Gold Standard becomes newest associate member of ISEAL

Gold Standard has met the entry-level criteria of each of the three ISEAL Codes of Good Practice – Standard-Setting, Assurance and Impacts – to achieve associate membership. This status reflects an ongoing commitment to improvement and meeting the requirements of full ISEAL membership

Gold Standard was recommended by the Membership Committee to the Board of Directors, and was approved on 2 October 2019. They are the first climate-centric standard to reach this status.

They join ISEAL as an organisation whose system meets our entry level criteria in terms of scope, governance and practices, and who can now work towards full membership. In becoming an associate member of ISEAL, Gold Standard joins a growing number of initiatives that are driving positive social and environmental change across multiple sectors.

In pursuit of their vision ‘climate security and sustainable development for all,’ their standard, Gold Standard for the Global Goals, enables climate and sustainable development interventions to quantify, certify and maximise their impact, creating value for people and the planet.

Gold Standard Chief Executive Officer Margaret Kim said: “Having developed Gold Standard for the Global Goals to be in line with ISEAL best practices, we are proud now to have achieved associate membership. With ever-increasing urgency to take action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, strong governance and assurance of impact is critical. We look forward to collaborating with and learning from ISEAL and member standards as we continue our journey toward full membership to help scale our impact.”

Gold Standard joins a community of well-respected sustainability standards. They will be working alongside these mission-driven standards organisations to continuously improve the effectiveness of their systems and demonstrate impact.

As standards and certification expand into new sectors, products and markets, ISEAL membership is a strong indicator of credibility, building confidence in stakeholders.

Karin Kreider, Executive Director at ISEAL Alliance, said: “ISEAL is delighted to welcome Gold Standard as an associate member. This achievement reflects the tremendous progress they have made in the development of their programme, and is a recognition of the hard work they have put into building a credible, transparent and effective standards programme. We look forward to working closely with Gold Standard to guide them along the path to full membership, sharing learning and tracking their impacts and improvements along the way.”

Following this announcement, ISEAL’s membership grows to 24 organisations operating in diverse sectors that address critical sustainability issues such as biodiversity conservation, resource use, working conditions and producer livelihoods. As the global membership organisation for sustainability standards, ISEAL brings the standards movement together to scale up its collective impact and engage in discussions on credibility and effectiveness.

Organisations must achieve associate membership first, before transitioning to full membership. At this stage, associate members undergo an independent evaluation to demonstrate they meet overall compliance with improvement criteria of the Standard-Setting Code and, within three years of full membership, undergo an independent evaluation against the Impacts and Assurance Codes. 

ISEAL encourages any organisation developing or operating a sustainability standards system with a multi-stakeholder approach and a commitment to credible practices to consider joining the ISEAL Alliance. You can find out more information on our membership page.

About Gold Standard

Gold Standard was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs to serve as a best practice standard, developed with an aim to ensure that projects that reduced carbon emissions under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also delivered on the dual mandate to foster sustainable development. They have a broad NGO Supporter Network and 1,700+ certified projects in over 80 countries, creating billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide. They are a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Gold Standard’s vision is ‘Climate security and sustainable development for all’. Their role as a standards body is to maximise the impact of climate and development activities. In July 2017, they launched Gold Standard for the Global Goals, a next-generation standard designed to accelerate progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The standard allows initiatives to quantify, certify and maximise their impacts toward climate security and the SDGs, with enhanced safeguards, holistic project design, management of trade-offs and local stakeholder engagement that ensure Gold Standard continues to deliver the highest levels of environmental and social integrity.