A product or service receives a certificate if it meets the requirements of a quality label or program. These requirements are described in a certification scheme. SMK develops and manages various certification schemes and is therefore a scheme manager. SMK certifies for EU Ecolabel products and services and represents the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for EU Ecolabel criteria development in Brussels. Furthermore, our organization does not issue certificates and quality label itself, but has this done by external, specialized certification institutes (CIs). A CI has a license for a certification scheme through SMK and performs independent checks at certificate holders. The product or service must meet all the requirements of the certification scheme before the certificate holder receives a certificate from the CI. See the certification process below.
Independent and high-quality scheme management
By developing and managing certification schemes, SMK stimulates the sustainability of products and services. SMK commits to independent and high quality scheme management and works according to a careful and transparent process. To promote confidence in the quality of scheme development and management, SMK also has itself audited. SMK is a member of the Association of Scheme Managers and complies with the Dutch Technical Agreement / NTA 8813. An external assessor checks SMK every two years.
Council for Accreditation
Both the certification bodies and the certification schemes1 of SMK are under the supervision of the Accreditation Council. This sets requirements for what is tested with the schemes, how this is done and by whom. Because SMK certificates are issued under accreditation, they meet the highest requirements in the area of assurance.
Accreditation (literally: giving trust) goes one step further. Not only are products or services independently checked by the certification body, but also the certification body itself is checked. This is done by the Council for Accreditation (RvA). The RvA is a Dutch institution that was created on the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The government has designated it as the national accreditation body. The RvA checks in an expert, impartial and independent way whether the international standard ISO/IEC 170652 is being followed.
Certification schemes of SMK
The Dutch Accreditation Council has a list of all certification schemes they grant accreditation for: the BR010 list. The following certification schemes of SMK are issued under accreditation:
Barometer sustainable trade and retail
On the way to PlanetProof in the agri food sector
- On the way to PlanetProof Animal products (Dutch)
- On the way to PlanetProof Plant products
- On the way to PlanetProof Processed products (Dutch)
Milieukeur for non-food products
- Milieukeur Fire extinguishers
- Milieukeur Green electricity
- Milieukeur Unreinforced Concrete Products
- Milieuthermometer Zorg
1 This also applies to SMK certification schemes that have not (yet) been reported to the RvA, for example because they are still in a pilot phase or because there are not yet enough certificate holders for cost-effective supervision by the RvA.
2 Several SMK schemes are not supervised by the RvA. The certification bodies have agreed with SMK to conduct these inspections in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17065 standard. This is guaranteed at SMK via the NTA 8813.
Quality labels and certificates
Curious about all the labels and programs you can certify for? Read more
The specific requirements for achieving certification differ from one certificate to another. In addition to the specific requirements, a number of certificates must also comply with SMK’s general certification conditions. This applies to Milieukeur, On the way to PlanetProof and the Barometers (like Sustainable Florist).