Public policy and private standards, case studies by ISEAL Alliance

A new series of case-studies developed by the ISEAL Alliance illustrates how VSS and governments can collaborate to create more sustainable supply chains. With this initiative, ISEAL aims to provide new insights for policy-makers and stimulate further dialogue on the interactions between governments and sustainability standards – an important topic that was the focus of the UNFSS’s 2nd Flagship report in 2016.


The case-studies build on the UNFSS Flagship report discussions into the optimal dynamics between public policy processes and voluntary sustainability standards as an instrument to achieve sustainability objectives. Furthermore, the ISEAL Alliance case-studies illustrates ways in which policy-makers are using sustainability standards, across sectors and countries, and how these efforts contribute to different SDGs. The studies look into cooperation, alignment, and mutual recognition between VSS and public policies to maximize the sustainability outcomes and producer benefits created through sustainable supply chains.

The ISEAL Alliance is the global association of credible sustainability standards and a UNFSS partner.

For further information on the case-studies: Blog Post  and  Case Studies


The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.