Methodology

Our dream is a world in which the production of consumer goods is in balance with living nature and natural ecosystems, in which manufacturers of these goods respect human rights and in which the animals involved in the production process are able to live well. In such a world manufacturers of consumer goods view it as their responsibility to offer products that fit in a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Please be aware that we are currently working on a significant upgrade of our research methodology based on a licence for The Sustainability Consortium. That’s why we are temporarily not comparing the sustainability of numerous products at present. However, we will be indicating from now on whether products have one or more (top) quality certifications and what these entail. Soon our improved, scientific methodology will make it easy to compare the sustainability of different products. We expect to be able to publish our first result in mid-2018. Read more about this development here.

We assess the following four criteria in order to realize Questionmark’s dream:

Environment

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

Human Rights

The effect of buying a particular product on human rights such as fair wages, fair trade 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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