organizations. Increasing cohesiveness in the measurement and language used, such as by using product category rules, would bring more clarity to ratings and reports on products and be useful to purchasers.
• Certifiers could be urged to disclose more information and data from the companies they are certifying so that the process is more transparent, many participants felt.
• Many participants observed a disconnect between certifications/ ecolabels and outcomes. The actual environmental health or societal impacts of products bearing such labels are typically not tracked and accounted for in any systematic way. A related issue is how inputs relate to the output of certified products, and how products could be designed with more consideration of outcomes.
• Harmonizing definitions on product types or moving toward unique identifiers like a sku number would allow different purchasers and procurement systems to readily identify the same product. This could also improve interoperability between technologies and data sharing among systems.
• In addition to the purchasing phase of procurement, many participants felt that contracting is also important. However, it may not be possible to address outcomes in this context; it may be better to address sustainability concerns by writing constraints into a statement of work. In this case, tracking and evaluating work performance in an effective way would be a more accurate assessment of sustainability practices.