ISEAL Statement on Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standards Programme

ISEAL Statement on Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standards Programme

This is an ISEAL response to Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standards Programme.

Earlier this week (23rd May 2017), Sainsbury’s held its annual sustainability update and introduced its Sustainability Standards Programme. At this meeting Sainsbury’s stated its intent to work towards meeting the requirements of full ISEAL membership. In addition Sainsbury’s announced a pilot in tea with its own “Fairly Traded” label on the product, moving away from Fairtrade certification.

Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standards Programme and its tea pilot are not endorsed by ISEAL and Sainsbury’s has not applied for, nor obtained, ISEAL membership. 

ISEAL has provided some support to Sainsbury’s in its work on developing the Sustainability Standards Programme. ISEAL did not have any involvement in setting up the tea pilot or knowledge of it prior to the public announcement.

ISEAL’s mission is to strengthen sustainability standards systems for the benefit of people and the environment. We aim to provide a resource to companies, governments and NGOs on how to develop credible standards systems. By building a collaborative movement the aim is to achieve a significant and increasing impact on the sustainability of products and services worldwide. In this spirit, ISEAL worked with Sainsbury’s. 

ISEAL reviewed the standard-setting, assurance and impacts systems that underpin Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standards Programme, and made recommendations for improvement and alignment with requirements in ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practices, and Credibility Principles.

The principles of transparency and engagement are two Credibility Principles that underpin good practice when setting up and implementing a credible sustainability standards system. ISEAL strongly encourages Sainsbury’s to uphold the Credibility Principles to which it has publically committed.

For further details you can check out the ISEAL Credibility Principles, Codes of Good Practices and Membership requirements.

For more information:

Suzanne Clift
Senior Manager, Communications