All steps in the standards and certification process, including standard-setting, impact evaluation and assurance (certification and accreditation) have a role to play in the effectiveness of a system. ISEAL builds understanding of good practices for standards systems and sets internationally applicable good practice guidance for the implementation of credible standards systems. These Codes of Good Practice are applied by leading standards systems and compliance is an ISEAL membership requirement. Review and revision of the ISEAL Codes is managed by a Technical Committee made up of ISEAL members and outside experts. The ISEAL Board of Directors do not have a role in Code content development. Our work programme provides an overview of the current status and scope of each of our Codes and credibility tools.
The globally supported ISEAL Credibility Principles articulate the practices that define credible sustainability standards systems. These concepts, such as transparency, engagement and improvement underpin our Codes of Good Practice.
The ISEAL Codes of Good Practice are effective screens for assessing the credibility of sustainability standards. Institutions and companies make reference to and use the Codes in a variety of ways for purchasing and policy. Recent references to the Codes include:
- FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report, 2010
- WWF's 2050 Criteria: Guide to Responsible Investment in Agricultural, Forest, and Seafood Commodities, 2012
- UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Final Report of the Ecosystem Markets Task Force, 2013
- US EPA's Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards & Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement, 2013
In response to a major 2013 report, the UK government said it would support steps to:
“Align with the sustainability standards…developed in compliance with best practice guidelines set by organisations such as the ISEAL Alliance”
For additional references to ISEAL and our Codes, click here.
To read the ISEAL Glossary of Terms that provides definitions of commonly used terms in the Codes of Good Practice, click here.
The process for developing or revising the Codes of Good Practice is governed by the requirements set out in the ISEAL Code Development Procedure. For more information, click here.