In addition to developing and managing quality marks and certification schemes, SMK has been working for the business community for more than 25 years to make products and business operations more sustainable. Projects often have the goal of exploring whether programs or certification schemes can be developed to stimulate larger groups of companies to work on becoming more sustainable.
We work together with an extensive network of governments, producers, industry associations, civil society organizations, retailers, scientists, and chain partners.
Circular & Fair ICT Pact
Since the end of 2020, SMK has been participating in the international ‘Circular & Fair ICT Pact’, commissioned by the Dutch Department of Public Works. Purchasers cannot cope with the patchwork of current ICT criteria and test methods of various ecolabels. As a result, they are currently making too little use of their purchasing power. This is a missed opportunity to force the ICT market to become more sustainable through targeted, bundled demand and thus collectively substantially reduce their sustainability impact. Together with purchasing organizations from various European countries, an action perspective is being developed that is in line with the harmonization of international standards and criteria for equipment in the workplace (laptops and smartphones).
Sustainable Meat, Naturally
SMK started in 2020 as a project partner in the Sustainable Meat, Naturally* project. The aim of this project is to form an integral overview of quality labels, measurement methods, and sustainability criteria for livestock farming, consumer wishes and to provide insight into the areas of tension between them. From this overview, a roadmap will be designed for the further development of existing quality labels in terms of criteria, methodology and allocation to meet the information needs of different target groups: livestock farmers, consumers and business customers.
SMK, as one of the most experienced scheme managers of certification systems for more sustainable products and production systems in agriculture, is involved as a knowledge provider and practitioner stakeholder. In addition to feedback on the implementation of various student projects, in 2020 SMK provided a number of times the Masterclass ‘Behind the scenes of certification and labeling’ for project partners and students. This Masterclass can also be provided for other organizations. All sectors within the meat-producing livestock are included in the project, but there is a particular focus on the sustainable production of beef. A large number of project partners are involved including the four agricultural colleges in the Netherlands. The project will be completed in 2022.
*This research project is co-financed by Regieorgaan SIA, part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
Checklist Duty of Care for grass clippings and leaves
Development of a ‘Checklist for the Duty of Care for Cuttings and Leaves’ commissioned by the Department of Public Works, together with the Circular Terrain Management program and a wide range of stakeholders.
The purpose of this Checklist is to provide ‘sound quality assurance for the high-quality application of grass clippings and leaves as soil improvers’. The Checklist implements the duty of care as referred to in the Environment Act and is a tool for all parties involved. Enforcers and authorities can use the checklist for the licensing of practical pilots and in the formulation of the new policy. The Checklist is a growth document, which will be adapted regularly based on the experience and knowledge gained.
For the checklist and any questions, please contact email@example.com
Climate bar (Klimaatlat)
The Climate bar is part of the Maatlat Duurzame Veehouderij (MDV) and consists of a point system for (stable) measures regarding the reduction of the greenhouse gasses coming from fossil energy sources: (carbon dioxide/CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
An internal follow-up project was carried out in 2020 to describe the best practices for reducing emissions of ammonia, methane, and nitrous oxide from stables. The results of the project have been included in the revision of the Maatlat Duurzame Veehouderij. This has led to concrete methane-reducing measures in dairy cattle and pigs. For nitrous oxide (in poultry and straw housing) no measures are yet ready for implementation.
Environmental Indicator Crop Protection
Environmental Indicator Crop Protection (Milieu Indicator Gewasbescherming) is a Public-Private Partnership in which a large number of parties participate. The project started in 2019 and will run until the end of 2022. It focuses on the development of a methodology for calculating the environmental burden resulting from crop protection product application. SMK is co-funding and participating in the consortium of the project and has an active role in the testing phase of the MIG. SMK is involved in this project because of the potential use of the indicator in the certification scheme On the way to PlanetProof Plant Products.
Socially responsible purchasing
Commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat.
SMK supports the Dutch government in updating the Socially Responsible Purchasing criteria for a wide range of product groups, such as cleaning, catering, tree nursery products, flower bulbs, corporate clothing, printing, data centers, toner cartridges, office furniture, electricity, and gas.
Lease terms and conditions Green Development Fund Brabant
Commissioned by Groen Ontwikkelfonds Brabant.
The Green Development Fund Brabant wants to make the lease conditions for the issuance of land more sustainable in the coming years, in order to contribute to the strengthening of biodiversity, water targets and soil quality and to the transition of agriculture in Brabant. SMK, in cooperation with WUR, has developed a list of relevant sustainability criteria against which measures or certificates can be assessed. The Green Development Fund Brabant has received advice (and substantiation) whereby certificates and measures can be ‘weighed’ against each other. Including suggestions for control and enforcement.
Brabant Care Quality Score Livestock (Brabantse Zorgvuldigheidsscore Veehouderij)
Joint project with Province of Brabant, WUR and Crem
Together with WUR and Crem, SMK advised the province of Brabant in setting up the Brabant Care Quality Score for Livestock Farming. With this instrument, the province wants to take sustainable business practices into account when allocating development space for agricultural companies. Based on our expertise in sustainability measures and their assurance through certification, SMK has contributed to the design and weighting of a carefulness score for livestock farming.