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    Why accredited certification is a strategic imperative for social responsibility initiatives.  

    By Jessica Osborne, Director of Business Development and Business Processes, EAGLE Certification Group

    We have turned the corner where great companies no longer look at social responsibility as an operational choice, but are looking at it as an economic and strategic imperative.  Why?  Because it can be a differentiator, a business driver and it is the right thing to do. These companies are listening to their customers.   Consumers are getting smarter and the world is getting smaller. The expectations and behaviors are rapidly changing and companies that can commit and deliver on consumer demands will be rewarded. But, how do you protect your brand, meet consumer demand and stay profitable? And how do you ensure and demonstrate that your organization is “walking the talk”?

    Companies that have focused on quality have thrived and great companies have moved beyond the basics of quality and are incorporating social initiatives as part of their strategy. Our world has become more focused on quality products made in socially conscious ways. As a result, consumers look for ways to verify that the goods they buy are not only of the quality they expect but also are produced in socially responsible manner. It doesn’t just stop there. They want to work for these companies, engage with these companies and support these companies. Social responsibility is about taking care of people, the community and the environment companies operate in.  Growers, raw material suppliers, producers, service providers, distributors, retailers, government, regulators and consumers are all stakeholders in this and all have a role.

    And what roles do certification and accreditation have to play? Certification bodies (CBs) can help independently assure the consumer that the company from which they are buying products or services have processes in place to consistently and continuously act and operate in a socially responsible manner. But who is watching the CB? Accreditation is a process of validation and verification of CBs, ensuring they meet a set of standards, and are both impartial and competent.  In other words, certification and accreditation creates a level of checks and balances to ensure Social Responsibility standards are being properly met and that the consumer can have confidence in claims being made by the company they buy from. These are layers of independence, responsibility and requirements intended to provide confidence to consumers that accredited certificates demonstrate a company is “walking the talk”.

    In a world that connects us instantly and where negative news continues to dominate the headlines, it is refreshing to see companies looking beyond the dollars to a future where being socially responsible and doing the right thing when no one is looking can be verified through a trustworthy system of accredited certifications, giving consumer the confidence to trust their claims.

    Join us at the 2019 SQF Conference in San Antonio, Texas, November 5-7. EAGLE will present and make a call to action for anyone interested in becoming one of the leading organizations with an accredited certification in Social Responsibility.

    Questions? Contact Jessica at jessica.osborne@eaglecertificationgroup.com.

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