• Standards & Audits

    Standards and audits are helpful instruments to bring sustainability forward and protect the environment as well as society. They function as regulations or as guidelines, as they define the minimum goals. Standards also create the ability to set benchmarks that measure the success of an organization’s sustainability approaches. Regarding the results, it is possible to generate and apply auditing systems. These are very helpful to compare organization processes, progress, and plans for a more sustainable future.  more[...]

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  • The Meta-Governance of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

    Prof. Dr. Pieter Glasbergen, Maastricht University
    Boudewijn Derkx

    There has been a surge in the popularity of the private standards-setting approach to social and environmental governance in recent decades. A single economic sector may now literally feature dozens of competing voluntary sustainability standards. Emerging gradually as a result of the uncoordinated efforts of various independently operating (coalitions of) actors, the rise of voluntary standards-setting has been largely spontaneous and unplanned.  more[...]

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  • The Objectives of Standards and How Firms Use Them

    Dr. Daniele Giovannucci, The Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)
    Joseph Wozniak, The International Trade Centre (ITC)

    Although often lumped together, the many voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) used today are not at all alike. As a whole they do tend to deal with the areas not functionally addressed by most firms and global trading structures.  more[...]  login_required

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  • Different Kinds of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

    This section introduces the relevant principles from the Rio Declaration, and highlights elements of subsequent UN declarations that have developed or expanded on these principles. From National vs. International Standards, LCA standards vs. sector-specific standards up to Management system vs. performance standards.  more[...]

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  • Evolution of the Voluntary Sustainability Standards

    Voluntary sustainability standards have the potential to generate significant environmental, economic and social benefits in developing countries. However, decision makers from developing countries frequently express concern about the lack of credible information about standards, the considerable compliance costs, the risk of marginalization of small-scale producers, the lack of harmonization and equivalence, resulting in the need to comply with multiple standards for a single product,and the lack of transparent governance.  more[...]

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