Ekobai Newsletter: Eco-certification and markets (April 2014)
Updates and Sector News
Summary: We report on an ILO funded database of Cambodian suppliers, new standards on organic cotton, water usage and sustainable biomaterials (sugar, palm oil), and how FSC impacts the Congo forestry sector.
New Database for Cambodian Factories: Better Factories Cambodia is a US/Cambodia initiative, backed by the International Labor Organization (ILO) whose mission is as follows: "Better Factories Cambodia monitors factories, trains management and workers, and provides guidance and advice on factory improvements that help enterprises preserve profits while respecting workers' rights." The group has launched a Transparency Database which it hopes will build the reputation of Cambodia as an ethical sourcing destination.
GOTS Version 4.0 Out: The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) International Working Group has announced Version 4.0 of its standard for the processing of textiles made from certified organic fibers. GOTS' core provisions such as the 70 % minimum content of certified organic fibres, bans on GMO, nanotechnology and carcinogenic substances have been maintained. There are modified rules on the conventional 'additional fibre materials': These now may consist of regenerated, respective synthetic fibres - up to 30 % - provided they are environmentally improved and certified. Other changes include the bans on virgin polyester and of angora (recently in the headlines due to animal cruelty concerns).
Scaling Up Bio-materials certification: The ISEAL Alliance reports on a collaboration between the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials and Bonsucro sustainability standards due to the benefits of existing overlap and existing scale up opportunities.
WWF Report on FSC in Congo: A report conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and funded by the WWF shows the impacts of certification on the logging sector in the Congo. The study provides strong independent validation of the positive social impacts that sustainability standards can bring.
Standard for Water Usage Released: The Alliance for Water Stewardship has finally released its multi-stakeholder backed standard for water usage, applicable to industrial users and water utilities. See report from ISEAL.
Ekobai.com is a supplier directory listing over 50,000 companies from around the world producing and selling products certified to sustainability and organic standards such as Fair Trade, FSC, MSC and the Soil Association mark. Our B2B directory is free for companies to list on and the information is open to all viewers at no charge. Companies listed on ekobai.com find new customers from around the world and buyers can short list and contact new suppliers based on ethical and sustainability criteria.