This thesis is a critical examination of private certification schemes potential for serving as a non-governmental approach to environmental protection. The in-ternational political climate these days seem to breed fewer and fewer opportu-nities for a unified and global reaction to a range of environmental issues: from the lapsed negotiations of the 1992 Earth Summit on environment and devel-opment to the feeble action on climate change seen with Kyoto II. The rise of private certification schemes such as the Forest Stewardship Council came as a civil society reaction to the Earth Summit , with the resulting UN General As-sembly s Forest Principles as a guideline, and spearheaded by a range of NGOs and buyer groups. Since then, other private certification schemes have appeared with the aim to set standards for fisheries, fair trade and sugarcane production, amongst others. The discussions surrounding these programmes are many, some of the most prominent ones being what kind of legitimacy they have, to what ex-tent they work or not and their advantages and disadvantages vis-à-vis other forms of regulation. This thesis bases its point of inquiry on the topic of green-wash – an accusation often posed by civil society organisations towards the pri-vate sector s use of green -profile as a PR strategy, and explores the potential of private certification schemes in light of this. To answer the question, the thesis uses the definitions by Underdal (2004) on regime strength as well as the framework by Gulbrandsen (2010) for the dependent variable of strength and applies it to two case studies. It then juxtaposes an ideal type of greenwash with an opposite of global governance , to which the findings in each case study are compared to form the analysis of this thesis.