Commitment to Transparency

We’re an open book.

At WHC, we are committed to the idea of radical transparency. This means we are open, true and direct with information about our organization, procedures and outcomes. We believe this level of transparency is a requirement of any certifying body and hope that it drives conversation, innovation and ultimately, increased conservation.

The private sector has a critical role to play in the biodiversity crisis in managing, restoring and protecting lands for nature. We encourage companies to tell their stories about their biodiversity work and achievements. Storytelling serves a variety of business goals and ultimately will increase long-term investments for corporate conservation efforts.

It is in the recognition aspect of our work where the risk of greenwashing accusations lie. WHC statements will always reflect true and accurate information related to our work, including but not limited to WHC Certification, membership and sponsorship data.

But when companies talk about what they do or achieve with WHC, what can they say? What claims can they make? What claims should they not make? 

Here is how a company SHOULD talk about WHC recognition, certification or awards: 

  • A conservation program at a specific site has received or renewed WHC Certification. 
  • A company has X number of WHC-certified programs with some achieving silver and gold tiers of recognition. 
  • A company’s suite of certified programs across a territory is an indication of their aspirations towards sustainability or better corporate citizenship 
  • A company’s vision or goal for biodiversity that seeks to deliver a nature-positive result is a good evolution in a company’s citizenship journey. 

How a company SHOULD NOT talk about WHC recognition, certification or awards: 

  • False Claim: A company claims that a product developed at a corporate operation with a WHC-Certified program is somehow greener e.g., “Our widget was produced at a factory with WHC Certification.” 
  • Omissions: A company communicates that it has received WHC Certification but fails to mention that the certification applies to a specific project not an entire operation e.g., “Our mine has received WHC Certification at the gold tier.” 
  • Vagueness: A company saying that “We’re Certified” and using the WHC logo to suggest it applies to a corporate entity rather than a specific conservation program. 
  • Outright Lie: A company saying that it has achieved or renewed WHC Certification when it has not.

We’re direct about our certification development, criteria and process. View important information about WHC Certification:

We’re candid about what we recognize and what they are recognized for. View our: