Events

Sustainability Standards and Economic Concerns: An Academic Roundtable Discussion

When Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) emerged in the late 20th century, they were heralded as innovative new instruments to help meet some of the most pressing sustainability challenges. Disappointment in the lack of meaningful government policy commitments and/or ineffective implementation of traditional ´command-and-control´ regulatory systems spurred the emergence of these market-based instruments. The question is whether VSS have been able to deliver on their promise to bring about fundamental, lasting changes in sustainability practice. Putting focus on the economic benefits, SDGs

Sustainability Standards and Social Concerns: An Academic Roundtable Discussion

Economic growth alone is not enough to ensure equity, social progress and to eradicate poverty. Up till today, hazardous workplaces continue to exist, and discrimination remains a challenge. According to the latest global estimates, 152 million children are in child labor and 25 million adults and children are in forced labor. Improving workplace practices beyond legal compliance fosters sustainability. It can as well result in higher morale and job satisfaction, and foster creativity

Addressing gender blind spots in sustainability standards

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls sits as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5) set by the United Nations. At international level, the attainment of SDG 5 has galvanised interest by the standards community to innovate gender responsiveness in core technical issues like assurance, standard-setting, and monitoring and evaluation. The need for standards to be more responsive to gender issues is growing recognition in leading standards bodies and Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) schemes to integrate gender

Applying Gender Lens on Sustainability Standards and Certification Systems for International Trade

Women account for almost half of the total labour force in many countries, and in 2019, at least 33% of women make up the exporting workforce compared to 24% of non-exporting workforce in developing countries. International trade has created better jobs for women, where the probability of women working in the informal sector have reduced from 20% with low levels of exports to 13% with high levels of exports, providing them with opportunities for benefits, training and job security, to

Elevating environmental governance with sustainability standards requires a mélange of political powerplay

The existence of good governance can be attributed to shared knowledge base and values, and a good environmental governance takes into account the role of all actors that have an impact and have been impacted by the environment. Although developing countries are the most vulnerable to environmental shocks, a shared knowledge considers the need for them to expand their agricultural supply chains in order to diversify their economy. So, how do we balance this double-edged sword? Taking the last roundtable dialogue