Adhere to standards: comply with a recognised set of external standards related to environmental and/or social performance.
To what extent do you adhere to recognized sets of external standards related to sustainability performance?
This is a good place to start if your organisation is in the early stages of understanding voluntary sustainability standards. The reviews offer independent evidence-based information on the characteristics, performance, and market trends related to sustainability initiatives. The reviews aim to support supply chain decision-makers in navigating the increasingly complex field of sustainability standards. The reviews focus on the green economy (2014), blue economy (2016), and biodiversity (2017).
Developed in 1997, the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) became the first and most widely used global standards for sustainability reporting. Today, over 11,213 companies use GRI Guidelines for sustainability reports, and they continue to serve as a credible global industry standard. This link introduces the global best practices for reporting publicly on universal standards. It also dives into a range of more specific topics related to social, environmental, and economic impacts.
How can you know which sustainability standards are credible? ISEAL is the global membership association for sustainability standards. Its members include Fairtrade International, Bonscuro, Forest Stewardship Council, and Rainforest Alliance among others. ISEAL evaluates these standards against its Codes of Good Practice to ensure standards are credible and "operationally robust." It also releases tools and resources such as its Sustainability Claims Good Practice Guide and Challenge the Label, a guide for buyers when evaluating product sustainability claims.
This is a useful guide on sustainability standards covering human rights, labour rights, environmental management, corruption, corporate governance, and gender equality. It offers a practical insight into 37 of standards including the UN Global Compact, ISO 26000, Account Ability 1000, Social Accountability 8000, The Equator Principles, and the Principles for Responsible Investment.
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