'The 3rd UNFSS Flagship is set to impart an agenda surrounding Voluntary Sustainability Standards (thereafter known as VSS) and its relation to trade issues, in particular the impact of VSS on market access. Where traditional trade theory is concerned, the focus has been mainly tied to tariffs and non-tariff measures.
In 2012, a committee of international experts from academia, business, and civil society published ‘Toward Sustainability: The Roles and Limitations of Certification’. In addition to describing the history, key features and actors in voluntary standard systems (VSS), the report summarised the state of knowledge regarding VSS use and their potential to achieve conservation and other goals. It also enumerated existing evidence about VSS impacts, finding few studies and weak study designs. Since then, considerable effort has been made to fill research gaps.
VSS are known to have a positive impact in areas where certified entities operate but VSS can also influence the enabling environment. There is not yet a lot of evidence of these so-called systemic impacts of VSS on the enabling environment. This white paper, produced by Aidenvironment and commissioned by WWF and ISEAL, aims to contribute to this evidence gap as well as provide a working definition for the concept of systemic impacts.
This infographic by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) highlights the findings of its 2018 global consumer survey. The survey was carried out by the research consultancy, GlobeScan, which questioned 18,900 seafood consumers across 22 countries.
The survey found that independent labelling increases brand trust and, notably, 72% of those surveyed said that there is a need for brands and supermarkets to independently verify their claims about sustainability: up from 68% in 2016.
In the context of the ambitious environmental, social and economic targets within the Sustainable Development Goals, new partnerships are emerging which aim to scale-up sustainable production, trade and consumption.
This 2017 report highlights key findings on transnational standard setting multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs), their presence in various industries, patterns in MSI institutional governance, and analysis of how these MSIs set and monitor compliance with their standards. Results are based on initial findings from the MSI Database, a searchable online resource cataloguing information about the scope, governance, and operations of MSIs.
Transparency, accessibility and rigour are three key drivers of credibility. Credibility and trust are intrinsically linked; to engender trust a standards system must be credible.
This infographic provides examples, from recent research, that illustrate the positive effect of full ISEAL membership on transparency, accessibility and rigour of a standards system.
This 2017 review on the 20th anniversary of the Marine Stewardship Council program looks at the progress and improvements made by MSC certified fisheries around the world.
The report details that currently “12% of global marine wild catch is MSC certified, a figure that has doubled since 2010” and that “in December 2016, 296 fisheries in 35 countries are certified as sustainable to the MSC Fisheries Standard, demonstrating their commitment to healthy ecosystems and the long-term sustainability of fish stocks.”
This infographic illustrates the benefits and impacts of sustainability standards in Southeast Asia. Examples range from illustrating how certification contributes to improved cocoa farmers’ performance in Indonesia to the benefits received by villages in certified logging concessions compared to non-certified concessions in Indonesia.
The infographic is available in English and Indonesian.
To download the infographic click below.