Raise the Bar
These resources will help you to adhere to and contribute to the ongoing development of external industry and multi-sector standards, frameworks, certifications, voluntary codes of conduct, and oversight mechanisms related to social and/or environmental performance.
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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 12,000 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 organisation for collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. Its members include Fairtrade International, Bonscuro, Forest Stewardship Council, and Rainforest Alliance among others. ISEAL’s Community Members are sustainability standards and similar systems that collaborate to scale and demonstrate positive impact. It’s Code Compliant members go further, adhering to ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice – a globally recognised framework for best practice. 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.
A wave of companies are committing to “net zero," but what does being a net zero business mean in practice? The Science Based Targets initiative has released their definition and framework for reaching net zero, and it includes allowances for up to 10% of a company's emissions profile to be removed as offsets. If you are looking for clear and appropriate criteria for "net zero" best practices that will advance you beyond this, this resource from Watershed explains how net zero differentiates from "carbon neutral" and will help you to understand the actions that are required for your company to become a genuine "net zero company."
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.
Indigenous peoples have a unique and important place in the global community, and yet so many industries and organisations continue to struggle with positive and respectful engagement and co-creating mutually-beneficial business agreements. The guide is non-prescriptive, and offers insights, examples, and suggestions for a diverse range of issues and contexts that will help you to engage in meaningful and effective consultuation and partnership with indigenous people on a local level, and to adapt the principles and practices for distinct situations.
Part I explores specific business actions, such as free, prior and informed consent and grievance mechanisms, and Part II explores the UN Declaration Rights in detail, such as those related to culture, language, land, and natural resources, with suggested practical actions and examples.
Not Fit-for-Purpose: The Grand Experiment of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives in Corporate Accountability, Human Rights and Global Governance
This report from MSIntegrity studies the effectiveness and impacts of forty standard-setting MSIs (Multi Stakeholder Initiatives) in upholding and protecting human rights. It researches all elements of how of MSIs operate and provides key insights into topics including stakeholder participation; standards and scope; monitoring and compliance; and impact. This report will help you to apply a critical lens to the limitations of voluntary regulation and to envision more effective strategies to protect human rights.
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