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This year's theme is "A Roadmap to Change" and over the course of three days we will challenge you to think about the role of standards in delivering the big social and environmental breakthroughs we all seek. We will be discussing and debating how to move from certification to transformation in the many sectors where standards are working and make responsible practices a fixture of major global supply chains. Certification alone cannot solve the world's sustainability problems, but it can help to provide the roadmap.
Here is a look at some of the issues that we have on the agenda for the 2015 Global Sustainability Standards Conference
The Big Picture: Are Standards Working Fast Enough?
Standards and certification are making strides to drive better production practices around the world and raise the sustainability bar in many sectors, but the earth's systems remain in crisis, with climate change continuing and the world's forests and oceans still in a precarious state. So how do standards become a bigger contributor to the wider transformations we need?
The Impacts Challenge
The body of evidence on the impacts of standards continues to grow, and so do the expectations of stakeholders. How do standards take this information about what is working and what isn't and use it to improve their standards and their strategies? How have standards evolved as the impacts journey comes into focus?
Supporting Higher Wages
Six sustainability standards have come together in a landmark initiative to develop a common approach for calculating a living wage, which they hope will be a critical tool for strengthening how their standards address this issue. How can we ensure this collaboration is successful in empowering workers in global supply chains and what more needs to be done?
The Landscape Perspective
Farms, fisheries and factories are all part of larger ecosystems and societies that need to be sustainable. Across the standards movement people are looking at the potential for standards to play a larger role in making entire landscapes more healthy, looking at issues such as water, gender, food security, and high conservation value areas. How are standards innovating to meet this demand?
From Compliance to Capacity Building
In today's world, standards are much more than a pass/fail instrument - to reach more producers and sectors requires a strong focus on capacity building and realistic improvement over time. How is this major trend taking shape in different standards as they rethink audits and re-engineer their systems to bring more producers into the fold?
Harnessing Big Data
Until recently, audits were one of the few sets of "eyes on the ground", but now technology is producing a wave of opportunities for standards to have a window into the social and environmental conditions at both a small and large scale. How are solutions like GIS mapping, mobile technology, satellite imagery, and social media influencing how standards operate and helping to ensure that interventions are successful?
The Business Case
Standards are not just a "green intervention"; they can also deliver real financial and economic benefits such as risk reduction, higher profits and greater efficiency. But how do we scale up this business case and engage with those influential companies that need to understand it?
The Role of Governments
Public sectors around the world are taking a greater stake and interest in standards - working to benchmark, regulate and develop standards in various ways. Governments are key actors for ensuring that standards are effective at the local and national levels and so how can we work together to ensure that efforts are aligned?
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