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Certificates 2017 Introduction Sustainability: A driving force of the future One after another, an increasing number of consumer and private-label brands as well as representatives of the capitalgoods industry are committing themselves to certified sustainability. They’re changing production processes, defining concrete goals and illustrating the steps they’ve taken by providing concrete figures. In effect since 2017, the EU’s new CSR disclosure requirement is aimed at a similar target. One of the consequences for affected companies is the making transparent of the supply chain, which must adopt the client’s criteria. Sustainability and CSR will increasingly become part of the corporate brand essence. This is nothing less than a paradigm shift in the economy, both in the B2C and the B2B arena. “Sustainability can explain up to 13 percent of total sales”, according to the latest market data tabulated by Serviceplan Business Corporation’s annual Sustainable Image Score (SIS) survey (online survey asking 9,000 consumers about 106 companies from 16 sectors of the economy). The latest edition of the PSI Industry Barometer Europe 2/2016 reveals that these centrifugal forces are reflected in the promotional products industry, as well. The motivation to put one’s own company on a more sustainable path is rooted in three main factors: as a component of corporate responsibility (“It’s important to us and to many of our customers. Let’s think of tomorrow today!”), as a competitive advantage (“We’ll improve our chances in the market and clearly differentiate ourselves from the competition.”) and the increasing pressure from users and lawmakers (“Audits and certifications are required by large companies.”) There’s no alternative to CSR and sustainability: “We view sustainable operations as an essential driving force of the future.” By participating in the PSI Sustainability Awards you’ll raise your corporate sustainability profile as an entrepreneur. Even if you’re a beginner, the structure of the seven awards categories provides you with guidance based on the real world. This publication is an aid to help you navigate corporate sustainability. It includes a structured overview of important current certificates for companies and products in the promotional products industry. 3

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