Developing Proper Sustainability Criteria


The first step of any sustainable certification program is determining what qualifies as sustainable. Because sustainability is not black and white, but a spectrum, the best certification programs must develop a binding and proven criteria for developing this definition. The Rainforest Alliance in their agricultural certification program uses standards set by SAN (Sustainable Agricultural Network), which is the oldest and largest coalition of non-profit conservation and rural development organizations in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia. In another push towards certification rigor, the standards set by SAN are compliant with two other methodologies (the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance). You can see how there are multiple layers of accountability, which is important in developing the binding nature of the criteria.

Part of Solution

  • Commercial Product Sustainability Certification Program

  • Photos

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    • Sustainability criteria: their indicators, control, and monitoring (with examples from the biofuel sector)

      The purpose of the article is to research and analyze the notion of sustainability criteria in their function of an emerging tool to promote and safeguard sustainable products and their sustainable production. The article addresses critical issues, which are important for deeper understanding of sustainability criteria and their practical use. In this, the article examines the existing definitions of sustainability criteria, explores what indicators for sustainability criteria are, researches the issue of costs for following sustainability criteria, and discusses what groups of actors can be responsible for setting and supporting sustainability criteria. The research is done from a legal perspective, which involves much attention on how sustainability criteria can efficiently be implemented and used in legal constructions. Examples from the biofuel sector, which is regulated through a variety of legal frameworks and voluntary sustainability standards with sustainability criteria, are provided.

    • Rainforest Alliance SAN compliance