Climate action

Trustworthy and ambitious sustainability systems are an important part of the climate solution. They are increasingly offering new tools and applying innovative approaches to support businesses, governments and civil society to mitigate and adapt to climate change – from tools to monitor and verify greenhouse gas emissions, to building the capacity of smallholders in climate-smart agriculture, and creating credible approaches to recognising and incentivising investments in emissions reduction. 

This page highlights some of the different ways that ISEAL and ISEAL Community Members are addressing the climate emergency. 

Climate action in the ISEAL Community

With diverse strategies, bold ambitions and credible practices, the ISEAL community of sustainability systems are establishing themselves as trustworthy partners to support private and public sector climate action.

Some are revising their standards to put a greater emphasis on climate mitigation and adaptation or encourage climate smart agriculture.  

Others are leading and supporting global and sectoral conversations about credible approaches to scope 3 emissions reductions or transition pathways. And, many have committed to working with their partners to improve the environmental impact of their partners’ production processes. Some are helping their members set science-based targets for production that align with the Paris Agreement and publicly track their industries’ progress towards ambitious climate goals.

Many ISEAL Community Members have tools to help resource and production managers and project implementers measure emissions, show progress, and assess carbon stocks

Others are supporting farmers to understand the impacts of climate change and to generate carbon credits and access climate finance.

Using innovation to tackle the climate emergency 

Given the magnitude of the challenge, greater collaboration, collective action and innovation will be needed going forward. 

Rising to this challenge, the Innovations Fund – with support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO – has been supporting ISEAL members to collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders to explore and test new ways in which sustainability systems can support climate action.

In recognition of the continuing urgency for innovation in this space, a climate-specific funding round was launched. In early 2024, the Fund will announce support for new projects that explore innovative ways in which sustainability systems can support measurement and verification of GHG emissions, enable climate mitigation and adaptation by small and marginalised producers, and support sector or landscape-level transition pathways.  

While this is the Innovation Fund’s first climate-focused funding round, the Fund already has a track record in supporting climate-related projects.

Credible measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions

The Fund previously supported a project led by Gold Standard that brought together several ISEAL members to co-create a blueprint that would harmonise good practice for measuring and reporting on GHG emissions – particularly Scope 3 emissions and at a landscape scale. 

Building on the learning from this project and from the Delta Framework project, which sought cross-sector indicator alignment, a new Fund project led by Better Cotton will apply a credible open source GHG accounting and reporting methodology. Better Cotton will also work with other ISEAL community members to identify challenges to its application in the context of different chain of custody models in agricultural supply chains.

Investment in value chain reductions

There has been a significant surge in corporate climate commitments as companies look at ways to reduce GHG emissions within their value chains. Insetting interventions have been proposed as a way for companies to reduce these emissions by investing in nature-based solutions or other mitigation activities in the companies and areas they source from. But what does credible in-setting look like in practice? The Fund is supporting a new project led by Climate Neutral Group to consolidate the knowledge base on this relatively new practice of insetting. By exploring the potential for an insetting standard, this initiative seeks to benefit the broader sustainability community.

Building momentum for climate action

On Trade Day at CoP28, four ISEAL member CEOs came together to discuss the role that sustainability systems are playing and what more is needed going forward to make ambitious action economically and practically feasible for producers and enterprises.

Over the last two years, ISEAL has contributed to conversations about emerging deforestation legislation. With support from the Walmart Foundation, ISEAL launched a project to prepare sustainability systems to play a leading role in supporting implementation of the new EU Deforestation Regulation.

Contact us 

Would you like to learn more about ISEAL’s work in the climate space? Please contact 

If you have any questions about our Innovations Fund work, please contact