Enriching Good VSS Benchmarking Practices through Global Consultations

Time to opt for Good Practices in Benchmarking Sustainability

The essence of defining good practices underlines the replication of applying accumulated knowledge and experiences to new situations. Identifying such models can be adapted to improve any discovery of unanticipated challenges. As we start to recognise the growing prevalence of sustainability issues addressed by participants along the global supply chains, governments and civil society are seeking mechanisms to evaluate sustainability performance through the advent of good practices.

Supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), ISEAL’s new development of a practical Guide on Good Practices for Benchmarking Sustainability highlights the applicability of a universal fixed reference point when conducting an assessment of multiple VSS policies by different actors across the globe. This ensures the consistency, accuracy and robustness when juxtaposing the different VSS policies’ scope, coverage, rigour and outcomes. This guide is intended for organizations who commission or carry out sustainability benchmark. In particular, the Guidance aims to support public policy-making and inform policy design, which will help stimulate the development of advanced smart-mix policies for sustainable production and consumption.


Participate and Contribute in the Consultation Process

In light of the Guidance’s commitment towards continuous improvements, National VSS Multi-stakeholder Platforms and civil society are encouraged at their own discretion to participate in the Global Consultation Process from the 1st of March to the 15th May 2019. This space will allow their views and suggestions to be taken into consideration as part of the development process.

Essentially, the goal of the ISEAL Guidance is to provide a framework that governments and companies can use to recognise sustainability tools and approaches that are coherent among actors across the international sphere.

In the same respect, UNFSS pays special attention in advancing the understanding of good sustainability practices. Sound sustainability policies embedded with VSS are plausibly one of the most direct revelation towards greener economy and a tool to foster economic expansion. Thus, the global consultation represents an imperative step to stimulate the development of VSS policies.

To get involved in the consultation process, contact benchmarking@isealalliance.org or visit https://www.isealalliance.org/benchmarking


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.

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