade mark, businesses must meet the highest social, economic and environmental standards. They must offer sustainable prices (never lower than the market price), decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
The symbol appears on thousands of products sold in over 100 countries around the world and across all industries from clothing and beauty products to food.
Certified B Corps are businesses that balance purpose with profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
B Corps are bringing about a global culture shift to redefine what success in business means and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. By using a B Corp company, you are helping with their collective mission to reduce inequality and poverty, promote a healthier environment and stronger communities, and create more high-quality jobs.
The Soil Association is the UK’s largest certifier of organic food. If a product has the Soil Association symbol, you can be sure that it meets the highest organic standards and was made in a sustainable, nature-friendly way.
To earn Soil Association certification, businesses must meet strict European laws about the production of organic food. They must also go further in key areas such as animal welfare, protecting human health, and safeguarding the environment. There is no way of farming that has a higher level of animal welfare than farms working to Soil Association organic standards.
The Good Egg, launched by Good With Money in 2017, is the UK’s first mark making it easier for people to find financial providers that offer a good deal for their pockets as well as for people and planet. The Good Egg mark is only awarded to financial services firms that can prove they make a positive impact.
Companies must apply to be assessed for a Good Egg mark. A report on the provider, which addresses multiple criteria, is produced by independent consultancy Ethical Screening. This sets out how well it measures up against a range of different environmental, social and industry impact factors, taking into account the size and history of the firm and its performance. The report is then considered by a panel of industry experts before a final decision is made.
The Good Egg mark has been awarded to seven firms to date: Ecology Building Society, Triodos Bank, Abundance Investment, EQ Investors, Thrive Renewables, Pennine Wealth Solutions and Downing Crowd (you can see reports about each here).
Trustpilot is a review platform that is open to everyone. It allows consumers to rate companies by sharing their experiences and enables companies to get valuable customer feedback and recommendations.
It’s more than just a rating though. If a business displays Trustpilot stars, it shows that it has nothing to hide and values its customers.
The Rainforest Alliance certifies farms and tourism businesses that meet the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network or the Forest Stewardship Council.
You can find the green frog symbol on products such as coffee, tea and chocolate, as well as paper and other printed materials. It means that the producing farm complies with principles of sustainable farming. These include the conservation of biodiversity, and improving livelihoods and human well-being.
By choosing Rainforest Alliance certified hotels and tour operators when you travel, you will know that your holiday is benefitting local communities, ecosystems and wildlife.