Public webinar: In this second academic roundtable as part of the Evidensia-UNFSS webinar series, we focus on the contribution of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) to key social issues. VSS specify requirements that cover a wide range of environmental and socio-economic issues. On the social dimension, VSS cover issues related to improved working conditions, labour rights and safety, fair prices and benefit-sharing, fair wages, community development, gender equality, and the promotion of responsible consumption and production, among others. But even if VSS could be considered useful tools to achieve socio-economic and environmental sustainability, the evidence on their impact and effectiveness is unclear which makes assessing the contribution VSS to social sustainability complex. Building a way forward in understanding the association between VSS and the social concerns they attempt to address lies at the heart of this dialogue.
– Verena Bitzer, Research Fellow, Maastricht University
– Elizabeth Bennett, Asst. Professor of International Affairs, Lewis and Clark College
– Miet Maertens, Senior Economist at LICOS – Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven