Our work

Eucalyptus grove looking up, Kenya © Caroline Irby, Rainforest Alliance
Eucalyptus grove looking up, Kenya © Caroline Irby, Rainforest Alliance
ISEAL's work is driven by our mission to strengthen sustainability standards systems for the benefit of people and the environment.

ISEAL's theory-of-change is the roadmap through which we aim to scale up the impacts of the sustainability standards movement, built on the four strategic aims of demonstrating impacts, improving effectiveness, increasing adoption and defining credibility. We have also recently unveiled a new stream of work to drive innovation.

As the global authority on what makes a standards and certification systems credible, users of standards can look to ISEAL membership and compliance with our Codes of Good Practice as an indicator of a good standard. Our Codes of Good Practice are developed through a rigorous and independent process and outline the essential processes that organisations should implement to deliver results. These are underpinned by the ISEAL Credibility Principles, a set of concepts developed through global consultation that represent the core, high-level values of a credible standards system.

Demonstrating impacts is a significant challenge, one that requires standards-setters to look deeply at the outcomes of their programmes and evaluate if and how objectives are being achieved. ISEAL is supporting its members to gather the evidence base through collaborative projects on key impact areas and also through our Impacts Code, which offers a framework for organisations to measure and improve their sustainability impacts.

Shared learning and innovation are cornerstones of the ISEAL Alliance and ISEAL uses its convening power to move forward our collective understanding of best practice and to support members to improve their effectiveness in core technical areas through working groups and events such as the ISEAL Effectiveness Days and the Global Sustainability Standards Conference. The ISEAL Community also brings together a wide network of like-minded actors and standards initiatives and ISEAL offers training services to help some of these organisations develop credible systems. 

ISEAL also engages with key companies and governments to understand their needs and promote the value of adopting standards. Our work in emerging economies and public procurement is our flagship adoption project to generate increased awareness and uptake of standards. We also engage with a number of influential forums and groups to act as the global voice for credible standards.

Female Workforce at Dimexon Diamonds in Coimbatore, India © Responsible Jeweller
The highest aim of the ISEAL Alliance is to improve impacts on people and the environment. ISEAL supports standards to measure their performance and put learning and improvement at the centre of their work.
ISEAL helps people understand what good practice looks like for different aspects of a standard, including standard-setting and impact evaluation.
A major part of ISEAL’s work is to increase the use of sustainability standards as tools to achieve the social and environmental goals of governments, businesses and civil society organisations.
© Joe Woodruff for Bonsucro
ISEAL's new focus on innovation will create the enabling conditions for the world’s credible standards to play a leadership role in bringing about more sustainable production.
Green Leaf © Shutterstock
At the heart of the ISEAL Alliance is a set of Credibility Principles that represent the core values upon which effective standards are built.
Martina Zeballa, factory worker, Bolivia © Hugo Lara Rainforest Alliance
Sustainability standards need to operate effectively to deliver on their social and environmental goals. ISEAL's Codes of Good Practice are seen as global references for developing credible standards.