The State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014

This Review provides a bird's eye view of the global market trends of 10 commodities and the 16 most prevalent standards initiatives paving the way for more sustainable production and trade. The review looks at the governance, criteria coverage and implementation practices of standards initiatives that are active in the agriculture, forestry and biofuels sectors.

Geneva, 31 January 2014

Voluntary sustainability standards are, perhaps, the quintessential example of the green economy in action. On the one hand, they have the potential to enable more accurate full-cost accounting, while stimulating investment in newer, more efficient, "green” technologies. By leveraging existing supply chain infrastructures and relationships, sustainability standards hold the unique promise of more efficient, integrated approaches to sustainable development than those offered by traditional command-and-control policymeasures.

The past decade has seen a rapid expansion in the development of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) to address key sustainability issues for commodity supply chains. Major growth in the production and sales of certified/verified agricultural products have been fuelled by ground-breaking private sector sourcing commitments, particularly among blue chip companies.

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Tags: Case Studies | Extractive Industry

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