2017 Global Sustainability Standards Conference

27th June 2017 | 28th June 2017 | 29th June 2017, World Trade Center, Zürich, Switzerland
Here is an overview of the programme

Programme overview


The Global Sustainability Standards Conference consisted of three days of events. Click on the links below to view the evolving programme for each day.

Tuesday 27 June: Activation sessions & networking cocktail reception

Wednesday 28 June: Conference: a full day of interactive breakout sessions, plenary speeches and panels, and networking

Thursday 29 June: Community Day: a full day of interactive breakout sessions, plenary speeches and panels, and networking for ISEAL members and subscribers only

Tuesday 27 June 2017


Registration and coffee


State of sustainability standards: Activation sessions

15:30-15:45 Welcome and overview of the activation sessions
15:45-16:15 Julia Lernoud, Data and Information Manager, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) - State of sustainable markets: standards and market penetration
16:15-16:30 Norma Tregurtha, Director of Policy and Outreach ISEAL AllianceISEAL’s 2017 Strategic plan and vision for 2025
16:30 -16:35 Luis Fernando Guedes Pinto, Agricultural Certification Manager, Imaflora - Lessons learned from socio-environmental certification for agriculture in Brazil
16:35-16:50  Vivek Voora, International Institute for Sustainable Development - Standards contribution to biodiversity
16:50 -17:10 Sandy Harnisch, Senior Policy Officer, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) - Sustainability Standards in Global Value Chains – A Perspective from German Development Cooperation
17:10 -17:25 George Watene, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Global Coffee Platform  - Common metrics for the coffee sector: Highlights from the new Budapest Framework
17:25-17:50  Don Seville, Co-Director, Sustainable Food Lab, Piera Waibel, Head Raw Materials & Sustainability, Lindt & Sprüngli (International) AG and Managing Director, Lindt Cocoa Foundation, Gerd Fleischer, Head, Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability Standards Section, GIZ, Noura Hanna, Workers Rights and Livelihood expert, UTZ Interview: Towards a living income: standards, governments and businesses working together


Welcome cocktail reception and networking                                                                                                                                 

Reception Addresses:
Introduction from Britta Wyss Bisang, Program Director, UTZ and ISEAL Board Chair
Julie Reneau, Sustainability Strategy and Stakeholder Relationship Manager, Nespresso
Ivo Germann, Head of Operations, Economic Cooperation and Development, Swiss State Secretariat for International Affairs
Thomas Vellacott, Chief Executive Officer, WWF Switzerland - Standards: Empty promise or real impact?

Wednesday 28 June 2017


Welcome coffee and registration


Welcome address

Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance
Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary, Swiss State Secretariat for International Affairs (SECO)



Greg Priest, Head of Sustainability Policy, Inter IKEA Group


PLENARY: The business case for certification

Claus Teilmann Petersen, Vice President Group CSR, Pandora: The case in jewellery
Rolf Hogan, Executive Director, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB): The case in airlines
Bernardo Calzadilla Sarmiento, Director of Trade, Investment and Innovation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) - The case in cosmetics
Dörte Bachmann, Sustainability Manager, SV Group - The case in restaurants


Coffee break


BREAKOUT SESSION: New sourcing models: A conversation with the gold sector

The Better Gold Initiative is moving ahead with significant commitments, high level dialogue, and new sourcing models in the mining sector to be able to reach more small scale and vulnerable mines.  We'll hear from a Swiss refinery and jewellery end-buyer as well as some of the leading standards schemes including Fairtrade, Fairmined/ARM and Responsible Jewellery Council, as well as the Better Gold Initiative, about how new approaches are being tested and how a public-private-partnership is working to ensure independent due diligence and continuous improvement in this important and challenging sector. (Panel)

Anne-Marie Fleury, Director of Standards and Impacts, Responsible Jewellery Council
Yves Bertran, Executive Director, Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)
Markus Staub, Senior Project Manager International Cooperation, Fairtrade Max Havelaar​
Simone Knobloch, Chief Operating Officer, Valcambi sa
Diana Culillas, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Chopard Group
Olivier Demierre, Board Member, Swiss Better Gold Association (respondent)
Moderator: Monica Rubiolo, Head of Trade Promotion, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)


BREAKOUT SESSION: ...And beyond: Standards as capacity builders, trainers, policy shapers

Sustainability standards are often playing roles beyond their traditional ones as assuring compliance with their standard, such as in policy and advocacy, capacity building or training. Many of these roles help to get to root causes or systemic issues in a sector. As we move into this frontier of standards in a variety of roles, what are the implications for claims, credibility and even for the financial model of ecolabeling? (Campfire)

Sebastián Pérez, Director of Operations for Latin America, Equitable Origin
Rochelle Zaid, Senior Director, Standards and Impacts, Social Accountability International
Alfredo Martínez de la Torre, General Director, Higher Education-Business Foundation, Mexican National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES)​
Kathryn Green, Sustainability Manager, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming)
Haiying Su, Deputy Secretary-General, Center for International Forest Products Trade, China State Forestry Administration
Moderator: Norma Tregurtha, Director, Policy and Outreach, ISEAL Alliance


BREAKOUT SESSION: A new era of trust: Responding with innovative data approaches

How are our expectations about transparency and supply chain visibility changing our perceptions of trust?  How are new data tools and approaches driving those expectations, what do sustainability standards offer and how do they need to evolve to remain valued trust marks?  Hear from leading technology providers and ISEAL members about the newest approaches to data and other tools to build trust in supply chains. (Panel)

Sarah Lake, Head of the Drivers of Deforestation Programme, Global Canopy Programme
Mathieu Lamolle, Senior Advisor, Sustainability Standards & Value Chains, International Trade Centre (ITC)
Thibaut Schaeffer, Blockchain Engineer, Provenance​
Kaushik Ramakrishnan, Program Manager First Mile, UTZ
Moderator: Patrick Mallet, Director of Innovations, ISEAL Alliance


BREAKOUT SESSION: Low bar or high bar: Scaling up while maintaining credibility and regional dynamics

In the sustainability standards world we hear cries from stakeholders to raise the bar and ensure strict, robust content criteria in everything from modern slavery to free prior and informed consent to biodiversity. Stakeholder engagement usually results in “more” being packed into standards as we try to cover the range of important things. Simultaneously we hear the call to increase accessibility for small holders and those entities who are at a lower level of sustainability or who don't have the resources to meet higher bar standards. How can we reconcile these needs and maintain credibility while also reaching greater scale? (Fishbowl)

Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Vice President, Rainforest Alliance
Manfred Borer, Country Director Indonesia, Swisscontact
Junzuo Zhang, Team Leader, China-UK Collaboration on International Forest Investment & Trade Programme (InFIT)
Piera Waibel, Head Raw Materials & Sustainability, Lindt & Sprüngli (International) AG and Managing Director, Lindt Cocoa Foundation
Moderator: Vidya Rangan, Impacts Manager, ISEAL Alliance


Networking lunch (and lunch topic tables)

Lunch Topic Tables - Join us for great conversations at one of these topic tables hosted by our content partners:

Table 1- Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)Brewing change - sharing lessons learned in certified coffee as a blueprint for other commodities
COSA is advancing smarter measurement tools to achieve quantifiable impact.  Join Saurin Nanavati, one of COSA’s experts and lead on their coffee work to discuss what COSA has learned over time about coffee and how we can use it as a springboard to understanding new sectors and challenges.
Table 2 – ResponsibleSteel:  Responsible mining and mined material supply chains
Human beings have been using mined materials since the Stone Age.  We depend on mined materials for our technology, construction, agriculture, art, infrastructure and transport.  ISEAL member and subscriber initiatives cover Aluminium, Steel, Jewelry, Coal, Energy, Mining, Aggregates and Electronics.  Most of these initiatives are new.  How can we maximise our impacts, individually and collectively?  What lessons can we learn from other sectors?  ResponsibleSteel invites anyone with an interest in responsible mining and the processing and use of mined materials to share their views.
Table 3 – Pantegrity: Evolving standards to the next level and solutions to support it
Standards face manifold challenges that come with managing their growth—from seemingly trivial ones like the administration of an ever-growing number of members and licencees to obviously demanding endeavours regarding the standard’s impact, integrity, and credibility. Join us when we—Intact Systems, Book&Claim and Global Traceability Solutions—illuminate the pivotal role of advanced software solutions and present Pantegrity, a unique modular approach that helps standards to evolve to the next level.
Table 4 – PurProject: Insetting and International Platform for Insetting
Balancing economic activities with ecosystem capacitities, learn about PurProject that is advising companies such as Nespresso, Chanel and Ben & Jerrys how to reduce their environmental footprint through insetting and agroforestry.  Learn how now the IPI is offering a methodology to identify priorities and report impacts on insetting, as well as offering a common database with blockchain technology and an IPI standard to measure the level of conformity of members with this approach.
Table 5 – WWF: Social impacts of marine certification
Join us for a discussion on practitioner guidance to evaluating the impacts of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and marine certification.
Table 6 – SupplyShift: Topic TBA
SupplyShift works on supply chain data management for companies, all in a uniform cloud based platform, and offering solutions from certification management to risk assessments to traceability


PLENARY: The case for collaboration

Hans-Peter Egler, CEO, Global Infrastructure Basel
Han de Groot, Executive Director, UTZ & Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Vice President, Rainforest Alliance​ - Rainforest Alliance and UTZ merger
Steven Collet, Executive Board Member, IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative
Frank Eyhorn, Senior Advisor, Sustainable Agriculture, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Standards and beyond: Jointly addressing water issues in cotton and rice


Transition to breakout sessions


BREAKOUT SESSION: Standards and businesses working together to improve working conditions and drive slavery-free supply chains

Companies and governments are looking at human rights more than ever and making commitments and regulations. In response, how are standards using innovative approaches and incorporating new ideas to move away from business as usual? How are they strengthening their criteria and supportive programmes to help deliver impacts on social issues, including decent work, and elimination of forced labour and human trafficking? (World Cafe)

Nina Smith, Chief Executive Officer, GoodWeave International
Leslie Johnston, Executive Director, C&A Foundation
Didier Bergeret, Director of Social Sustainability, Global Social Compliance Program, The Consumer Goods Forum
Lara White, Senior Labour Migration Specialist, International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Amy Jackson, Head of Membership and Services, Ethical Trading Initiative​
Jean-Baptiste Andrieu, Associate Director, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
Philip Hunter, Programme Director, Verité
Claus Teilmann Petersen, Vice President Group CSR, Pandora
Clara Pascual de Vargas, Human Rights Officer, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Moderator: Norma Tregurtha, Director, Policy and Outreach, ISEAL Alliance


BREAKOUT SESSION: Responsible sourcing regions: challenges and opportunities for sustainability standards

Hear about the latest approaches to responsible sourcing regions from a range of global perspectives. Explore what this means for the future of certification and how sustainability standards need to adapt and innovate to meet changing user needs and expectations. How rigorous and credible are these approaches and what level of trust do stakeholders expect? What will these approaches mean for data collection and impact measurement? How can sustainability standards be a key enabler in delivering regional approaches? (Panel)

Natasha Schwarzbach, Senior Sustainability Manager, Pepsico
Ruth Nussbaum, Director, Proforest
Sven Sielhorst, Director, Global Programmes, Bonsucro
Fiona Wheatley, Sustainable Development Manager, Marks and Spencer
Jan-Kees Vis, Global Director Sustainable Sourcing Development, Unilever
Moderator: Helen Ireland, Senior Manager, Innovations, ISEAL Alliance


BREAKOUT SESSION: Stop talking, start acting: What credibility looks like in an SDG commitment

Join us for this discussion on how sustainable sourcing using credible standards can help companies meet the SDGs.  Discuss how we can all work with certification to make it more effective at operationalizing those commitments.  We’ll discuss how certification is a compass for meeting the SDGs and also explore the challenges.  Share with us your feedback as well on sector transformation or collective impact initiatives and how standards are providing the roadmap, while SDGs are providing the common language for positive outcomes. (Discussion Panel)

Magali Barraja, Manager, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
Dan Fibiger, Director of Global Partnerships and Supplier Sustainability, Gap Inc​
Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance
Moderator and panellist: Nina Haase, Head of Policy and Advocacy, WWF


BREAKOUT SESSION: Practice adoption in smallholder farming  

Join us for an afternoon conversation about the adoption of sustainability standards in smallholder farming and change over time. We’ll talk about the barriers and drivers of practice adoption in smallholder farming sectors such as cocoa, coffee, cotton and palm oil. We will hear from practitioners and researchers who have a wealth of field-level experience on the challenges of adopting increasingly stringent standards and what is needed in addition to certification to change practices over time. And we’ll discuss what this means for what smallholders expect from standards, what businesses can expect standards to change and how far standards can go in changing practice at the field level. (Panel debate)

Ruerd Ruben, Coordinator Food Security, Value Chains & Impact Analysis, Wageningen Economic Research
Florian Schaefer, Research Officer, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)​
Rosemary Addico, Oil Palm Program Manager, Solidaridad West Africa
George Watene, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Global Coffee Platform​
Kendra Pasztor, M&E Manager, Better Cotton Initiative​
Moderator: Vidya Rangan, Manager, Impacts, ISEAL Alliance 


Coffee Break


PLENARY PANEL: Standards responding to evolving sustainability needs

Join us to discuss trends in trade and government engagement with sustainability standards. Learn about implications for standards and their users. Explore how standards are meeting the demand for locally-defined sustainability solutions and adapting to build trust in a new era of uncertainty and change.

Andrew Bovarnick, Global Head, Green Commodities Programme, Lead Natural Resource Economist, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Shankar Venkateswaran, Chief, Tata Sustainability Group
Rob Skidmore, Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains, International Trade Centre (ITC)​
Joshua Wickerham, Policy and Outreach Manager, ISEAL Alliance
Deborah Vorhies, Managing Director, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
Moderator: Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance



Nyagoy Nyong'o, Executive Director, Fairtrade Africa - Sustainability Standards: Shaping our thinking



Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance

Thursday 29 June 2017

This year, the ISEAL Community Day will be designed with a special focus on the theme of trust in practice: evolve, innovate and reimagine. It will be a catalysing meeting for ISEAL and our members’ innovations work, bringing together the best and most promising ideas from within the standards community and from outside. With inspiring plenaries, interactive breakout sessions, practical masterclasses and open space networking opportunities, the Community Day will focus on new initiatives and innovations that are driving value and impact, demonstrating collaborative approaches, and defining trust and credibility in a digital age.


Registration opens


CONNECT: Optional breakfast session: The pathway to membership - key steps and requirements

In this session you'll find out about what being a member of ISEAL involves, the process and requirements, and the benefits for your organisation.


LISTEN: Welcome and scene setting

Patrick Mallet, Innovations Director, ISEAL Alliance


LISTEN: Evolve, Innovate, Reimagine

Kristin Komives, Impacts Director, ISEAL Alliance


LISTEN AND DISCUSS: Innovations Fund - Improving the effectiveness and value of sustainability standards

An opportunity to hear about the Innovations Fund, short lightning talks from successful grant applicants and an opportunity to find out how you can get involved in the pilots.

Sönke Fischer, Strategy Director, Accreditation Services International GmbH
Kaushik Ramakrishnan, Program Manager First Mile, UTZ
Juan Carlos Isaza, Program Manager, Global Coffee Platform
Moderator: Norma Tregurtha, Director, Policy & Outreach, ISEAL Alliance


Networking (Tea/Coffee break)


DISCUSS: Three parallel breakout sessions - discuss what the community and external stakeholders are doing


BREAKOUT SESSION: The journey to using data effectively to gain insights and add value 

Learn about the journey to unlock the value of new sources of data through discussions with sustainability organisations that are using data to gain insights and build more effective programs. 

Peter Feilberg, Director, NEPCon
Bennett Wetch, Director of Technology Innovation, Fair Trade USA
Eugene Kogan, Chief Technology Officer, Rainforest Alliance
Owen Hewlett, Chief Technical Officer, The Gold Standard Foundation
Facilitator: Ana Garzón, Manager, Innovations, ISEAL Alliance 


BREAKOUT SESSION: Performance measurement tools. Maximising their potential for continual improvement

Organisations are investing in performance measurement tools, including self-assessments, to drive continuous improvement at the level of suppliers. Is continuous improvement really happening thanks to performance measurement tools? How is data being used to catalyse improved sustainability performance? What are the success factors? How far can performance measurement tools take you and suppliers in their journey on continuous improvement? These are some of the questions that we will explore in a dynamic session where panellist and participants will identify the enablers for performance measurement tools to truly drive continuous improvement and reduce burden for suppliers.

Sonia Slavinski, Standards Manager, Bonsucro
Simon Miller, General Manager, Cool Farm Alliance
Mona Karraoui, Programme Manager, Credibility, Golf Environment Organization​
ModeratorMarta Maireles, Impacts Manager, ISEAL Alliance


BREAKOUT SESSION: Reimagining the standards-systems model in Agriculture Value Chains: Producer Centric Models

Standards originally emerged as innovate market-based approaches more than ten years back. Can we imagine a completely new model for how standards systems operate to continue to innovate? What would be different if our models were turned around to put the certified operator first and realign priorities? How can we build models and deliver impact for everybody involved in our systems using a producer centric model? Join us for a thought provoking session on how we can all reimagine our standards models to be more effective and impactful. This live community café, will be led by a few 'provocateurs' from within our community who will inspire and challenge us with some visions of how our systems can be radically different. The participants will then have a chance to respond to and debate these ideas in the café-style discussion that will follow. (World Cafe)

Aimee Rusillo, Managing Partner, Liseed Consulting
Don Seville, Co-Director, Sustainable Food Lab
Andre de Freitas, Executive Director, SAN
Moderator: Kristin Komives, Impacts Director, ISEAL Alliance


Networking lunch and optional sessions

  • Open space: Topic tables led by the community (sign up at the start of the day)
  • Showcase of the ISEAL subscriber community: Join us to learn more about the ISEAL community and who's in it. (13:00-13:40)


LEARN: Three workshops - Practical sessions providing tools to help deliver change


WORKSHOP: Data Skills Lab launch – Build your data skills to unlock the value of data 

Come along to this interactive learning workshop to discover key tools and practices that enable effective use of data to increase its value for your organisation. Explore a few practical skills to use data more effectively while learning about how participation in the ISEAL Data Skills Lab can benefit your organisation with support and resources for your data initiatives.

Facilitator: Simon Bullmore, Co-Founder, Mission Drive
Support: Ana Garzon, Innovations Manager, ISEAL Alliance


WORKSHOP: Blockchain taster 

Blockchain technology is often talked about as a solution to ensuring secure traceability of certifications and other information in supply chains. But how does it work in practice? Learn from the experts who are using it and get a taste of how it could work in your supply chains.

Lead: Thibaut Schaeffer, Blockchain Engineer, Provenance
Support: Neliana Fuenmayor, Provenance
Support: Patrick Mallet, Innovations Director, ISEAL Alliance​


WORKSHOP: Using human-centered design to drive continual improvement 

To transform sectors, capacity building and incentives to improve will be critical. More effort is needed to identify and implement incentive mechanisms to catalyse actions from where the enterprise is starting from. This means better understanding what motivates the enterprise and better adapting to the needs of different types of enterprises. How can systems catalyse a continual improvement mindset and behaviours? Join this interactive session to learn what human-centered design means, why it is relevant to drive change and how it works in practice. Learn from the experts who are using it and get a taste of how it could work in your organisation to drive continual improvement. Through this experience we hope you will take away some of the basic principles of human-centered design and learn how to start to adapt them in your own organisations.

Lead: Ben Reason, Founding Partner, Livework Studio
Lead: Thais Tozatto, Service Designer, Livework Studio
Support: Helen Ireland, Senior Innovations Manager, ISEAL Alliance 


Networking (Tea/Coffee break)


SHARE: Moving the discussions forward and building collaborations 

Interactive session to exchange ideas and develop collaborations.

Helen Ireland, Senior Innovations Manager, ISEAL Alliance



Britta Wyss Bisang, Program Director, UTZ and ISEAL Board Chair​


Conference close and networking drinks at a bar near the venue