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Profits and SustainabilityA History of Green Entrepreneurship$
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Geoffrey Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198706977.001.0001

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Building Green Institutions

Building Green Institutions

(p.233) 6 Building Green Institutions
Profits and Sustainability

Geoffrey Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the spread of standards and certification in green industries including IFOAM in organic food, ECOCERT in beauty, BREEAM and LEED in building, and Green Globe in tourism. These were the work of a set of institutional entrepreneurs who argued that standards and certification were the path to credibility but the evidence on impact is mixed. Conflicting or confusing certification schemes, as in beauty, were a problem for the growth of an industry. However, standards and certification often needed to be set at such a level that they were seen as being in reach of most participants. As a result there was some tendency for a race to the bottom. Standards and certification also resulted in misaligned incentives and the potential for gaming. Above all, certification shed light on the contested meaning of sustainability.

Keywords:   certification, standards, LEED, IFOAM, Fair Trade, NGOs

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