Emerging Economies

We have seen a growing level of interest in and commitment to sustainability standards in emerging economies since 2012 when we began to focus more in these regions. The number of certified companies and products across China, India and Brazil has grown significantly - and shows no sign of slowing.


In June 2016, ISEAL and the China Certification and Accreditation Institute (CCAI), along with the South North Institute for Sustainable Development, launched the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards to audiences in China.

The Standard Setting Code, as it's commonly known, is of great value in the region as China sets out to create its own national standards for ethical or green products and services. China's new thirteenth five-year plan emphasises green development and shared benefits, and the Chinese belt and road initiative also sets an important tone for the development of responsible practices. The Code was shared in Beijing with more than 100 experts in a high level sustainability standards and certification development forum co-hosted by ISEAL and CCAI. Published by the China Standards Press, this is the first time that the Standards Setting Code has been officially available in Chinese.


"ISEAL's work in China has helped us to gain a better understanding of the stakeholders and regulatory framework"
ISEAL Member


Latin America

The 2016 Global Sustainability Standards Symposium in Bogotá, Colombia, brought together more than 250 business leaders, sustainability standards, NGOs and government representatives. Participants explored the business case for implementing sustainability, consumer perceptions of labels and certifications, and how to strengthen competitiveness through the adoption of good practices. The audience heard from panellists how certification can play a role in strengthening the competitiveness of companies, drive up profits and create long term growth. And, speakers highlighted how there is a growing appetite for sustainable investment, where sustainable initiatives, particularly those that are certified, benefit from positive social and environmental impact, risk mitigation and long term financial returns.



In November 2015, more than 400 people came together in Delhi for a three day conference on sustainability standards. Testament to the growing discussion around sustainability standards in India, many ISEAL members had a platform in the conference to discuss how we address the challenges and opportunities in the country. Conversations ranged from discussions around mining, elecctronics and finance to workshops on responsible tea production.

The conference was hosted by ISEAL's partner, Centre for Responsible Business, and was run in collaboration with members, United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF and companies such as the C&A Foundation. ISEAL's work in India was supported through a partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).