UNFSS Spotlight

The Circular Economy: Can Voluntary Sustainability Standards play a role in bidding adieu to the ‘take, make, waste’ model?

The last three decades have witnessed a worsening of the world’s environmental problems. The global use of natural resources has more than tripled since 1970 and continues to grow, pushing climate stability and ecosystems worldwide to the limits of their resilience. This reflects a pertinent need to shift towards sustainable consumption and production pathways. But how can we achieve that? A circular economy might provide some solutions. While there is no singular definition of a circular economy, it most

UNFSS 2021 Activity Highlights

Another eventful year has come to an end. None of the successes we achieved during the year happened by chance. The UNFSS Secretariat thank you for all your support for making things happen, despite a difficult year due to the pandemic. As we look forward to welcoming 2022 with you, allow us to take this opportunity to highlight some of our key activities in 2021. Academic Advisory Council (AAC) Annual Meeting In November 2021, the UNFSS co-organized the Academic Advisory Council (AAC)

Revitalizing the principal role of smallholder farmers as economic contributors

On 17 June 2021, the UNFSS and Evidensia co-organized the 3rd and last Academic Advisory Roundtable Series on Sustainability Standards and Economic concerns to highlight the role of trade in economic growth and development. According to Mr. Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, UNFSS coordinator and UNCTAD senior economist, in order to respond to the environmental and socio-economic challenges brought by globalization, there is a need for powerful tools and instruments to ensure that the benefits brought by trade must become more inclusive

Uplifting the impact of sustainability standards dialogue with the newly established Academic Advisory Council

Can academic professionals contribute to society outside the classrooms? One of the ways to heighten political dialogue exchanges on the growing array of global challenges including global warming, resource depletion and social inequality is to bring together policy makers and academic experts from different disciplines and perspectives. In this way, knowledge can be co-created to pursue global public goods such as sustainable development.

Leveraging public procurement as a political vehicle to promote the SDGs

Governments’ pledges for sustainable development are flourishing, most notably as they signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. But how can they translate such pledges into practice? Voluntary Sustainability Standards, or VSS, have been recognised as potentially transformative tools for sustainable trade, and they offer great potential for governments to realise their sustainability commitments through two main avenues. First, public procurement represents, on average, 12 percent of GDP in OECD countries, and up to 30 percent of GDP in

Establishing the VSS Academic Advisory Council

Reflecting to the UNFSS research element cornerstone, the Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) Academic Advisory Council (AAC) (hereinafter “AAC”), composed of renowned academic experts from across the globe, has been established to function as a think-tank that brings together a wide variety of academic backgrounds, ranging from public international law, global governance, international political economy, economics and public management, to human rights and sustainability studies. This type of multidisciplinary approach not only reflects the implicit acknowledgement of the

Enhancing CARICOM’s Export Opportunities with Sustainability Standards

In the interest of facilitating the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)’s goal to strengthen trade-related quality infrastructure, the validation workshop held in Saint Lucia in 21-23 January 2020 aims to improve capacity in Standards and technical regulations development and implementation in CARICOM and to conduct a feasibility study for developing trade capacity enabling Sustainability Standards and associated conformity assessment modalities by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), modelling the success of African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO). Part

2nd ICSTS: Moving towards the five C’s of Sustainability Standards Systems

Concept Note Programme in PDF Coherence, Collaboration, Cooperation, Convergence and Consensus were five of the most widely ‘referred to’ concepts that highlighted the key-takeaway of the 2nd International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards (ICSTS) held in Rio de Janeiro in September 2019. These are the 5 important C’s that could potentially reinforce the positive impacts of sustainability standards systems. Being one of the proud co-organizers of the 2nd ICSTS, the convention