What’s coming up at the 2017 Global Sustainability Standards Conference

Global Sustainability Standards Conference Evening Reception © ISEAL Alliance
Global Sustainability Standards Conference Evening Reception © ISEAL Alliance
Explore 'The future of trust' at the Global Sustainability Standards Conference 2017.
Registration is now open and preparations are well under way: it’s time to look ahead to the 2017 Global Sustainability Standards Conference and get a flavour for what’s in store this year with ‘The future of trust’.

With the emergence of new initiatives, new technologies, new expectations, how are standards and certification systems rising to the challenge of doing more while maintaining credibility? How are businesses, producers, and other stakeholders playing a role in meeting new commitments and achieving positive impacts?

Through the lens of specific topics, issues and case studies from a range of sectors, the conference will explore changing stakeholder perceptions and expectations around trust. It will bring together 400 senior professionals working in businesses, NGOs, government and academia, who delve into the hot topics in the realm of standards and certification, and look at how standards can provide certainty in an uncertain world.

This year, for the first time, we are kicking off the conference on 27th June with activation sessions:  quick-fire speeches and report launches bringing attendees up-to-date on sustainability standards and how they link with market penetration, biodiversity and living income. The presentations are followed by a networking cocktail reception.

The main conference day on 28th June will delve into current hot topics in the world of sustainability standards through a range of interactive breakout sessions, plenary discussions and speeches. Greg Priest, Inter IKEA Group’s Head of Sustainability, will open the day before we move to the business case for certification and hear from leading professionals in a range of sectors including airlines and jewellery. In the afternoon, two plenaries will explore the case for collaboration and how standards can provide certainty in an uncertain world.

Throughout the day, interactive breakout sessions will give delegates the opportunity to engage with and drive discussion around current topics.

Standards as capacity builders, trainers, policy shapers

Sustainability standards are often playing roles beyond their traditional ones assuring compliance with their standard, such as in policy and advocacy, capacity building or training. 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?

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?

Scaling up while maintaining credibility

How can we reconcile the need to raise the bar and ensure strict, robust content criteria for standards while increasing accessibility for small holders or those or who don't have the resources to meet higher bar standards?

Standards as drivers of slavery-free supply chains

How are standards strengthening their human rights criteria and supportive programmes to help deliver impacts on social issues, including decent work, elimination of forced labour and human trafficking? 

Responsible sourcing regions

How rigorous and credible are the latest approaches to responsible sourcing regions? What will these approaches mean for data collection and impact measurement? How can sustainability standards be a key enabler in delivering regional approaches?

New sourcing models in the mining sector

Gold sector certification 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.  How are new approaches being tested in Latin America and how is a public-private-partnership working to ensure independent due diligence and continuous improvement in the sector?

Implementing SDG commitments

How can you work with certification to make it more effective at operationalising your commitments?  What are the strengths of certification in providing a tool for meeting an SDG or other commitment, and what are the challenges? 

Practice adoption in smallholder farming  

How are smallholder farmers currently adopting sustainability standards in their farms and what are the barriers and drivers of practice adoption in sectors such as cocoa, coffee, cotton and palm oil? What can smallholders expect from standards, what can businesses expect standards to change and how far can standards go in changing practice at the field level? 

This year, the ISEAL Community Day on 29th June will be designed with a special focus on innovations. It will be a catalysing meeting for ISEAL and our members’ innovations work, bringing together the best and most promising ideas from the world of sustainability standards. More details about the community day program will be coming soon.

For more information on the programme and speakers, and to book your place at the 2017 Global Sustainability Standards Conference, visit isealalliance.org/conference