Working toward more transparent and sustainable forms of production, consumption and trade.
The State of Sustainability Initiatives is an international research project that provides credible information about how voluntary sustainability standards can support better environmental and social performance in important commodity sectors.Learn More
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Check out our latest work.
Blog | Growing Tea Sustainably: Examples from Kenya, India, and Sri Lanka
From climate change impacts to price fluctuations, producing tea can be a volatile business. Here's how some of the world’s major tea-producing countries are making the industry more stable—and sustainable.
Blog | Four Ways Sustainability Standards Can Build Farmers’ Resilience to COVID-19
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been severe and far reaching. What has this meant for smallholder farmers in developing countries? Can voluntary sustainability standards help them to be more resilient when crises hit?
Article | How Can Standards Drive Sustainability in Public Procurement and Trade Policy?
Governments are increasingly recognizing the value of including voluntary sustainability standards in their public procurement and trade policies. This is a promising trend, so long as small-scale farmers and businesses are not left behind.
Webinar | Reducing Deforestation and Enhancing Forest Conservation Through International Trade Policy
How effective are voluntary sustainability standards and trade agreement measures at conserving and protecting forests? There are promising developments in the cocoa, palm oil, soybean, and timber sectors.
Blog | From Bananas to Palm Oil: Tracking the rise and performance of voluntary sustainability standards
Growth in standards-compliant production is outpacing conventional production for eight key commodities. Raising awareness about environmental and social issues surrounding agricultural production is crucial to further growth.
Reports & Analysis
Coping with COVID-19
This policy brief presents findings from primary research investigating how voluntary sustainability standards can help smallholder farmers be more resilient during crises.
Standards and the Extractive Economy
This report examines voluntary sustainability initiatives and their aim to promote sustainable production practices in the mining sector.
Standards and Biodiversity
The Standards and Biodiversity Report analyzes the criteria and market coverage of 15 major agricultural voluntary sustainability standards against key biodiversity parameters.
Leveraging Standards for Gender Equality in Agriculture
This guidebook examines the potential of voluntary sustainability standards to support the achievement of SDGs related to gender equality and provides recommendations for development organizations working toward that goal.
Should Farmers Who Follow Sustainable Practices Be Rewarded?
Meeting sustainability standards can have valuable benefits for smallholder farmers, but what happens when the product fails to sell?
Can Sustainability Standards Help Protect the World's Biodiversity?
Protecting our biodiversity is a complex challenge many voluntary sustainability standards are trying to address. We look at their strengths and weaknesses.