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There has been an exciting development in the world of sustainability standards. In this blog, we will share the recent experience of a leading, global assurance system recognising sustainably farmed products – where they pioneered the first transition from practices towards a more outcomes-based approach.
Standards are under scrutiny
Standards are being recognised globally for catalysing improvements and operationalising sustainability. Recent trends indicate that standards are under an increasing amount of scrutiny, especially to create and demonstrate results closer to the desired impact.
ISEAL: Let’s tackle this
Standard systems are responding to these challenges with a range of innovations. One such innovation that is receiving attention is the so-called ‘outcome-based’ standard. In 2017, NewForesight was commissioned by ISEAL to compile a report exploring the implications – opportunities as well as challenges – of moving towards an outcome-based standard and to provide a practical framework to think about the transition from a practice-based to an outcome-based standard.
LEAF: We will pioneer
LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has always been at the forefront of innovation. They saw the opportunity in moving towards an outcome-based standard – to communicate more closely on the impacts of implementing the LEAF Marque Standard, by measuring outcomes directly rather than proxying them with practices. In 2018, they embarked on the journey to include outcomes in the LEAF Marque Standard. The transition would be towards a hybrid approach, having outcomes included alongside the existing practice-based approach. For this, they used the roadmap as designed by NewForesight. Click here for the summary report.
By reading this blog, you will learn more about the transition towards an outcomes-based standard as inspired by the recent experience of LEAF Marque. We asked Jenny Clark, Assurance Manager at LEAF Marque who is driving this transition, to share with us the benefits of including outcomes in your standard, the challenges they faced, key lessons learned and the next steps for LEAF Marque in this exciting journey.
According to LEAF Marque, what are benefits of moving towards outcomes?
What are the challenges?
What other lessons would LEAF Marque like to share with standard organisations considering transitioning to outcomes?
What are the next steps and timeline?
A final word from NewForesight
Are you struggling to tell your story effectively and demonstrate the value of your standard? Do you want to ensure continual improvement and stimulate innovation and flexibility? Then it would be valuable to consider moving towards an outcomes-based standard. If you have any questions or need help in determining what this would mean for your organization, please contact Joost Gorter or Andrea Viviers at NewForesight.