Social standards in Blauer Engel?

In 2009 the German Umweltbundesamt (UBA) hosted a dialogue titled “Environmental and social standards in the textile and shoe industry“. The meeting discussed three questions: (1) How to harmonize social and environmental standards? (2) Are voluntary standards sufficient? What role should the state play? (3) How to deal with processes beyond the first-tier?

Since then, a discussion is ongoing regarding the inclusion of social standards into the environmental certificate “Blauer Engel“. This certificate is one of the best known environmental product labels in Germany. It would certainly lighten up the label-confusion, if there were only one trustworthy label for social and environmental standards in the whole value chain. The FLO is also discussing to extend their certificate to the whole value chain. However, I am very sceptical, whether it is possible to integrate social standards into a product certificate, if this does not address the trade issues. If I get more information, I am happy to report about the proceedings in the UBA.

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