Help formalise sustainability expectations by helping to co-develop industry standards. In doing this, you're not just defining obligations but also streamlining processes that require coordination. If your organisation is smaller or lacks a reputation for sustainability, you can leverage personal relationships with individual practitioners to foster the trust needed for partnerships. Participating in industry initiatives and events is a great way to create these relationships.¹ It is crucial to consider diversity, transparency, and verifiability during any standard setting process, ensuring that the standard covers all areas where an issue could be relevant.² Transparency is essential, inspiring trust and facilitating action among various players. Consistently updating information, providing accessible reporting, and conducting regular reviews can bolster credibility and incite further action.³
EXAMPLE: Apparel brands commit to a standard system for assessing social impact.
Apparel brands are replacing their proprietary auditing tools with the Higg Facility Social & Labour Module standard scoring system. The tool removes the need for individual audits, reducing supplier fatigue, freeing up time and resources for suppliers, and enabling data comparability.⁴
EXAMPLE: Palm oil value chain participants join forces to develop a sustainable palm oil standard
Organisations across the palm oil value chain, from processors to financiers, have joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). They aim to minimise the environmental and social impacts of the palm oil industry by implementing a global sustainability certification standard.⁵
EXAMPLE: Fashion brands partner up to tackle forced labour
Recognising the systemic nature of forced labour among foreign migrant workers involved in their Asian supply chains, seven apparel and footwear companies came together to address the issue. With support from the NGO Verite, they have developed a standardised reporting and assessment process facilitating supplier reporting on eradicating worker recruitment fees that are often responsible for saddling migrant workers with unpayable debt.⁶