CSE  - your label for sustainably and consciously purchase

When you pay attention to real sustainability, you should know CSE.

With your day-to-day consumption you make important decisions time and again. When you pay attention to real sustainability, you should know CSE. This eco-social quality label confirms that you got hold of a comprehensively sustainable product – because the company is doing business in a sustainable way.

No long searches for “organic” AND “fair” or “organic” AND “no child labour”.

CSE - the label for your sustainable and conscious purchase.


CSE Certified Sustainable Enterprise

With CSE certified products you promote among others:

Your own health: CSE products are natural

The sustainable production of goods according to ecological and social criteria

The use of renewable resources

Sustainable money flows, projects and packagings

Sustainable pioneers – companies that implement sustainability in a consequent way

Transparency and consistency: facts are checked in an objective way, no greenwashing

A range of products from sustainable pioneers

Learn more about sustainability in enterprises

Little Green Bags: True Business Sustainability

What is true business sustainability? And how can enterprises solve social problems by means of diligent business practices? These questions are dealt with by the eleventh film of the HSG’s “Little Green Bags” animation video series.

Why certified companies rather than certified products?

Perhaps you recognise this: you’d like an organic product, but even more.

It’s important to you that there are neither exploitation of people, nor exorbitant manager wages linked to the production. You’re also keen on the fact that the company doesn’t perform animal testing and reduce packaging? For any of these points there exists a separate label, but the comparison is difficult and above all: the labels refer only to the single product and don’t consider the producing company.

Rightfully so you want to know about the company behind the products and how sustainable (=ecological and eco-social) it behaves. CSE has been created to bring together genuine sustainable companies and critical consumers.

CSE – the eco-social quality label

Companies are like humans. Some are boasting themselves unpleasantly, some others are inconspicuous – and one or two do something very special for us:

They understand that they have the responsibility for Man and Nature and put this responsibility into practice. They model our environment, society and the economy in an endeavour for a worthwhile future.

We, the ‘ Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftethik (GfaW)’ are targeting to find these particularly exemplary sustainable pioneers for you and  identify them. In front of manifold sustainability pledges, uncontrolled self-declarations and self-defined standards the CSE company certification provides clarity.

Only companies that implement responsibility at the highest level are allowed to bear the CSE label. The quality rating stands for certified, independently audited sustainability in the whole of the company. You’ll find the CSE label exclusively on products produced by companies operating in a sustainable way.

What should a company do to obtain the CSE certification?

A company standard for sustainable management is quite complex indeed.  In the following we have compiled the most important elements.

The complete requirements can be consulted here.

CSE as a company standard for sustainability is organised as a tree:

The roots feature a sound system for the continuous improvement of the company (environmental management – extended to a sustainability management system – based on the international norm ISO 14001). This management system is meant to be a support for the company in its quest towards the consequent application of sustainability. For small companies, handicraft businesses and start-ups the management system doesn’t have to be monstrous. Essential is that it offers support and matches with the company’s profile. A functioning sustainable management system is therefore a basic requirement. Don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help at the introduction of such a management system.

A further basic requirement for the company certification is the fulfilment of the knock-off criteria. They represent a solid tree trunk and have to be prioritarily complied with by all CSE certified companies. These criteria are structured in the three well-known areas of sustainability: social, ecological and economical issues. CSE is quite unique in this sense that it takes in account the sustainable alignment of the whole company: when you produce organic cosmetics on one hand and proceed with animal testing for other products, you will not be allowed to bear the CSE label.

The knock-off criteria are:


Social requirements

In CSE certified companies there is a working atmosphere which is conducive to humans. Family friendly working hours, equal pay for men and women and the possibility of working from home office are selfunderstood. As far as raw materials or half-fabricates are sourced in countries outside of Europe, CSE certified companies prefer produce that is fair trade and equitable.

Ecological requirements

CSE certified companies use mainly ingredients from ecological, regional farming and continually reassess their potential reduction of resources. They select their suppliers based on the same state of mind.

Economical criteria

Outside capital is sourced either from ethically oriented investors or from sources which reinforce the region in which the company has its seat. Longtime partnerships are generated and the income gap does not exceed the ratio 1:15 (as a comparison: with the general public 1:200 is mainly accepted as “normal”). Profits which the company generates are used to realise sustainability objectives.

Yet we have a solid foundation for the sustainability standard with roots and tree trunk. Now come the leaves. With each tree they grow in an individual manner, depending on insolation, water provision etc. The leaves represent the sustainability objectives, of which each company has to select mandatorily three from the areas Ecology, Society and Economy, and have to implement them within a time lapse of three to five years.

On top of these you can as a CSE company oblige yourself to many more sustainability focuses. In doing so you take part in the creation of new, innovative impulsions within sustainable economy. These focuses are the flowers or fruits in our picture.

Companies that one day reached with success the CSE certification should however not want to rest on their laurels. They understand sustainability as a learning process and put their goals continuously higher. The tree is growing and flourishing. For all the others he is an orientation, an example, a haven and a support.

Where do I find CSE products?

The CSE label is currently to be found in nearly any segment of natural products and services:

  • Natural products
  • Natural cosmetics
  • Washing & Cleaning products
  • Services and handicrafts
  • Trade

For the most part you’ll find the products of our sustainability pioneers in the health food shops.

When at your point of sale products with the CSE label are missing, don’t hesitate to ask for them. You’re also welcome to ask your favourite producer why he is not CSE certified. You’re doing yourself and the environment a favour.

CSE certified are amongst others the following companies.(Link setzen

CSE-zertifiziert sind unter anderem die folgenden Unternehmen.