The Benefits of Collaboration
The growth in the number of NGO, government and industry led initiatives has increased the opportunities to promote sustainable practice in commodity sectors, but has also led to a multiplication of transaction and implementation costs that threaten the viability and impact of these approaches. Most initiatives have the potential to benefit considerably from shared learning and collaboration with service provision since they have similar objectives implement similar activities on the ground.
Since the majority of voluntary initiatives focus on the practices of individual supply chain actors, a largely untapped global “macro” oriented approach to production poses new opportunities for the development of sustainable commodity supply chains.
The SCI’s Global Approach
The SCI’s approach to developing sustainable commodity sectors relies on a foundation of science-based research, but is fundamentally action oriented. The core cross-cutting initiatives include:
COSA – Committee on Sustainability Assessment: A multi-stakeholder led research consortium assessing the impacts of sustainability standards using multi-criteria analysis.
FAST – Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade: An association of financial service providers working together to improve access to finance for producers of sustainable commodities.
SCAN – Sustainable Commodity Assistance Network: A multi-initiative platform facilitating the development and delivery of shared approaches to producer technical assistance for sustainable supply chains.
SSI – State of Sustainability Initiatives: A global initiative dedicated to researching and reporting on the development and impacts of sustainability standards and other market-based voluntary approaches to sustainable commodity production and trade.
Other SCI Research and Initiatives Include:
China and Global Markets: A SECO funded research program implemented with the Chinese Ministry of Trade aimed at providing policy recommendations based on the environmental impacts of forest, cotton and electronics supply chains linked to Chinese import and export.
Sustainable Commodity Evidence Base: A DEFRA funded research program implemented in collaboration with Scott Wilson, WWF and GFN aimed at providing policy recommendations based on the environmental impacts of fish meal, palm oil, soy, sugar, shrimp, forest supply chains linked to UK consumption.
Entwined Consortium: A research program funded by the MISTRA Foundation seeking to improve understanding on the economic implications and opportunities of applying trade-based policy as an instrument for improved global environmental governance.
Sustainable Coffee Partnership: A multi-stakeholder platform aimed at developing and implementing a global strategy for sustainability within the coffee sector.