ISEAL 100: A Survey of Thought Leader Views on Sustainability Standards
Analysis from a survey that captures the views of thought leaders from organisations that are at the forefront of corporate social and environmental responsibility by implementing environmental standards/certifications.
The 2010 ISEAL 100 survey captures the views of thought leaders from organisations that are at the forefront of corporate social and environmental responsibility. ISEAL contracted OnEarth to conduct telephone interviews with 80 business and 20 government and NGO respondents.
The findings show that social and environmental standards are increasingly a widely used tool to implement corporate social and environmental responsibility. On average respondents use four different social and environmental standards. Two thirds of the respondents use Fairtrade, FSC, MSC, Rainforest Alliance Certified, organic standards or a combination of the five. But 73 per cent would consider using more standards to achieve their objectives.
Four out of five respondents mention the value of using standards to increase operational efficiency. Other uses of standards systems include marketing and assessing and improving sustainability performance.Credible verification, multi-stakeholder standard-setting and good governance increase trust in standards systems and promote their use.
Frustrations mentioned include the cost involved in using standards, a lack of effectiveness of individual systems and the complexity and overlap in the standards systems landscape. Still, half of all respondents speak out against a “catch-all ecolabel.” Many encourage harmonisation and order among existing standards.