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The certification of seafood as “sustainable” by the nonprofit Marine Stewardship Council is too lenient and discretionary, a study by a consortium of researchers has found.
UTZ is in the midst of a revision process for its coffee, cocoa and tea Codes of Conduct. While remaining internationally accepted and credible, UTZ anticipates that multi-stakeholder consultation rounds will lead to improvements of its sustainability standards to ultimately drive better farming practices. Regular standards review is a core requirement of ISEAL\'s Standard-Setting Code. The revision being undertaken by UTZ focuses, amongst other things, on items such as environmental criteria and climate change, living wage or income, transparency of premium distribution, productivity and criteria on Banned Crop Protection Products. Click here to learn more and participate. New in the process is that the three UTZ codes for coffee, cocoa and tea will be harmonised for more efficiency in the field. The end result will be one generic Code of Conduct, for individuals as well as for group certification, with commodity specific modules. Stakeholders are given ample opportunity to provide input on a range of topics via a series of workshops in the various producing regions as well as via public consultation rounds. The outcomes will be catalogued and decided upon by the Standards Committee. The current UTZ codes for coffee, cocoa and tea date from 2009. With the goal to launch the new codes in early 2014, UTZ is fully up to speed with these requirements. The UTZ Certified Code Development Procedure fully complies with the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards of the ISEAL Alliance of which UTZ is a full member. Ensuring that a standard continues to function effectively and achieve its aims is one of the hallmarks of credibility for a standard-setter. The landscape in which we operate is always evolving, so a good standards organisation must be ready to adapt - to respond to new stakeholder needs and challenges, address growing issues and strengthen the strategies for delivering impact. The Standard-Setting Code requires standards to be reviewed at least every five years. According to the Code, \"standards shall be reviewed for continued relevance and for effectiveness in meeting their stated objectives.\" Public consultation allows stakeholders to have input in the review process and affect the decision to revise the standard. Importantly, the results of monitoring and evaluation activities, as outlined in the ISEAL Impacts Code, should factor into the review and be used to assess whether a standard is achieving its goals and/or if changes are required to increase its effectiveness. For more information about the revision of UTZ Certified\'s Codes of Conduct and to access the feedback forms to participate, click here. To download the ISEAL Standard-Setting Code, click here. To find out more about good practices in standard-setting, watch the video below
STOCKHOLM – IKEA GreenTech, an IKEA Group venture capital company has invested an undisclosed sum in Dyecoo Textile Systems, which produces machines for dyeing textiles with carbon dioxide instead of water. The move is being seen as a way to speed up the development of processes and machines that can dye cotton with liquefied carbon dioxide rather than water.
PORI, Finland, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Clean Solutions Finland recently launched a new range of household cleaning products designed to help keep the home fresh and a clean, while at the same time ...
A new report argues that green building can play a key role in tackling climate change and resource conservation issues.
SAN FRANCISCO – As part of an initiative to build a framework and the tools to teach the Higg Index in academic programs across the world, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition aims to gather educational institutions at a one-day summit in New Orleans, Louisiana in October 2013.
This month the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the global platform for the consumer goods industry, released its “Sustainability Activation Toolkit.” In this progressive and clear publication, the CGF lays out its commitment to net zero deforestation by 2020 and outlines clear steps towards using multi-stakeholder standards such as FSC and others. You may have heard of the CGF, made up of more than 400 companies in 70 countries with combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion (think Walmart, Pepsico, L’Oreal, Nestlé, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Unilever, and many more). You may also know about their important and recent sustainability commitments in areas such as deforestation, waste, refrigeration and packaging. In deforestation in particular, the CGF Board made a firm resolution to mobilise resources to achieve “net zero deforestation by 2020,” with a focus on palm oil, soy, wood, pulp, paper and beef. CGF’s new “Sustainability Activation Toolkit” takes net zero deforestation and other pledges forward into a step-by-step action plan for CGF member companies to meet those commitments if they so choose. This document lays out a clear path in each sector of focus. For example, in palm oil ISEAL associate member Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is firmly endorsed with steps for a company to 1) become a member of RSPO, 2) set a timeline for 100% sourcing of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), and so on, with guidance and links provided on how to begin with RSPO and find certified supply. In wood, the steps and messages are a bit more complex, but again, the endorsement for responsible forest management and certification is clear. While CGF supports both FSC and PEFC as standards that should be used for sourcing, the message is a little more nuanced. ISEAL full member FSC is listed first with descriptions and steps along with helpful links and an overview of FSC principles. The Toolkit goes on to say that because FSC certified supply does “not yet meet CGF demand,” that members need to also use PEFC and SFI. While some information is provided on PEFC principles, no information is provided in detail about SFI or how to begin with that programme. The Toolkit also highlights how FSC provides a “mixed” label for the mixing of FSC-certified material with non-certified material if that non-certified material complies with FSC Controlled Wood guidelines. In soy, similar support and steps are provided for engaging with the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), and in cattle there is a clear message for companies to support and join the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef. The Toolkit was produced as part of CGF’s Sustainability Pillar that is co-sponsored by Tesco’s Philip Clarke and Unilever’s Paul Polman. The pillar and its three strategies are also the driving forces behind the well-known Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP), created as part of the CGF sustainability strategy to ‘bring global alignment and voluntary standards to non-competitive areas such as ethical sourcing.’ Overall, this CGF step-by-step toolkit, if embraced by the many large and powerful CGF member companies, has the potential to catalyse sustainable sourcing commitments from some of the less progressive companies, and to push their leadership towards using multi-stakeholder standards and NGO-supported roundtables as their main tools for meeting their responsible sourcing goals. The message from the CGF Board to its members seems clear: Make a plan, source certified if at all possible, communicate your efforts and results transparently. Let’s hope many companies with ‘business as usual’ sourcing plans, take up the recommendations in the Toolkit and roll out new plans and commitments that use credible standards. Download the CGF Sustainability Activation Toolkit here: http://sustainability.mycgforum.com/2013/activationtoolkit/FLASH/index.html
CSO Peter Graf shares insights gleaned from producing the company\'s first integrated report.
The World Resources Institute outlines how companies put a value on environmental costs to help make better-informed decisions