Methodology

Questionmark benchmarks products to measure and compare their transparency and performance on their impact on the environment, human rights, animal welfare and our personal health. In our methodology products are compared to each other within their product category, based on standardized and scientifically substantiated topics.

For our product benchmarks we use product data and supply chain data. Product data can be found on the package of a product: ingredients, nutritional values, labels, country of origin, etc. This data is collected through different sources, amongst which: GS1, retailers and A-brands, Brandbank, by copying product information from webshops or photographing the products.

For the collection of supply chain data Questionmark is licensed to work with the questionnaires of The Sustainability Consortium (TSC). TSC is a consortium of Universities. They develop science based sustainability metrics for consumer products. Data collection is done by companies participating in a program called Transparent on Sustainability, in which they fill in the questionnaires themselves and / or via public sources of companies.

Most of the data we use comes from sources which are verified by independent third party verification. For reasons of cost and time constraints, Questionmark does not conduct any extra verification on the collected data.

In our benchmarks we assess the following four criteria:

Environment

The effect of buying a particular product on the environment, based on things like its effect on climate change, deforestation, biodiversity and water scarcity.

Human Rights

The effect of buying a particular product on human and labour rights. Such as fair wages, fair trade, slavery, discrimination and the right to organize freely in unions.

Animal Welfare

This issue only applies to products of which the main component is derived from animals. The effect of buying a particular product on the welfare of animals that are involved in the production.

Health

There is no such thing as ‘a healthy product’. No single product creates health on its own. To the extent that a product affects our individual health we must always view that effect in the context of lifestyle. What is a healthy lifestyle for one person may not be for another. We follow the guidelines as formulated by Voedingscentrum (The Netherlands Nutrition Centre) in order to determine whether a product can be part of a healthy diet or not. Read more about our health methodology here.

Other information about the method

For our research into sustainability and health, we use product data. The research principles used by Questionmark are public. For more information on the data sources and our way of working, please contact us .

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