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State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014: Standards and the Green Economy

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 has been fuelled by increasingly ambitious private sector sourcing commitments, particularly among blue chip companies.

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. The standards initiatives studied had certified/verified production with an estimated trade value of US$31.6 billion (2012).

This Review is a strategic planning tool for businesses, policy makers and stakeholders seeking to build more sustainable supply chains. The Review is a collaborative effort of IISD, IIED, FAST, ENTWINED and IDH.

Publication information

  • External: X00116
  • Published: Jan 2014 - A joint initiative of IIED, FAST, IISD, ENTWINED, IDH
  • Theme: Green economy
  • Language: English

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