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


State of sustainability standards: Activation sessions

Julia Lernoud, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL): State of sustainable markets: standards and market penetration
Vivek Voora, International Institute for Sustainable Development: Standards contribution to biodiversity
Sandy Harnisch, Head of Division 115 - Sustainability Standards, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
State of sustainability standards today and the vision for 2025
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
Jérôme Perez, Head of Sustainability, Nespresso
Raymond Furrer, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development, Swiss State Secretariat for International Affairs
Thomas Vellacott, Chief Executive Officer, WWF Switzerland: WWF in the changing sustainability landscape

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 Swiss 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, and an industrial mine, alongside 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​
Thomas Hentschel, Global Program Manager, Swiss Better Gold Initiative (respondent)
Simone Knobloch, Chief Operating Officer, Valcambi sa
Moderator: Monica Rubiolo, Head of Division, 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, China Academy of Forestry
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
Greg Sampson, Solutions Architect, International Trade Centre (ITC)
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


PLENARY: The case for collaboration

Hans-Peter Egler, CEO, Global Infrastructure Basel
Lucian Peppelenbos, Director of Learning and Innovation, IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative
Frank Eyhorn, Vice President IFOAM and Team Leader Rural Economy, 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)
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
Moderator: Helen Ireland, Senior Manager, Innovations, ISEAL Alliance
More speakers to be announced


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)

Nina Haase, Head of Policy and Advocacy, WWF
Magali Barraja, Manager, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
Dan Fibiger, Director of Global Partnerships and Supplier Sustainability, Gap Inc​
Raphael Schilling, Project Manager Sustainability, Coop
Moderator: Lara Koritzke, Director of Development and Communications, ISEAL Alliance


BREAKOUT SESSION: Practice adoption in smallholder farming  

Join us for an afternoon conversation with smallholder farmers currently adopting sustainability standards in their farms. 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 farmers on the challenges of adopting increasingly stringent standards. 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)

Vidya Rangan, Manager, Impacts, ISEAL Alliance 
Marta Maireles González Associate 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)
Alison Kinn Bennett, Senior Advisor for Sustainable Products & Purchasing, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Rob Skidmore, Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains, International Trade Centre (ITC)​
Joshua Wickerham, Policy and Outreach Manager, ISEAL Alliance
Moderator: Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance



Nyagoy Nyong'o, Executive Director, Fairtrade Africa



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 address and scene setting

Kristin Komives, Impacts Director, ISEAL Alliance


LISTEN: Navigating a changing landscape

Patrick Mallet, Innovations 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.

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: What members are doing with different sources of data 

Discuss the new sources of data that ISEAL members are using including worker data and satellites. Find out how this is helping standards systems to build more robust risk frameworks.  


BREAKOUT SESSION: Transparency in value chains

Join us to hear how self assessment and reporting tools are helping to increase the amount and type of information available to different stakeholders.


BREAKOUT SESSION: Reimagining the standards-systems model: Putting the certified operator first

What would the standards systems model look like if the main goal was to serve the needs of the certified operators and not consumers or brands? Hear ideas from the community and reactions from certified operators.


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, who's in it and how you can make the most of being involved.


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


WORKSHOP: Data skills lab: Using data to build trust 

Come along to this interactive learning workshop to learn more about the building blocks of good data management. See examples of how standards systems are using data more effectively by combining specific skills and tools such as data registries, clear data governance structures, data policies, and new sources of data. We will discuss how data skills development can support effectiveness and increase trust and impact.  


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.


WORKSHOP: Exploring new strategies for continual improvement 

Join us to explore new strategies and solutions to change the focus of standards systems' business models and drive continual improvements. Using a range of tools and techniques, this workshop will explore business model design, standards systems' structures, incentives and other important themes.


Networking (Tea/Coffee break)


SHARE: Moving the discussions forward and building collaborations 

Interactive session to exchange ideas, develop collaborations and confirm how the discussions will inform the 2017 innovations programme.

Lara Koritzke, Director of Development and Communications, ISEAL Alliance



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


Conference close and networking drinks at a bar near the venue