STANDARD: WWF Certification Assessment Tool (CAT)

Posted on September, 05 2014

WWF has developed the Certification Assessment Tool (CAT) to assess, which certification schemes are best equipped to achieve conservation goals and objectives: i.e. which certification schemes are likely to deliver the best social and environmental impact at scale.
The CAT is a formalised methodology to evaluate and compare standards and certification schemes. It assesses standard requirements and a scheme’s governance, rules and procedures.

The outcome is a better understanding of a certification scheme’s strengths and weaknesses.

WWF uses CAT assessments to help identify areas for improvement so these can be addressed as part of a scheme’s efforts to further refine and strengthen their systems.

CAT assessments can be applied to all sectors. So far, WWF has developed the CAT for terrestrial commodities (agriculture and forestry).

Of 160 questions in total, 150 apply to all sectors, while the remaining 10 questions address sector specific issues for forestry or agriculture.


System strengths
A. Mission & Governance
B. Setting standards
C. Certification and transparency
D. Accreditation
E. Chain of custody

Standard strengths
A. Legality, tenure, use rights
B. Community relations
C. Workers’ rights
D. Water & soil
E. Biodiversity
F. Pollution, waste & GHG
G. Planning and communication
H. Forestry – Other good practices
WWF certification assessment tool (CAT)