Certification procedure

Certification procedure

Foto: Shutterstock

Testfakta Bio-based is a voluntary programme for certifying and labelling bio-based products. Part of the certification involves analysis of their bio-based content. Certified products are labelled with a consumer-friendly symbol and a clear display of the proportion of bio-based material in the product.

Published: Nov, 27, 2018

One basic criterion for Testfakta Bio-based certification is that the product must contain a high proportion of bio-based content, compared with other, similar products. Another is that it must meet essential environmental and performance requirements.

The minimum percentage of bio-based content required for certification varies according to the product category.

Manufacturer’s details confirmed in analysis
A company registers its interest in certifying a product, and is then responsible for attesting that the product meets the certification criteria. The product also undergoes independent analysis in which its bio-based content is measured. A scientifically based, transparent method is thus used to confirm the information from the manufacturer.

Certification and labelling of product and/or packaging
The company may choose to certify the product only (the contents of any packaging used), the packaging only, or both the product and the packaging. The proportion of bio-based content is specified separately for the various components.

New label 3 versions

 

The certification process, step by step:

  1. Registration of interest
    The owner of a product registers interest in certifying it.
  2. Specification of requirements
    Based on product type, we inform the owner of specific requirements for its certification, the documentation required, a detailed account of the certification process, and costs.
  3. Certification agreement
    The product owner and Testfakta Bio-based sign an agreement on assessment and certification.
  4. Assessment of the product
    The documentation is reviewed. The bio-based content is then calculated on the basis of the product’s composition, and the result is verified through technical analysis. The assessment and calculation results are reported to the product owner.
  5. Product labelling
    If the product meets the certification requirements, an agreement entitling the manufacturer to label the product as Testfakta Bio-based is signed.

Bio-based content verified in the laboratory
Bio-based products may contain renewable materials only, but usually comprise a mix of renewable and fossil materials. The bio-based content (biomass share) of the product or packaging is calculated on the basis of detailed data on the composition of the product. The biomass proportion calculated is verified and defined by means of technical analysis.

The percentage stated on the label refers to the share of bio-based content. Bio-based products may contain renewable materials only, but usually consist of a mix of renewable and fossil materials. The content of the product is measured and defined by an independent test laboratory. The analysis shows how much of the product content is bio-based, and the number on the label refers to the percentage of bio-based content.

How the technical analysis is done
The bio-based content of a product is verified through technical analysis in a laboratory. This analysis is based on the carbon-14 dating method, which is used for such purposes as determining the age of archaeological finds.

This method determines the total quantity of organic carbon in the product analysed and the bio-based proportion of this carbon. If the measured proportion of bio-based carbon is 100%, it means that 100% of the carbon (in the product) comes from plants or animal by-products. If the proportion of bio-based carbon is found to be 0%, this means that all the organic carbon (in the product) comes from oil or other fossil resources.

Depending on the calculation model, the proportion of bio-based organic carbon is used to verify or certify the bio-based content of a product.

Various calculation models
Products are certified on the basis of different calculation models (standards), depending on the geographic market and recipient (B2C or B2B). Reporting of the proportion of bio-based content conforms to current guidelines and recommendations:

  • For products sold to consumers (Business-to-Consumer, B2C) in the EU, the certification complies with European Standard EN 16935: 2017.

  • For products sold between companies (Business-to-Business, B2B) in the EU, the certification complies with European Standard EN 16848: 2016.

  • For products sold either to consumers or between companies (B2C or B2B) outside the EU, the company chooses whether to base the certification either on one of the above or on the ASTM D6866 standard test method.

Which calculation model (standard) the certification is based on is stated on the label, and the information linked to the product's certification ID.

 

Verification metod and ID

If you would like to know more about the certification or have other questions, please contact us.

 

Criteria for certification

The products are certified based on different calculation models (standards) depending on the geographic market and recipient (B2C or B2B).

  • Products whose bio-based content exceeds a certain proportion of the total content can be certified. The minimum percentage required for certification varies for different product categories.

  • The biomass must come from environmentally sustainable production, and must not have a negative impact on food production.

  • The product must comply with laws and regulations for environmental and health protection, both nationally and within the EU, including REACH.

  • Products must meet basic performance requirements.

 

Documentation requirements

The documentation must include information on the composition of the product (constituent raw materials and chemical composition), the proportion of biomass and the origin of the biomass. In addition, a technical specification and a certificate that the product meets legal requirements are required, both nationally and within the EU. For end-user products, where the product's properties are crucial to the user, documentation is required that proves the product's performance.

Most of the information is part of existing product information for products launched on the European market, which facilitates handling and simplifies the application process.

All documentation is of course treated with confidentiality.

Email us an expression of interest with the type of product and which markets are referred to and we will return with more detailed information about criteria for certification, documentation requirements, the certification process and costs.