Stories

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

Podcast Feature: Trade Policy and Voluntary Sustainability Standards

The integration of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) into trade policies is a potential powerful means to upscale its adoption as trade policies today are increasingly being used to pursue non-trade objectives, including those related to sustainability. In the last few decades, complemented with the exponential growth in international trade, VSS have increasingly been incorporated into some trade policy instruments, although it may be too early to detect clear trends as of today. Nevertheless, such inclusion reflects the commitment of trade

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

Sustainability Standards and Environmental Concerns: An academic roundtable discussion

Human’s impact on the environment led to changes that triggered environmental crisis, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation, among others. Climate change is one of the most concerning issues of our day; it interrupts national economies and affects lives. Its impacts such as severe storms, heatwaves and the melting of glaciers and ice sheet are accelerating. Biodiversity loss is another significant concern, a 2019 report that assessed a total of 28,000 plant species concluded that close to half of

Build-back-better from COVID-19 with sustainable agri-food supply chain in developing countries

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental not just as a health crisis but also an economic and a humanitarian crisis. The nationwide lockdowns due to the spread of COVID-19 has forced developed and developing countries to halt their economies. With respect to its impact on the global food system which also considers the pre-and post-production of food as well as its distribution and consumption interrelationship with political, social and environmental dimensions, this economic slowdown has greatly affected the progress