The following principles identify concepts that form the foundation of effective sustainability programs, including rating systems, certification schemes, or assessment
tools. These principles can be used as high-level guidance regarding key qualities to take into account when initially considering whether a sustainability program has been developed and is being managed in a credible way. These principles are not intended to determine the credibility, rigor, or effectiveness of a program’s content or its ability to address sustainability issues of interest. Moreover, the principles are not intended to determine equivalency between programs. TSC does not specifically endorse the programs suggested but, rather, recommends them based on their aligning with TSC eight principles, which are a starting point for evaluating how a program has been developed and is being managed. It is important to note that certification schemes, rating programs, and other types of tools serve different purposes and are not directly comparable.