Verification of Ethical Claims – ISO/TS 17033
Locally grown, fairly traded, made with love – more and more products, services and organizations make assertions like these. But what is the basis for claims like these and what is their value? The new ISO/TS 17033 standard sheds some light on this topic.
As the interest of consumers and investors in the ethical aspects of products and services continues to increase, so does the number of ethical claims. This proliferation of ethical claims has led to confusion in the marketplace, particularly where terms are used that are insufficiently or inconsistently defined, and where the scope of a claim, the basis of conformance or method of verification is unclear.
ISO/TS 17033 contains principles and requirements for developing and declaring ethical claims and for providing supporting information, where specific standards have not been developed, or to supplement existing standards. The standard defines ethical claims as statements, symbols or graphics that declare one or more ethical aspects of a product, process, service or organization.
The benefits of using ISO/TS 17033
Taking into account the guidelines of ISO/TS 17033 when making ethical claims provides the following benefits:
- On the basis of the new standard, users can state new claims and can improve the claims that are already in place and make sure they are clear, transparent and documented
- ISO/TS 17033 facilitates the communication of accurate, credible and verifiable information about the ethical aspects of a product, process, service or organization
- Negative market effects such as trade barriers or unfair competition can be prevented
The benefits of independent verification
While verification of ethical claims is by no means mandatory, it does dramatically increase the credibility. During the verification process, our independent assessors review whether a particular ethical claim has been made in accordance with the principles of ISO/TS 17033 and any other applicable standards. After a successful verification, we issue a third-party confirmation that can be used to publicly support your claim.
The verification can be done as a standalone assessment, or as part of an external assurance assessment on an entire sustainability report.
As a certification and assessment body, DQS has a long-standing tradition as a credible and neutral third party. Ever since the founding of DQS in 1985, we have relied on a large network of highly qualified assessors, who combine their in-depth knowledge of standards and methodologies with first-hand experience in the relevant industry sector.
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