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Transparency in Global Environmental GovernanceCritical Perspectives$
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Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027410

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027410.001.0001

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Learning through Disclosure: The Evolving Importance of Transparency in the Practice of Nonstate Certification

Learning through Disclosure: The Evolving Importance of Transparency in the Practice of Nonstate Certification

Chapter:
(p.271) 12 Learning through Disclosure: The Evolving Importance of Transparency in the Practice of Nonstate Certification
Source:
Transparency in Global Environmental Governance
Author(s):

Graeme Auld

Lars H. Gulbrandsen

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027410.003.0012

In this chapter, Graeme Auld and Lars Gulbrandsen analyze the central role of transparency in the non-state-led certification movement. Certification embodies the idea that information disclosure can be a tool for nongovernmental organizations, investors, governments, and consumers to support high sustainability performers. Auld and Gulbrandsen assess this claim by comparing the uptake and effects of transparency in the rule-making and auditing processes of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The authors show that the MSC uses transparency instrumentally, whereas the FSC treats it more as an end in itself. The chapter thus identifies key differences in how transparency contributes to the (perceived) accountability and legitimacy of these two prominent certification programs. The chapter underscores as well the link between a marketization of transparency in this realm (via disclosure of auditing reports, for example) and the learning potential of the private regulatory field.

Keywords:   disclosure, transparency, certification, Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council

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