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The Effectiveness of Standards in Driving Adoption of Sustainability Practices: A State of Knowledge Review (2018)

This report, commissioned by ISEAL and carried out by 3keel and the University of Oxford, aims to understand the effectiveness of sustainability standards and certification tools in driving the adoption of more sustainable practices in certified entities, thereby contributing to the achievement of key sustainability outcomes. The report focuses on the changes of practices by organisations or individuals – such as the use of agricultural inputs, retention of wildlife habitat, and providing better conditions for hired workers – as a necessary step towards the final impacts of standards systems.

Six thematic areas were considered: Conservation and Biodiversity; Input Use; Community Benefits and Development; Occupational Health and Safety; Good Production Practices; and Management Systems. There was evidence in each that certification and standards can contribute to the adoption of improved practices, typically expressed as a difference in practices between certified and non-certified entities.

An Insights Paper summarizing the report's findings is included below. Read Sustainable Brands' article on this report by clicking here.

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