The FrameworkAbout

The Provenance Framework

The open-source rulebook for communicating impact and avoiding greenwashing

Helping brands make shopper-facing social and environmental impact claims with integrity.

The Provenance Framework

The Provenance Framework supports recognised certifications

Communicate credibly today and tomorrow

Use the framework to identify credible, shopper-facing impact claims that you can make today, and create a roadmap for future messaging.

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Sense check brand and product claims

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Map your social and environmental impact

Turn complex ico

Turn complex data into simple messaging

The Problem

Greenwashing threatens our future

A growing number of conscious shoppers want to make positive purchases for people and planet. But corporate claims about social and environmental impact are inconsistent, vague and unsubstantiated.

In a world rife with greenwashing, the Provenance Framework is enabling credible transparency, so that citizens can drive progress through what they choose to buy.

greenwash

/ˈɡriːnwɒʃ/ Noun

Providing vague or misleading information about  environmental, social and governance practices

79%
of shoppers are now changing their purchase preferences based on sustainability.
Capgemini
40%
of environmental claims could be misleading.
CMA

The Integrity Council

Developed with guidance from a council of independent experts

We recognise that the fight against greenwashing relies on a collaborative approach and that, with ESG best practices constantly evolving, our work is never complete.

That’s why we are developing the framework with help from our Integrity Council, a body of independent stakeholders and field experts with diverse expertise and decades of combined experience, who advise us on sustainability issues and keep us accountable to our mission.

Find out more
Steve Trent
Steve Trent
CEO & co-founder of the Environmental Justice Foundation
Rachel Wilshaw
Rachel Wilshaw
Workers’ Rights Senior Manager for Oxfam GB
Anna Turns
Anna Turns
Environmental Journalist
Olivia Windham Stewart
Olivia Windham Stewart
Business and Human Rights Specialist

"The Provenance Framework is a practical tool that allows brands to communicate with integrity. It's a comprehensive resource, covering a wide range of sustainability issues with rigour and depth to ensure that social and environmental claims are robust."

Sarah Holloway
Sustainability Consultant & Member of the Provenance Integrity Council

Cult Beauty is delivering consistent, credible sustainability claims

Cult Beauty – one of the UK’s fastest-growing online beauty businesses – is using the Provenance Framework to deliver standardised, credible impact claims across 1,500+ products and 80+ brands.

Read case study
Shoppers Mockup

"As sustainability becomes a ‘marketing must’, greenwashing will never be far behind and the last thing the world needs is deflated apathy from confused consumers. Provenance helps us provide our customers the verified facts they need to make confident consumption decisions that will make a difference, in a way that was previously unheard of in the beauty industry."

Alexia Inge
Co-founder & Co-CEO, Cult Beauty

FAQs

Can I give feedback or add to the Provenance Framework?

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We know that the scope of the challenge we’re tackling is huge and that best practices in ESG evolve quickly. We strongly welcome input from individuals and organisations on how we can keep improving the framework to ensure it’s as effective as possible in helping brands avoid greenwashing in sustainability communications. Head to our contact page to get in touch.

As a brand, how can I use the framework to communicate with shoppers?

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As well as the Provenance Framework, Provenance provides software solutions to help brands easily share sustainability claims with shoppers:

  • Proof Points are interactive digital icons which appear on e-commerce pages or in off-pack experiences. They translate data from traceability tools, auditors and verifiers in the supply chain into the claims found in the Provenance Framework. Shoppers can click through these icons to explore credible impact information at the point of sale.
  • Digital Experiences enable brands to share engaging, dynamic content with shoppers, from interactive maps showcasing your specific suppliers, to mobile-friendly stories explaining sourcing choices throughout a supply chain.

Learn more about Provenance’s software solutions here.

What is Provenance?

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Provenance is a software solution for sustainability communications. Our technology enables brands to communicate social and environmental impact with shoppers online and in-store in a credible way, connecting claims to supply chain data and third-party proof. By doing so, we enable shoppers to drive progress through what they buy and generate rewards for those brands making a positive impact on people and the planet. As a registered social enterprise and a proud B Corp, we exist to drive positive change through transparency.

What areas of impact does the Provenance Framework cover?

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Claims in the Provenance Framework are divided across 5 key focus areas:

  • Climate: relating to businesses practices and achievements tackling greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Workers: relating to businesses practices and achievements addressing the working conditions of workers in the supply chain/network
  • Communities: relating to businesses practices and achievements improving physical and economic well being
  • Nature: relating to businesses practices and achievements mitigating the businesses’ impact on water and land ecosystems as well as animal welfare.
  • Waste: relating to businesses practices and achievements reducing the quantity of discarded materials and ingredients

Where is the framework available?

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The Provenance Framework is available worldwide, but was developed in line with UK and EU ESG standards.

How is this different from other sustainability frameworks?

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Whilst organisations like Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer fantastic standards and tools for measuring and improving corporate sustainability, the Provenance Framework is uniquely designed to help brands communicate their sustainability progress accurately.

Is the framework designed to help with communicating about brands or products?

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The claims in the Provenance Framework address impact at a business level or a product level.

Does the Provenance Framework address the impact of the retailers selling a product?

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When we choose to buy something, the money we part with is a vote for the type of world we want to build. That’s why we’ve developed the framework – so that people can be better informed about the social and environmental impact of their purchases. 

But we want to highlight that as a shopper, a significant amount of your money (it can typically be 50%) goes to the retailer. At the moment, the claims in the Provenance Framework address impact at a brand and product level, but they don’t account for the impact of retailers that are stocking the product.

How long are claims valid for?

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It’s important to update claims promptly to reflect any changes in information. When brands make claims using our Proof Points technology, we verify that the information initially provided is still valid on an annual basis and we require that brands inform us as soon as any changes occur. We only display verified certifications for as long as they are valid.

What else should I consider when making a claim?

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To make a credible claim that shoppers can trust, keep in mind the below guiding principles:

  1. Standards must be transparent 
  2. Every claim must come with evidence or third-party verification
  3. Each data point must be clearly attributed

To learn more about Provenance's Integrity Principles, click here.

As a developer, I want to learn about how brands can publish claims using Provenance technology

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Brands can use Provenance’s publishing tools to share claims from the framework as Proof Points: interactive, digital icons, available to shoppers on e-commerce pages or in off-pack experiences.

  • To explore the specification of our Proof Point system and other developer resources, click here.
  • To view details and test the authenticity of a Proof Point, click here.
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